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COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations and Deaths Spike in Iowa, NE, SD

Noon News 111320

The coronavirus continues to spread broadly across Iowa. 

Iowa surpassed 5,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases for the first time in a single day. A surge in infections is sending more people to hospitals and pushing more schools to place students in online classes.

 The Iowa Department of Public Health reported 5,065 new confirmed cases in the past 24 hours today. There were 19 additional deaths in Iowa and that raises the total to 1,947. One in every 102 people in Iowa tested positive in last seven days.

 The seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate in Iowa was 51.4% on Nov. 12, second in the nation behind South Dakota. South Dakota has tallied 60,716 cases: and 567 deaths. Five hundred fifty-one people were hospitalized in that state.

Nebraska has accounted for 92,553 cases and 756 deaths. Nine hundred and five people are now hospitalized. Governor Pete Ricketts says there were only 200 hospitalizations as of September 23rd. 
Hospital capacity is at 20 percent today.  Ricketts says mask-wearing and social distancing are vital to stopping the spread of the virus.

Woodbury County today has 130 new cases with a total of 8,913 since the pandemic began.  There have been 105 deaths and no further deaths today. Woodbury County has a 23%, rolling, 14-day positivity average.
Iowa officials say nearly 10% of the state's schools have sought a waiver to educate students remotely instead of in classrooms. 
The Iowa Department of Education says 43 districts and nonpublic schools operate with waivers from the state requirement that they are in class at least 50% of the time. 

In the Sioux City School District yesterday officials announced that all West Middle School school students have been moved to online learning. Earlier this week, only seventh grade students at West Middle were moved to online learning. 

Sioux City school board member Taylor Goodvin says he recommends the district move to a hybrid learning model between Thanksgiving and Winter Break. 

Goodvin posted his comments on social media late last night after the announcement about West Middle. Two other members of the board, Monique Scarlett and Perla Alarcon-Flory have previously advocated for hybrid learning. Sioux City Community Schools started the academic year with the hybrid model with students in class two days a week and instruction from home two days a week. Pupils who need extra help would do an additional day of learning.

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