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News and resources regarding COVID-19

NEWS 11.19.20: Mask Enforcement, C-19 Deaths/Outbreaks, Tour of Homes and Twin Bing Ice Cream


If people and businesses in Sioux City don’t follow new health guidelines issued by the state of Iowa this week to stop a big spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, they could face legal action. 

That’s the word today from Sioux City police who say they will enforce the rules, including wearing masks in public buildings.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds today talked about rising numbers of infection in long-term care facilities.  Siouxland Public Media’s Mary Hartnett has more.

One-hundred and fourteen long-term care facilities in Iowa have an active COVID-19 outbreak, the biggest number yet.

As of today, more than 970 Iowa nursing home residents have died of COVID-19.

At a news conference today, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said the state is trying to prevent the spread of the virus at the facilities.

“We’re ensuring that adequate infection control measures are in place. To make sure that they are in place is critical to preventing a virus from entering a facility or stopping its spread after an exposure.”

The governor said an additional million dollars in CARES Act money is now available for PPE in Iowa, and some of the money going to long-term care facilities.

Credit coronavirus.iowa.gov

In 24-hours, 38 more Iowans have died of complications of the disease with almost 4,200 extra positive cases, including 133 more in Woodbury County.

Nebraskans are urged to adapt their holiday plans in light of the ongoing pandemic.

There have been 86 COVID-related deaths in Nebraska in the past seven days for a total of 816.

The state’s top medical director says hospitals are also flooded with patients.  He says Nebraska needs to bend the curve by taking preventative actions; like wearing masks, social distancing, hand washing and avoid crowded places and close contact with others.

Credit Nebraska Health and Human Services

How do you stage a major fundraiser during a viral outbreak for money desperately needed for your charity?

Big Brother Big Sisters face that dilemma with the annual “Tour of Homes” that usually involves people taking buses to several different homes decked out for the holidays.   

Credit Erika Hansen/Instagram/@re.arranged

“Due the pandemic driving hundreds of people around on the bus and bringing them around town wasn’t the smartest thing to do, during the pandemic.”

Executive Director Kristie Arlt who says this year’s event will take place at one location, The Warrior Hotel with many health measures in place.

Credit Kristie Arlt

“We do have hand sanitizer everywhere you go.  Masks are mandatory.”

Groups will also be limited in size and the time spent in each hotel suite on the tour that started today and wraps up Saturday.

Arlt says people who pre-existing conditions might want to skip the tour this year.

A classic Siouxland treat is going regional and national.  Siouxland Public Media’s Steve Smith with the sweet details.

Twin Bing ice cream is flying off the shelves in Sioux Falls.  One woman drove two hours to Sioux Falls to buy a container, only to find it was sold out.

That’s according to producer Stensland Family Farms. The creamery has an exclusive deal with Palmer Candy to sell ice cream using the Sioux City company's name and candy.

Credit Stensland Family Farms

The small-batch creamery introduced the flavor on its scoop bar in July, and it was an instant hit. Stensland ran out of the flavored cream three times, just days after announcing it was selling its own spin on the Palmer Candy perennial favorite.

News release from the Sioux City Police Department:

Governor Kim Reynolds’ latest proclamation has outlined new guidance to help slow the spread of COVID-19 after a dramatic spike in the State of Iowa and our local community. The City of Sioux City supports these measures and will do what is necessary to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Sioux City.

Outlined in the proclamation are provisions that are meant to help stop the spread of the virus such as increased social distancing, mask wearing recommendations, and guidance for bars and restaurants. The Governor has also implored public safety to help enforce the proclamation.

The City of Sioux City is asking each resident to adhere to the provisions in the proclamation. All of us are facing an unprecedented time in our history and we ask that everyone cooperate to lessen the impact of the pandemic. We also ask the patrons of bars and restaurants to be respectful and to not violate the provisions placed on them. Failure to do so may impact their continued ability to operate.

By working together and supporting each other during this crisis, we can free up law enforcement to respond to other community emergencies, support our local businesses, and more importantly, help protect the health of everyone in our community.

The goal of the City of Sioux City and the Sioux City Police Department is to work with our residents and businesses to ensure compliance with the proclamation through education. Complaints of violations of the proclamation will be investigated, but our end goal is to educate residents and businesses on the proclamation in order to maintain voluntarily compliance with current guidelines.

In cases where we cannot obtain voluntary compliance, the Sioux City Police Department will work with the Woodbury County Attorney, Iowa Alcohol Beverage Division, and Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals to enforce all aspects of the proclamation.

Sheila Brummer returns to her radio roots as a Reporter/Special Projects Producer for Siouxland Public Media KWIT-KOJI.