NEWS 12.22.20: IA Vaccines, NE Holiday Warning, COVID-19 Scams and More
At a news conference Tuesday morning, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations are on the way down. She credits extra restrictions issued for Iowans last month. Reynolds urges the public to follow health guidelines, including avoiding gathering during the holidays.
Reynolds says more than 8,400 front-line health care workers have been immunized for COVID-19. Last week, state officials had hoped to receive 26,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Reynolds pointed to a planning error that caused an overestimate in the state’s allotment.
The head of Lakes Regional Healthcare in Spirit Lake also joined the governor virtually to say his medical facility is expected to receive 300 doses today and 200 next week.
Vaccinations for long-term care facilities through the federal government pharmacy program are expected to start on Monday.
Reynolds was asked if she still favors students returning to in-person learning after winter break she said “yes”. She did say there is additional CARES Act funding just approved for more school PPE.
The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting an extra 64 COVID-19 deaths, there were more than 1,300 additional positive cases in the past 24-hours.
There have been more than 269,000 Iowans who have tested positive for the coronavirus and 3,653 deaths. The state added one more death in Woodbury County for 160 during the pandemic. There were 38 more cases reported by Siouxland District Health for 11,886 cases with 85% recovered.
The two-week test positivity rate for Woodbury County is below the 15% threshold at 13.9%. The CDC says anything above 4% shows wide community spread.
Health officials in Nebraska say it’s important to remain vigilant about social distancing to limit the spread of the coronavirus even though vaccines have started to be administered and the state’s virus numbers have improved recently.
The Health Director of Douglas County says the arrival of vaccines this month offers hope, but 60% to 70% of the community will have to be vaccinated before precautions can be relaxed.
Over the past several weeks, the virus numbers have been improving in Nebraska. The rate of people being infected with the virus went from the fifth-highest in the nation early this month to the 29th-highest rate on Monday. Iowa is ranked 35 according to Governor Kim Reynolds.
Siouxland District Health says scams related to the COVID-19 vaccine are circulating within the community.
One is requesting credit card information for a person to be placed on a priority list for the vaccine. The second is a text or email that includes a link to a survey to what appears to be a local medical office. But, it is not.
Health officials want the public to know the vaccine is being provided for free. However, providers could charge an administration fee.
A Monona County man was sentenced to life with no parole for the murder of his grandmother in 2018.
Eliot Stowe was found guilty of killing Cheryl Stowe last month in Monona County District Court.