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State Lawmakers Begin 2021 Session; COVID Cases Added Today


011121a 3:04 News

 State lawmakers returned to the Iowa Capitol today. Education, taxation, safety are the top priorities for 2021 Iowa legislature. And today they were Joined  inside by hundreds of anti-mask protestors.

Hundreds of people --- few, if any, of them wearing face coverings --- packed into the Iowa Capitol rotunda today and then into the Senate and House chamber galleries. The were protesting mask-wearing and other public health measures designed to slow the spread of the new coronavirus and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Iowa’s current public health orders require people to wear masks in public when inside and around others for more than 15 minutes. But those orders do not apply to the Iowa Capitol, where state lawmakers are able to create their own rules of operation.

Republican legislative leaders decided against requiring visitors to the Capitol to wear face masks. The 150 lawmakers are gathering in the Statehouse with no mask requirements and rules that do not require disclosure of a positive COVID-19 test.

Iowa today has 511 new cases of COVID-19, and 11 new deaths. The state has had a total of nearly 300,000 cases of the coronavirus since it appeared Iowa in March. There have been more than 4100 deaths. 

In Woodbury County, there have been 27 new cases added to the total case count in the last 24 hours. 

The Sioux City Community School District reports that 28 students reported COVID positive when looking at absences for January 4 and 5.  

That number is different and higher than the original reporting format.

In the school board's required format, the students likely acquired the virus before this week, and/or were not in school when symptomatic and confirmed the positive case.  The school district is in week two of its hybrid format, in which half of students go to school two days a week and half go two other days.  The Sioux City school board meets tonight to review its Return to Learn plan and discuss options for the rest of the year. 

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