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News and resources regarding COVID-19

NEWS 5.7.21: C19 Deaths, IA Health Spending, Perkins Incident Update, and More

Iowa Department of Public Health

The Iowa Department of Public Health added 18 more deaths due to complications of COVID-19, and almost 400 new cases with three in Woodbury County.

The number of deaths and cases may not have occurred during the past 24-hours as the state does add backdated information.

Currently there are almost 190 people hospitalized in the state with the virus with five patients being treated in Sioux City.

The 14-day test positivity rate statewide is 3.8%, in Woodbury County the level is 3.5%.

Credit Siouxland District Health

The annual report from the non-profit Trust For America’s Health tracks annual spending on public health for both federal and state governments.

Dara Lieberman is with the organization. She says Iowa is one of just seven states that cut its funding for public health in 2019.

“We also found that Iowa has cut its own state public health funding by about 3%. And that's a little upsetting because Iowa also cut funding in last year's report as well by about 1%.”

The report found Iowa has received nearly $460 million in pandemic response funding from the CDC, ranking it 23rd in the nation per capita.

An incident last week at Perkins in Sioux City is still under internal review by the Sioux City Police Department. A video circulation on Facebook late last month showed a struggle between officers and a Black man. A few days later, the police department released body camera footage from all officers on the scene. Investigators say the man was asked to leave the restaurant and refused and resisted arrest. At one point the man was pushed into a booth with an officer pointing a taser at him.

Police Chief Rex Mueller met with community leaders and advocates last week over concern surrounding the encounter. The President of the local chapter of the NAACP Ike Rayford was included in that discussion and supports the department’s transparency in the matter. Rayford says he is happy they are self-checking and self-policing and adds that’s ultimately why body cameras are important for both sides.

The man in the video, identified as 29-year-old John Wright does face charges of trespassing, interference with officials acts, and failure to comply with order of a peace officer. One officer ended up with a shoulder injury.

Child protection advocates in South Dakota are worried the pandemic created a surge in abuse cases.

The Argus Leader reports there is concern of an increase in child-on-child abuse that was rare prior to the pandemic. Also, some cases may have gone unreported as well due to isolation.

The juvenile justice division of the Iowa Department of Human Rights is adding a new subcommittee made entirely of young people. They don’t yet have all the details, but they are working on creating a sort of guidebook for the small group. Jill Padgett is a juvenile justice specialist within the department of human rights

“I think, by creating this intentional space for a youth-driven, youth-directed subcommittee, it's affirming that belief that your voice is heard, and it matters. And it's really up to us and up to the decision makers to amplify their voices.”

Padgett says part of the foundation for the new subcommittee is researching how other states have been successful. As of now, the official launch date is set for fall of this year.

First District Congresswoman Ashley Hinson says she supports her party

removing Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney as the number three U-S House Republican. Cheney has repeatedly criticized former President Donald Trump for falsely claiming the 2020 election was stolen. Cheney also was one of ten House G-O-P members who voted to impeach Trump.

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