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NEWS 5.10.21: COVID-19 Falls in Siouxland States, Pandemic Aid, and More

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Iowa Department of Public Health
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The number of COVID-19 cases continues to fall in all three Siouxland States.

The Iowa Department of Public Health showed no new deaths and about 100 new cases statewide. There were no new cases of COVID-19 in Woodbury County. However, the number of cases did drop by one since yesterday.

The 14-day test positivity rate is 3.3%, one-half percent lower than the statewide level. Eight patients are being treated with the novel coronavirus in Sioux City. There have been 228 deaths in Woodbury County due to complications of COVID-19 and 82 in Dakota County where health officials added nine new cases in one week and a 7-day rolling positivity rate of almost 3%.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases continue to track downward in South Dakota, there is one more death and 77 new coronavirus infections.

Iowa will get $1.48 billion in aid under the federal government’s plan to help states hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Treasury Department announced a state-by-state funding breakdown for President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, an effort to restore jobs lost during the pandemic and replenish the coffers of governments that saw huge declines in tax revenue. The plan will distribute $350 billion to state, local, territorial and tribal governments. The Treasury Department says governments can use the money to cover local public health costs, address the economic impacts of the pandemic and replace lost tax revenue. They can also spend it on premium pay for essential workers and water, sewer and broadband infrastructure projects.

Nebraska will get roughly $1 billion in aid under the federal government’s plan to help states hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Treasury Department announced a state-by-state funding breakdown for President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, an effort to restore jobs lost during the pandemic and replenish the coffers of governments that saw huge declines in tax revenue. The plan will distribute $350 billion to state, local, territorial and tribal governments. The Treasury Department says governments can use the money to cover local public health costs, address the economic impacts of the pandemic and replace lost tax revenue. They can also spend it on premium pay for essential workers and water, sewer and broadband infrastructure projects.

Nearly half of Nebraska’s adult population has now been vaccinated against the coronavirus. The state said Monday that 49.6% of the population aged 16 and up has now been fully vaccinated and more than 1.5 million doses of the shots have been administered across Nebraska. The campaign to distribute the shots continues to make progress across the state although the pace of vaccinations has slowed in recent weeks as demand has weakened. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Nebraska decreased over the past two weeks, going from 322.71 new cases per day on April 24 to 186.71 new cases per day on Saturday.

Gov. Kim Reynolds has removed the chief executive of the state’s nursing home for veterans and their spouses, months after praising his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Reynolds' spokesman, Pat Garrett, said Monday that Timon Oujiri (Tim-un O-jury) was “relieved of his duties” as commandant of the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown last week. He offered no additional information on the leadership change at the facility, which is Iowa’s largest nursing home.

Reynolds appointed Oujiri as commandant in 2017. He oversaw one of the nation's largest state-owned nursing homes for veterans, with around 500 residents and 900 employees. In December, Reynolds said the commandant and his staff have done “such an outstanding job” battling COVID-19.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — A Native American lawyer in Oklahoma wants Harvard University to return a tomahawk once owned by his pioneering ancestor, Chief Standing Bear. Brett Chapman told GBH last week that he’s reached out to the university’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology to return the heirloom. He says Standing Bear gave the tomahawk to one of his lawyers after winning the 1879 court case that made him one of the first N ative Americans granted civil rights. A university spokesperson says the museum is open to repatriation, but that other family members and tribal representatives should be part of the discussions.

Standing Bear was a Ponca chief and Native American civil rights leader who successfully argued in U.S. District Court in 1879 in Omaha that Native Americans are "persons within the meaning of the law". 

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