COVID Cases Up; Iowa's 4th Congressional District Expands
The Iowa Department of Public Health reported Wednesday 11,588 new positive cases in the past seven days.
The number of new COVID-19 infections remains on the rise in Iowa as state health officials are reporting more than 11 thousand new cases have been confirmed in the past week.
Nearly 30 percent of the new cases are reported to be in children 17 and under.
The state is reporting 578 Iowans are currently hospitalized with the virus. That’s the same number as last week. And 78 percent of those hospitalized are not fully vaccinated. About 87% of ICU patients are not fully vaccinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 62 percent of Iowans 12 and older are fully vaccinated. And all 99 of Iowa’s counties have high levels of community spread.
Three more Iowa school districts will begin to require masks in response to this week’s ruling by a federal judge temporarily blocking enforcement of the state’s school mandate ban.
Starting Monday, West Des Moines and Davenport will ask all students, staff, and visitors to wear masks indoors, matching CDC guidelines.
So will Linn-Mar Community School District, but only for preschool through 6th grade.
The Waukee school board discussed a mandate last night but it didn’t pass. Also, on Wednesday, a similar mask mandate failed to pass the Sioux City School Board.
So far since the ruling, at least ten districts have put mandates in place.
The plan for redistricting in Iowa calls for expanding the already sizeable 4th district in northwest Iowa.
As Radio Iowa reports, the proposed congressional maps show a sprawling, 44-county fourth district. The third district includes the Des Moines metro and fans out into a triangle, with seven counties on the Iowa/Missouri border.
The second district goes from northeast Iowa, curves around to include Ames, and stretches down to Ottumwa and Fairfield. The first congressional district would be the smallest geographically, including Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Davenport, Burlington, and Fort Madison.
None of the four Iowans who currently represent the state in the U.S. House would have to move, as none are paired up in one of the proposed districts.
Three public hearings are scheduled next week to allow Iowans to comment on the proposed boundaries for legislative and congressional districts.