Mary Hartnett

Announcer/News Director

Two of Iowa's Democratic members of Congress are calling on Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds to issue a stay-at-home order as the state confirms more cases of the novel coronavirus. U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne issued a letter this week calling for the statewide mandate, and U.S. Representative Abby Finkenauer issued a similar letter letter last week.

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Two more people have died from complications of COVID-19 in Iowa, and that brings the total number of deaths to three. And 56 more have tested positive. 

At her daily coronavirus news conference today, Governor Kim Reynolds talked about the need to adjust the state response to the spread of the coronavirus as time goes on.  In response to a question about a letter from President Trump about labeling counties according to risks, Reynolds said she wasn’t ready to start rating counties without the proper data.

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Two more people have died from complications of COVID-19 in Iowa, and that brings the total number of deaths to three. And 56 more have tested positive. 

At her daily coronavirus news conference today, Governor Kim Reynolds add that there have been a total of more than 3,700 negative tests.

Reynolds talked about the need to adjust the state response to the spread of the coronavirus as time goes on.  She said there may be a need to impose more regulations or to dial back on what has been done, depending on data from the state. 

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The state of Iowa reports two more people have died from complications of COVID-19.  This brings the total number of deaths to three.

On Friday, the Iowa Department of Public Health added 56 more positive cases for a total of 235.  There have been a total of more than 3,700 negative tests.

The number of Siouxlanders impacted increased as well.  There are new confirmed cases in Woodbury, Monona and now Dickinson County for a total of eight people.  All the new cases involve people 61-years or older.

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Gov. Kim Reynolds today expanded the state's disaster health proclamation, halting elective non-essential surgical and dental procedures and expanding the breadth of the state's retail closures.

All existing closures, including restaurants and bar closures, were extended an additional week to April 7. That is effective as of 10 p.m. Thursday.

  

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COVID-19 cases have increased to 179 in Iowa 

The Iowa Department of Public Health says 34 more people have tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. 

Drive-through testing for COVID-19 will start in Woodbury County tomorrow.

But, testing isn’t available for everyone.  It’s being held in an undisclosed location for patients with recommendations from their doctors.

On this edition of The Exchange, we talk with Tyler Brock of Siouxland District Health about the number of COVID-19 cases in Woodbury County and how to keep ourselves safe during the pandemic.

We also speak with Sioux City Community Schools Superintendent Paul Gausman about the outlook for students, who are currently out of school because of the coronavirus, to get back to class this school year.

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A Sioux City homeless shelter closed early for the season, today (Wednesday) because of COVID-19.

Lindsay Landrum (LAN-drum) is the executive director of the Warming Shelter in Sioux City. She says the shelter doesn’t have the ability to quarantine people or staff if they become exposed to the new coronavirus. She told the residents this morning (yesterday/Wednesday morning) that they needed to leave.

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Monona County has its first case of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.

This is the fourth such case in Northwest Iowa.  Woodbury County was the first in the region to have a positive case announced over the weekend, followed by Sioux Countynthe following day. A second case was confirmed in Woodbury County this week. 

Today, the state of Iowa increased the number of COVID-19 cases to 124. That is 19 more than yesterday.  There were no new confirmed cases in Siouxland.

Sarah Reisetter from the Iowa Department of Public Health says currently “sheltering in place” in Iowa isn’t necessary for the time being.

Reisetter says people should stay home as much as possible, especially if you are over the age of 60; use social distancing, work from home if possible, stay away from large gatherings and use good personal hygiene.

Today, the state of Iowa increased the number of COVID-19 cases to 124, that’s 19 more than yesterday.  There were no new confirmed cases in Siouxland.

Sarah Reisetter from the Iowa Department of Public Health says currently “sheltering in place” in Iowa isn’t necessary for the time being.

“Shelter in place for two or three weeks will not cause the coronavirus to go away.  That is because the virus is circulating around the world and can be reintroduced from many different places.”

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The number of positive cases of COVID-19 has grown by another 19 in Iowa, bringing the state total to 124 confirmed cases, Gov. Kim Reynolds said today.

The latest report includes cases in Jasper County and Warren County in central Iowa. That means 30 counties in Iowa have positive cases.  Woodbury County has two confirmed cases.

 

 

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Iowa now has 105 cases of COVID-19, according to Governor Kim Reynolds.  At an afternoon press conference today, Reynolds continued to ask for non-essential workers to stay home and only leave the house for necessities.  She also talked about some new efforts to help Iowa small businesses. The governor announced an unemployment insurance tax extension to assist small businesses

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds says the State Hygienic Lab now has the capacity of conducting 620 tests.  The announcement comes as public health officials announced one new case of coronavirus in the state, bringing the total positive cases here to 45. 

There has been a shortage of tests nationwide.

Reynolds says the state is working with private companies to try and come up with solutions for shortages in medical supplies.  Reynolds admits she doesn’t know the number of ventilators available in the state but the state is working on the problem.

 Gov. Kim Reynolds on Friday suspended fees related to property taxes and halted most home evictions through a series of relaxed regulations aimed at helping Iowans impacted by the coronavirus.

Reynolds' office initially announced she was suspending the collection of property taxes as part of her orders, but her office later corrected that and said it was just for penalties and interest for property taxes.

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Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed an emergency declaration designed to offer an array of relief to state residents as efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus also slow the economy. 

The state public health emergency declaration, among other things, temporarily suspends collection of property taxes, some home evictions, and certain regulation fees and penalties. It also allows bars and restaurants to sell unopened bottles of alcohol for consumption off-premises. 

  

Iowa now has 44 positive COVID-19 cases. 

The governor made the announcement at a press conference this afternoon. Yesterday the count was 38 cases of COVID-19 in Iowa.  The respiratory illness is caused by the novel coronavirus.  Reynolds said all Iowans are committed to preventing the spread of the virus.  She also talked about efforts to support the state’s small businesses.

Iowa now has 44 positive COVID-19 cases. 

The governor made the announcement at a press conference this afternoon. Yesterday the count was 38 cases of COVID-19 in Iowa.  The respiratory illness is caused by the novel coronavirus.  Reynolds said the state and all Iowans are committed to preventing the spread of the virus.  She also talked about efforts to support the state’s small businesses.

Iowa now has 44 positive COVID-19 cases as of this afternoon. 

The governor gave the update during a press conference today. The previous count, yesterday, had Iowa with 38 cases of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus.  Reynolds said the state and all Iowans are committed to preventing the spread of the virus.

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Most court proceedings in Iowa are on hold to prevent the spread of the coronavirus — but county clerk of court offices remain open to deal with legal emergencies.

State Court Administrator Todd Nuccio says they are keeping a narrow scope, focusing on emergency matters. He says the court system continues to accept all kinds of filings, but new in-person trials won’t be scheduled until early May.

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Siouxland District Health said this morning that, so far there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Woodbury County.

At a news conference at Western Iowa Tech, Deputy director Tyler Brock was asked about the limited supply of tests for the virus.

“The focus is getting people tested who need it the most.  O.K.   Folks with mild system are going to be told they don’t need to be tested, ok?” 

Brock said he couldn’t put an exact number on tests conducted in Woodbury County.  But, says all have come back negative, so far.

 Health care providers are likely going to tell patients who are displaying mild symptoms of COVID-19 that they don't need to be tested for the virus, Siouxland District Health Department Deputy Director Tyler Brock said Wednesday morning during a news conference at the Security Institute on Western Iowa Tech Community College's campus.

According to Brock, testing for the novel coronavirus has been and is being performed in Woodbury County. So far, there have been no cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the county.

We began planning this show last week, but, in these times, the amount of change from day-to-day is stunning, if not disorienting. Since then, we have seen school’s close; fitness centers, restaurants, bars, casinos are having to close or limit service; grocery stores are having difficulty keeping shelves stocked. It’s one of those moments when you feel the world is different from what you thought it was only days ago. One of our concerns is the disinformation surrounding COVID-19, and, hopefully, we can bring some balance back today with our table of experts.

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Siouxland District Health says so far there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Woodbury County.

This morning, officials with the public health entity, held a news conference to talk about the limited number of tests available for potential patients. Deputy director Tyler Brock explains.

“The focus is getting people tested who need it the most.  O.K.   Folks with mild system are going to be told they don’t need to be tested, ok?” 

The coronavirus continues to spread across the United States and the rest of the world, and Iowa is not immune.  So far there are 13 cases in Iowa and no deaths. 

The City of Sioux City is encouraging residents to use online services as much as possible in light of the global spread of COVID-19. 

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Iowa Republicans will hold county conventions tomorrow, but the Iowa Democratic Party has postponed its county conventions which were to be held later this month.

Republican Party leaders say they consulted with state public health officials and the governor’s office and decided to move forward with county conventions this weekend, but a spokesman for the party says they “strongly advise” Republicans who don’t feel well to stay home.

Iowa Democrats, meanwhile, say their county conventions on March 21 are postponed until a future date to be determined.

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The NAIA Division II women's national basketball tournament in Sioux City was abruptly canceled in the middle of the second day of games due to concerns over the potential spread of coronavirus.

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics canceled all remaining winter championship events, including those currently underway. That includes the NAIA Division II men's basketball tournament in Sioux Falls, where Morningside College was competing for a championship. 

In an effort to support public health and minimize the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing, Western Iowa Tech Community College will extend Spring Break for students through Sunday, March 22 and will transition many of its face-to-face classes to online classes beginning March 23.

Local health leaders say so far there isn’t a local case of COVID-19 but that could change at a moment’s notice.

“We want to assure the community we are monitoring that is a case does develop, we will have them tracked.”

That’s Kevin Grieme (GREEM - like Green with an M), the Director at the Siouxland District Health Department.  He spoke at a news conference this afternoon with the support of local law enforcement and emergency management leaders at the Security Institute on the campus of Western Iowa Tech Community College.

Coming up on the Exchange, we talk with  Siouxland health care leaders about how to protect yourself from COVID-19.  Most of the precautions are really just common sense actions. 

Also, today we hear from the owner of Siouxland Magazine Stacie Anderson about next Wednesday's event at the Sioux City Public Museum called "Understanding Homelessness."

We also look ahead to this year’s Faces of Siouxland Multicultural Fair with Karen Mackie of the Siouxland Human Rights Commission.  

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