Mary Hartnett

Announcer/News Director

Six more Sioux City School District classrooms are being moved from in-person to online learning.

That announced comes just ten days after the first shift to classroom learning due to reported positive cases of the Coronavirus.  This afternoon district spokeswoman Mandie Mayo said the impacted classrooms were in five elementary schools, which are widely spread throughout Sioux City.

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Two more people have died from COVID-19 in the Siouxland metro area. The two people were women older than 80 years old in Woodbury County.

Today, the county's death toll from COVID-19 now stands at 61, according to the Siouxland District Health Department.

The county also reported 61 new positive test cases of the novel coronavirus today. Overall, there have been 4,802 cases in Woodbury County.

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Iowa has reported more than 11 hundred new confirmed coronavirus cases and 15 new deaths in the past 24 hours, as a federal report says the state has one of the nation’s highest infection rates. The state Coronavirus website says there are more than 78 thousand confirmed cases of coronavirus, an increase of 1,259 since 10 a.m. yesterday. 

Iowa can attribute almost 13 hundred deaths to COVID-19 since March. 

Iowa’s unemployment rate for August dropped to 6%. That is continuing a decline from April amid an economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Today, Iowa Workforce Development says that the August rate was down from 6.8% in July and 11% in April. There were more than  96 thousand people listed as unemployed in August, and this is a decline.  There were more than 110 thousand in July. Iowa’s unemployment ranked 12th nationally. 

As part of our continuing series, "GOING VIRAL: Lessons Learned During the Pandemic," we once again speak with Donny and Stacey Reblitz of Moville.  Donny is on the Woodbury Central School Board and Stacey teaches in the elementary school.

Stacey and Donny talk about their fears about the lack of a facemask requirement at the schools.  Their son Jackson had to stay home for a week in quarantine after he had contact with a another student who tested positive for the coronavirus.  

This week on The Exchange, we have an update on our project, "GOING VIRAL": Lessons Learned During the Pandemic."

I asked my daughter Katie what she thought about the hybrid system that was in place in the Sioux City schools.  She found it difficult to feel connected to instructors and other students.  Katie is back now in person at North Middle School.

In this interview for the GOING VIRAL project, I talk with Donny Reblitz of Moville. We  meet Donny and he tells us about his family.  His wife Stacey Reblitz is a para-professional at Woodbury Central Schools.  Their two younger children Sadie and Jackson attend school there.  Donny is on the school board.  

Donny talks about his concern for his children's and his wife's safety.  Stacey works in the elementary school.  

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The state of Iowa today is reporting more than 850 new cases of the coronavirus this morning and three new deaths.  Iowa has had more than 71 thousand cases of the virus and more than 12 hundred deaths.  Woodbury County Iowa reports 38 new cases of the cor0navirus and a total of 58 deaths, with no further deaths, and a total of over 44 hundred cases since the start of the pandemic. 

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Today Nodland Elementary School moved a second grade class to emergency response virtual learning, after multiple individuals from one classroom either tested positive for COVID-19 or experienced symptoms.

The Sioux City Community School District says it plans to return the class to on-Site Learning on Wednesday, September 23.

Coming up this week on The Exchange, we talk about protecting the vulnerable.  

A Siouxland family is dealing with the loss of a loved one from complications of COVID-19, and we hear from his sister.
 

Chris Mennen who served as an inspiration for others with disabilities. Mennen's sister says Chris brought joy into the lives of countless people, and did a lot with the gifts God gave him. 

The abuse and starvation death of 16-year-old Sabrina Ray might have been prevented if Iowa's Department of Human Services workers had been more diligent and shared information more efficiently. That's according to a report released today from the state ombudsman.

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A website that has been analyzing Iowa coronavirus data from the start of the pandemic is now piecing together Iowa schools' reports.

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South Dakota is now being called the worst state in the nation for COVID-19 after a surge in cases during the last week. 

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South Dakota is the worst state in the nation for COVID-19 after a surge in cases last week. 

The state has reported 2,152 cases in the past seven days, 243 cases per 100,000 people. That's the highest amount of cases per 100, in the nation, according to the tracking done by the New York Times.

Coming up on The Exchange, a Woodbury County judge last week invalidated more than 50 thousand prefilled absentee ballot request forms about sixty days out from the November election, after a lawsuit filed by the GOP and President Trump's campaign. The plaintiffs argue that Secretary of State Paul Pate decreed that only unpopulated absent ballot requests could be sent out.

After a court hearing Friday that invalidated the prepopulated ballot request forms and a call to have him resign, Woodbury County Auditor Pat Gill and election commissioner says today the problem was caused by a disagreement over home rule.

A Woodbury County judge has granted a temporary injunction to invalidate thousands of absentee ballot requests, after a challenge brought by President Trump's campaign and the GOP.  Judge Patrict Tott last night granted the injunction after a morning hearing.  The county's attorney argued that the auditor had the authority to issue the absentee ballot forms. Still, the judge agreed with the GOP's attorney that only the secretary of state could make decisions about ballot request forms.

Another 12 people with COVID-19 have died in Iowa, and there have been an additional 2,663 confirmed cases, the state reports today.

At 10 a.m. today, the state reported 1,091 total COVID-19-related deaths, an increase of 12 deaths since yesterday, according to the state's Coronavirus.Iowa.gov website. There have been a total of 62,031 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Iowa so far.  

The state says changes in the way it reports data have caused spikes in positive data rates. Before the changes, the state was consistently reporting a positivity rate below 10%. Today, the state reported a positivity rate and 14-day rolling average of testing above 10%. 

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Today, Gov. Kim Reynolds has closed all bars, breweries, and nightclubs in six Iowa counties with a coronavirus case spike.  

This week on The Exchange, we are introducing a new ongoing project. It's called: Going Viral: Lessons Learned During the Pandemic. We focus on parents, teachers, and children's experiences as students return to school with the Coronavirus still raging in some parts of Iowa. 

Today most Sioux City Community School students were back in school for the first since Friday, March 13th, when schools across Iowa were shut down because of the Coronavirus.  

Students returned to school using a hybrid modely. This morning school superintendent Paul Gausman welcomed students at Bryant Elementary school.  

Another nine people with COVID-19 have died in Iowa, and there have been an additional 492 confirmed cases.  At 10 a.m. today, the state was reporting 1,048 total COVID-19-related deaths,  according to the state's Coronavirus.Iowa.gov website. More than 57 thousand Iowans have tested positive for the virus.

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American Airlines says today it will stop providing service at Sioux Gateway Airport effective Oct. 7.  It’s one of 15 markets the airline is cutting due to low demand and the expiration of CARES Act funding. United Airlines will begin flying daily from the airport to Denver beginning October 14th. 

Coming up on The Exchange, the Trump administration is suing Woodbury, Linn and Johnson Counties for prepopulating absentee ballot request forms, because of concerns about voter fraud. However, Roxanna Moritz, the president of the Iowa Association for County Auditors, says there are several checks and balances that prevent voter fraud, and mail-in voting is safe in the era of COVID-19.  

President Donald Trump will visit Cedar Rapids tomorrow.  Trump today has approved Iowa's application for a major federal disaster declaration in the aftermath of last week's devastating storm. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds asked for nearly 4-billion dollars.

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President Donald Trump will visit Cedar Rapids tomorrow.  Trump today approved Iowa's application for a major federal disaster declaration in the aftermath of last week's devastating storm. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds asked for nearly 4-billion dollars, including almost 3.8-billion to cover the loss of corn and soybean crops, and the rest for utilities, homes with major damage, and public assistance. 

Trump today will visit Minnesota and Wisconsin to speak about jobs and the economy. 

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Officials say it will take five days or longer to restore power to some Iowa homes and businesses after a wind storm left damage across the Midwest on Monday and killed at least four people. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds held a news conference in Cedar Rapids today, one of the most heavily affected areas. 

Reynolds says Iowa will submit its application for a federal disaster declaration, and Iowans should have power fully restored by Tuesday. 

 

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