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Newscast 01.13.21: Iowans Asked to Get Vaccinated as Omicron Spreads; Winter Storm to Bring Several Inches of Snow and High Winds in Iowa

Path of winter storm Friday through Saturday in Iowa
courtesy of the NWS Sioux Falls
Path of winter storm Friday through Saturday in Iowa

News 011322

The state’s largest hospital is asking Iowans to get vaccinated and take extra precautions against COVID-19.

That’s as new infections remain high and hospitalizations statewide have topped 900.

Suresh Gunasekaran (Sir-RESH Goon-A-SAY-Kah-Ran) is the CEO of the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics. He says the fact the omicron variant is so easily transmittable is the reason it’s so dangerous.

Even though the risk of mortality may be lower for any individual, the risk to the entire healthcare system is still just as high as it was before. And so it's still causing workforce shortages. It’s still causing other types of care to be delayed.

Gunasekaran says the actions Iowans take now will have a direct impact on how much this current wave of infections affect the state’s stressed health care system in the next few weeks.

Forecasters are predicting that a winter storm could dump nearly a foot of snow on parts of Iowa and anywhere from 3-10 inches in Siouxland. The National Weather Service says the storm could move into NW Iowa early tomorrow with wind gusts of 20 to 25 mph producing pockets of blowing and drifting snow, especially in open, rural areas. One of the hardest-hit areas will be Des Moines

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts is proposing an income tax cut for corporations and nearly 419,000 residents whose incomes rise into the state’s top bracket. The Republican governor said he would seek to lower the top rates to 5.84%, down from the current 6.84% for individuals and 7.25% for corporations that will go into effect next year. Nebraska is flush with cash from a better-than-expected pandemic economy and billions in federal stimulus payments that went to most Nebraska taxpayer

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