News 11.20.20: SCCSD C19 Update, NE Contact Tracing Lagging, Sanford CEO Speaks Out and More

Nov 20, 2020


The Sioux City Community School District issued its weekly COVID-19 report on Friday afternoon.  The update shows the highest number of cases this school year, with 34 students and staff members in all testing positive in about a dozen (11) buildings. 

Credit Sioux City Community Schools

There were 32 last week. No classes were put into “emergency response virtual learning”. Last week, West Middle and four individual classes were moved to on-line learning until after the Thanksgiving holiday. 

The next board of directors meeting is scheduled for Monday night and the issue of what students should do during the pandemic will likely be a big topic.  You can see what a majority of members of the school board would like to do on by clicking here.

• News release from the SCCDS can be found below.

The Iowa Department of Public Health shows 25 more Iowans have died of COVID-19 complications, plus more than 4,300 additional cases in a 24-hour period. There are currently outbreaks at 117 long term care facilities in Iowa with 14 in northwest Iowa.  Siouxland District Health reported one more death in Woodbury County, for 110 in all.

The head of one of the largest health systems in the Midwest has told employees he's recovered from COVID-19 and is back in the office, without a mask.

Sanford Health’s CEO, Kelby Krabbenhoft, said in an email he believes he’s now immune for “at least seven months."

And he says he isn’t a threat to transmit it, so wearing a mask would be merely for show.  

Sanford CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft
Credit Associated Press

Krabbenhoft’s email comes as hospitals throughout the region are struggling. Other

Sanford Health executives tried to walk his statement back, saying in an email Friday that his words don't reflect the views of the system as a whole.

Krabbenhoft also told the Argus Leader South Dakota doesn’t need a mask mandate and his healthcare stystem is posititioned well to handle the amount of COVID-19 patients coming through the door.
In the past 30 days, South Dakota reported the nation’s second-worst rate of deaths per capita. A total of 741 have died since the start of the pandemic.

This summer’s Sturgis motorcycle rally led to dozens of coronavirus cases in neighboring Minnesota. That’s the finding of a report today from the CDC. They counted 86 cases they said were related to the rally in Sturgis — 51 people who went to the event and 35 who came into contact with those people later.

Most did not suffer serious illnesses, but four were hospitalized and one died. The rally has been a source of contention between the governors of the two states.

Tyson Foods has suspended top officials at its largest pork plant and launched an investigation into allegations that they bet on how many workers would get infected during a widespread coronavirus outbreak. Tyson Foods President and CEO Dean Banks said Thursday that he was “extremely upset” about the allegations against managers at its plant in Waterloo, Iowa, saying they do not represent the company’s values. He says the Arkansas-based company has retained the law firm of Covington & Burling LLP to conduct an investigation, which will be led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. He says if the claims are confirmed, “we’ll take all measures necessary to root out and remove this disturbing behavior from our company.

Iowa’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.6% in October, continuing a steady decline since it soared last spring because of lob losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The October rate was down from 4.8% in September and a high of 11% in April, when many businesses halted operations as COVID-19 first swept through the country. The unemployment rate has fallen even as coronavirus infection rates and deaths reach new highs in Iowa. Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend on Friday called the declining rate “a ray of sunshine.” Iowa’s unemployment rate is tied with South Dakota for third-lowest in the nation, behind Nebraska and Vermont. The national unemployment rate for October was 6.9%

A northeastern Nebraska woman accused of locking two of her children in a bedroom and feeding them only once a day has been found guilty of felony child abuse. A Dixon County jury found 44-year-old Angel Henderson, of Wakefield, guilty of two counts. She faces up to 50 years in prison on each count when she's sentenced in February. Henderson and her husband, Patrick, were arrested in 2019 after police found one of the children — then 14 — dressed in pajamas in which the legs had been sewn together and the arms sewn to the sides to restrict movement. Patrick Henderson was sentenced in November 2019 to four years in prison.

News release from the Sioux City Community School District:

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — The Woodbury Co. Siouxland District Health Dept. is reporting 127 new COVID-19 cases on this Friday, Nov. 20th.
• Total positive cases - 9,635
• Recoveries - 7,063
• Total deaths - 110
• IDPH 14-day average % positive - 23.3%
• Total current hospitalizations with COVID-19 - 85
The above numbers show 2,462 active cases of infection countywide.
Out of the total number of people hospitalized with COVID-19, 51 are from Woodbury Co.
Out of the total number of people hospitalized with COVID-19, 63 are in the hospital due to COVID-19.