NEWS 12.18.20: Weekly SCCSD Update, NE C-19 Vaccines, IA Cases Down and More

Dec 18, 2020

Credit CDC

The Sioux City Community School District released a weekly report on COVID-19 cases and for the first time also listed students and staff in quarantine.

This past week, the report showed four students and six staff members tested positive for the virus.

One multi-grade classroom at North Middle was put into Emergency Response Virtual Learning.

On Monday night, the Sioux City Community School board voted to require the district to release more detailed information about absences.  Some board members were concerned the district was under reporting the impact of COVID-19 in schools.

The report showed yesterday there were a total of 31 COVID-positive students with more than 500 in quarantine.  That is 3% of the student body.  There were more than 400 students out for other reasons.  There were 16 positive staff members reported yesterday with only seven in quarantine.

Credit Sioux City Community School District

Nebraska will get about 12,000 additional doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine next week.  It will be used to treat residents and employees at the state’s long-term care facilities.

The announcement by Gov. Pete Ricketts today comes just days after state officials said they weren’t expecting any shipments from the company next week because of unspecified “logistical hiccups.”

Other states have reported similar problems, but Pfizer issued a statement saying it wasn’t having any production or distribution issues.

After reporting 238 deaths due to complications of COVID-19, the state of Iowa recorded no new deaths in a 24-hour period.

There were 1,900 new cases as viral spread continues to slow in the state. 

Credit Siouxland District Health

There were 62 new cases in Woodbury County and nine in Dakota County.

Gov. Kim Reynolds this week relaxed restrictions on bars and restaurants, on social gatherings and sports events citing a slowdown in virus spread since mid-November.

The state reported 701 people in hospitals on Friday and 96 patients with COVID-19 admitted in the past 24 hours, both numbers lower than just a week ago.  Locally, there are 60 patients in Sioux City’s two hospitals.

Iowa State Auditor Rob Sand is sharply criticizing Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds for not calling the Legislature into an emergency session to approve spending to help people suffering from the coronavirus pandemic.

Sand, a Democrat, in his annual budget review says Iowa will lose bars, restaurants and possibly hospitals due to economic hardship. He says Reynolds, a Republican, could have called the GOP-run legislature to spend some of the $1 billion the state has accumulated to help.

A Reynolds spokesman says Iowa is ranked as the most fiscally responsible and resilient state in the country.

Nebraska will get 11,900 additional doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine next week that will be used to treat residents and employees at the state’s long-term care facilities. The announcement by Gov. Pete Ricketts comes just days after state officials said they weren’t expecting any shipments from the company next week because of unspecified “logistical hiccups.” Other states have reported similar problems, but Pfizer issued a statement saying it wasn’t having any production or distribution issues.

FORT YATES, N.D. (AP) — Family members say the former chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has died after contracting COVID-19, not long after his wife passed away from the coronavirus. Sixty-five-year-old Jesse “Jay” Taken Alive was hospitalized in late October and died Monday, according to his brother, Virgil Taken Alive. According to an obituary, his 64-year-old wife Cheryl Taken Alive died Nov. 11. Jesse Taken Alive won a seat on the tribal council in 1991 and spent 24 years in tribal government, serving as its chairman from 1993 to 1997. He taught Lakota culture and language at a school in McLaughlin until he became ill.

Jesse “Jay” Taken Alive
Credit Associated Press