Iowa’s governor says she wants to keep students in class during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I would encourage parents to talk to educators, talk to school board and let’s get kids back in school.”
Governor Kim Reynolds made her statements during a news conference this morning.
Reynolds says scientific evidence shows children up to the age of 10 are less likely to become infected and most positive cases in schools are from staff members who were likely infected from outside the classroom.
Reynolds says students could lose 5 to 9 months of learning through the end of the school year if they’re not in class. The impact is larger for children of color.
Local advocates have expressed concern the Sioux City Community School District is one of the few larger school district that haven’t moved to virtual or hybrid learning.
Reynolds also added there has been a slow steady decline in the new cases and hospitalizations even with the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Governor extended her emergency health proclamation for the state, including a partial mask requirement through next Wednesday December 16th. However, hospitals will be allowed to increase the number of elective procedures from 25 to 50%
Speaking of medical care, the state is going to provide Iowa CARES money to bring in more than 100 nurses from out of state to help cover a shortage of staff at hospitals across the state. The number of hospitalizations at Sioux City’s two hospitals have fallen by 30% from 108 last week to 76 today.
Siouxland District Health recorded 65 more cases in the past 24-hours in Woodbury County. The new reporting method by the state of Iowa did modify the number of COVID-19 related deaths from 142 to 132. However, that number could change.
The death toll statewide is 3,021 as of Wednesday afternoon.