NEWS 2.23.21: 5,400 C-19 Deaths in IA, Cases Down in NE, School Budget, and Wounded Knee Medals

Feb 23, 2021

Credit Iowa Department of Public Health

The number of people in Iowa who have died of complications of the novel coronavirus reached 5,400 on Tuesday. The Iowa Department of Public Health added 26 more deaths in the past 24-hours, including one more in Woodbury County, for 211 in all.  

The state added more than 600 new cases with 18 more in Woodbury County.

Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a news release to honor the victims of the COVID-19 Pandemic. She ordered all flags in Iowa to be lowered to half-staff immediately until sunset on Friday, in conjunction with President Joe Biden’s proclamation honoring the 500,000 people who have died of Coronavirus in the United States. 

Flags will be at half-staff on the State Capitol Building and on flag displays in the Capitol Complex and all public buildings, grounds and facilities throughout the state. 

Individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and, other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect

The number of new cases continue to go down in Nebraska, and the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state remains at its lowest level since fall began.

Nebraska reported more than 1,700 new cases last week, down from 3,606 the week before. There have been 2,050 deaths statewide with 67 in Dakota County.

Tonight, leaders with the Sioux City Community School District will propose a budget to reduce the district’s property tax levy for the next fiscal year.

They will also present board members with a plan on how the district plans to use more than $20 million in CARES Act funding to deal with the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Board member Dan Greenwell says the plan focuses too much on virtual schooling, instead of helping students who have fallen behind.

The district used almost $3 million dollars in first round funding on training, masks, cleaning and other supplies to help reduce the transmission of the novel coronavirus.

Part of the new proposal includes more than $2 million for a centralized location for teachers who are part of the virtual academy.

The district recently received approval from the state department of education to provide virtual learning beyond the pandemic.

About 3,000 of the districts 15,000 students started the school year in virtual learning. The current number is approximentaly 1,500.  Superintendent Dr. Paul Gausman told Siouxland Public Media in an interview last week, he estimates between 750 and 1,200 will continue virtual learning after the pandemic.

The South Dakota Senate unanimously supports a resolution urging the U.S. Congress to launch an investigation into Medals of Honor given to soldiers who participated in the Wounded Knee Massacre. Congress has the authority to rescind the medals. A bipartisan group of state lawmakers, advocating both for Native American tribes and military veterans, say their action would give momentum to a years-long effort to rescind Medals of Honor. 20 soldiers of the 7th Cavalry Regiment were given the medals for their participation in the December 29, 1890, massacre on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation near Wounded Knee Creek.