News 4.27.20: Metro-Area Mayors Call for Action, Iowa Restrictions Eased and Price-Gouging Case

Apr 27, 2020

Credit Iowa Department of Public Health

Mayors in the Sioux City metro area put out a statement calling for all public health organizations to increase the level of transparency in reporting COVID-19 cases to the community after a surge of new cases. 

The mayors of Sioux City, Sergeant Bluff, North, South and Dakota Cities signed the statement.

They also urge all tri-state-governors to use caution when lifting current restrictions across the region and for the public to be vigilant in following all health and safety guidelines.

They are asking all businesses to take responsibility for any outbreak or spread of the virus in their facilities.  That includes providing accurate information to employees and the public.

Monday’s message comes as Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says she will partially reopen businesses and churches in 77 of Iowa’s 99 counties.

That includes all of Siouxland, except for Woodbury County.

Starting on May 1st, Reynolds says in smaller populated counties; restaurants, fitness centers, retail stores and malls will be allowed to reopen at 50% of capacity.

Reynolds said the 77 counties have experienced a downward trend in virus activity over the last two weeks.

Reynolds extend previously-ordered business closures in 22 other counties through May 15.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported nine more deaths on Monday attributed to COVID-19 for a total of 127 people.  There were almost 400 new confirmed cases for a total approaching 6,000. 

Woodbury County accounted for more than a quarter of the new cases.

Siouxland District health reports 115 new cases of a total of more than 600.

There has been one death in Woodbury County. 

More than 2,000 tests have been done in Woodbury County. Fifty-six patients have recorded.

Dakota County reported its first death over the weekend.  In all, 56 people have died in Nebraska from the disease with more than 3,000 confirmed cases.

A move by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds to allow elective surgeries starting this week will not happen at Sioux City’s two largest medical facilities, at least for now.

UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s and MercyOne put out a joint statement saying they will start planning to resume elective procedures once the community’s rate of COVID-19 trends down.

Their current focus is on the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Siouxland, includes access to testing and Personal Protective Equipment.

Iowa’s legislative session will remain suspended through May 15th, according to state leaders.

The announcement came shortly after the governor announced she’s extending a ban on large gatherings through that date, with an exception for religious groups.

Top Republican lawmakers say they’ll hold a legislative council meeting this week to formally extend the suspension.

Lawmakers originally suspended the legislative session in mid-March. This is the second time their planned return date has been pushed back.