NEWS 6.21.21: C19 Rates Fall in Most of Siouxland, SD Medical Pot Update, Kids Count Report, & More

Jun 21, 2021

Credit Iowa Department of Public Health

COVID-19 rates and hospitalizations continue to fall throughout a large portion of the state of Iowa.

The Iowa Department of Public Health on Monday added no new deaths due to complications of the illness with around 30 new cases. There have been 6,114 deaths during the pandemic. Almost one-and-a-half million are fully vaccinated.

Hospitalization have fallen to 54 patients, that is the lowest since the end of March 2020.

The 14-day positivity rate is 2% statewide, and the seven-day positivity rate is 1.9%.

The 7-day rate for Woodbury County is 1% with 5 cases added in the past week.

That is according to information from the state coronavirus website. Several counties in Siouxland show no cases or infection rates. They are Monona, Ida, Cherokee, Buena Vista, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola, Emmett, and Pocahontas. However, the 7-day test positivity rate in Sioux County is 10% and Plymouth 4%. Sioux County added seven cases in the past week.

South Dakota’s largest health care providers have proposed that lawmakers drop part of the requirement for people seeking medical marijuana identification cards to obtain a physician’s recommendation to use the drug. Under the proposal made Monday, physicians would still need to certify that patients have conditions such as severe pain, seizures or multiple sclerosis that would qualify them for a medical marijuana ID. But they wouldn't need to specifically recommend that marijuana be used to treat the condition. The proposal was welcomed by medical marijuana advocates, who worry that patients would have a difficult time getting medical pot recommendations from physicians. Doctors have expressed hesitancy about recommending medical marijuana as the state prepares to legalize it.

An annual report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation has ranked Iowa ninth overall for child well-being.

The Kids Count report ranks states on economic well-being, education, health as well as family and community.

Advocates say despite Iowa’s high ranking, there’s still a lot of work to be done for children and families.

The report recommends permanently expanding the federal child tax credit and strengthening state and local policies affecting families.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts plans to send about two dozen state troopers to Texas later this month to help patrol the nation's border with Mexico. Ricketts has criticized President Joe Biden's approach to border security and several other policies, but he said the aid is being provided to Texas under a preexisting agreement that is normally activated in times of emergencies. Nebraska's announcement on Saturday came several days after Florida officials said they would also send law enforcement officers to Texas and Arizona. Ricketts says the troopers will spend up to 16 days helping the Texas Department of Public Safety, but didn't say how the deployment would be paid for.

A sheriff says a Chicago man who allegedly shot and wounded a sheriff’s deputy during an armed robbery at an Iowa gas station and then evaded an extensive manhunt for hours has been arrested. Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner identified the suspected shooter as 36-year-old Stanley Donahue. His office announced on its Twitter account Monday afternoon that Donahue had been taken into custody without further violence, and that additional details would soon be released. Gardner said that the deputy, whom he didn’t immediately identify, was hospitalized at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in stable condition.  The shooting occurred after the deputy responded to a report of a robbery at Casey’s General Store in Coggon, Iowa.

A tornado damaged several buildings and knocked down power lines and trees in eastern Iowa Sunday night. Most of the storm damage was reported in rural areas near the town of Bernard, and a lighting strike from the storm also caused a house fire near Dubuque. No injuries were reported. Dubuque County Emergency Management Director Tom Berger said a tornado was spotted on the ground near the line between Dubuque County and Jackson County around 8 p.m. Sunday. Officials said several farm buildings were damaged were damaged in the area, including a 40-foot-by-60-foot building that was nearly knocked down. The storm also tore the roof off a cattle barn. 

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is hoping to increase recycling across the state with a new “I Am a Recycler Campaign.”

Recycling has been around for 40 years, but officials say it hasn’t hit its full potential yet.