NEWS 9.29.21: C19 Deaths and Hospitalizations Jump in Woodbury County, Early Voting Info, & More

Sep 29, 2021

Credit Siouxland District Health

A weekly COVID-19 trend report shows higher hospitalizations at Sioux City’s two major medical facilities. The number of deaths due to complications of the virus increased by six for a total of 239 in Woodbury County since the start of the Pandemic.

There were 506 new cases added in a week, down 35 from the week before. Forty-five percent of Woodbury County residents are fully vaccinated that was an increase of .5% or 500 more people.

When it comes to hospitalizations there were 42 patients who tested positive with 30 battling COVID-19 only. That was a jump of 100% percent in one week.

The 14-day test positivity rate is 16%, indicating high community spread.

Data released by local health officials shows the highest positivity rates with younger people in the county, especially people 50 and younger, including those 17 and under.

Iowa state health officials are reporting for the third week in a row that newly confirmed COVID-19 cases once again topped 10,000 over the past week. 

Nearly a quarter of the new cases are reported to be in children 17 and under. And the state’s 14-day test positivity rate remains above 9 percent.

For the second week in a row, 81 additional Iowans have been confirmed to have died from COVID-19 in the past week. This brings the total death count to more than 65 hundred.

The state is reporting 624 Iowans are currently hospitalized with the virus. That’s a slight drop from last week’s number.

According to the CDC, 63 percent of Iowans 12 and older are fully vaccinated.

Classes have moved online for students of Little Priest Tribal College in Winnebago, Nebraska after an increase in COVID-19 cases.

A post on social media says starting Wednesday courses will move to Zoom and resume in-person on October 11th.

The widow of a man who died after being struck by a car driven by South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg has reached an out-of-court settlement after threatening a lawsuit. The two sides confirmed the deal Wednesday but would not disclose details. Ravnsborg pleaded no contest to a pair of traffic misdemeanors in the crash that killed Joseph Boever, who was walking alongside a rural highway late at night. A spokesman for Ravnsborg says the settlement happened quickly and there will not be any civil suits “or anything else.” The Legislature will consider whether to try to impeach the attorney general during a special session that starts Nov. 9.

A man convicted of first-degree kidnapping in Clay County, Iowa back in 1987 has died in prison.

Sixty-year-old Stephen Tryon, was battling cancer, according to a news release issued by the State of Iowa today.

The Monona County Sheriff’s Office will take over patrol of the community of Onawa starting on Friday. The decision was made due to the city being unable to fill open positions with qualified candidates. The Monona County Sheriff says citizens will not notice much of a change.

South Dakota Republican and Democratic legislators say they want more details from Gov. Kristi Noem’s administration on a meeting last year that included the governor, her daughter and state employees overseeing an agency that had moved to deny her daughter’s application to become a certified real estate appraiser. In response to a report from The Associated Press this week, the Legislature’s Government Operations and Audit Committee will look into the matter when it meets at the end of October. The state attorney general Jason Ravnsborg is also reviewing concerns from state lawmakers over the issue.

Early voting for Iowa’s city and school elections begins in about two weeks, and some deadlines and procedures for voting by mail are different this year because of new voting laws.

The deadlines for requesting an absentee ballot and for voter pre-registration have changed. The deadline for both is now 15 days before Election Day. Iowans who want to vote by mail in this year’s city and school elections must ensure their completed absentee ballot request form is received by their county auditor by 5 p.m. on October 18th.

Last year, the secretary of state and some county auditors sent absentee ballot request forms to all active registered voters.

Iowans can also print a ballot request form and then mail the completed form to their county auditor. 

There is an ongoing discussion in Buena Vista County surrounding a rezoning request for a proposed soybean crush plant near Alta.

The County Board of Supervisors had a standing room only crowd Tuesday night as they heard arguments for and against the current plans for the plant that could produce several dozen new jobs.

Radio Iowa reports the board tabled the decision last week and asked the county engineer to look into a possible traffic study along Highway 7 in the area the plant could be located. He says the information from the study could determine if there needs to be any modifications along the county roads or highway.

The board unanimously decided to table the decision for another week. That choice was met by some comments from the crowd afraid that waiting too long may ultimately lead to Buena Vista County losing the proposal to another location.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is again applying to hold a fireworks display over Mount Rushmore to celebrate Independence Day. The Department of Tourism submitted its application for a special use permit to the National Parks Service on behalf of Noem Wednesday to have fireworks next year. The Parks Service in March denied the state’s application for a fireworks show, citing safety concerns. South Dakota had been dealing with drought and wildfires that burned within the monument’s boundaries earlier this year, forcing the park to close for several days. Noem is currently in litigation with the U.S. Department of Interior over that rejection.