Noon News 2.24.20: More IA COVID-19 Cases, NE Emergency Funding and Morningside President Update

Mar 24, 2020

Credit CDC

There are 19 more confirmed cases of COVD-19 in Iowa for a total of 124.  None of the new cases involve anyone in the Siouxland area.  Governor Kim Reynolds is planning a news conference for 2:30 this afternoon that you can hear her on Siouxland Pubic Media,

More COVID-19 cases have been reported in five Nebraska counties, bring the state total to 61. One of the new cases involves a woman in her 30s from Madison County who has underlying medical conditions.  She has not left her home since symptoms started on March 18th.

Meanwhile, Nebraska lawmakers advanced a $83 million emergency funding package to fight the new coronavirus.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem issued an executive order asking businesses to restrict some of the ways they operate in the midst of the threatening new coronavirus. 

That includes having restaurants limit their service to takeout and businesses to limit gatherings to 10 people or less, as well as asking hospitals to put off elective surgeries.

Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott says he has heard concerns over the city not issuing an order forcing people to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Scott says it’s not legally possible.

“And, for those of you who think the city council or city manager or the police department have the power to actually tell people to stay home.  We can’t under the Iowa law.  Only the governor can declare those type of emergencies.”

Scott made his comments at the end of Monday’s city council meeting that was open to the public through a video stream on-line but not in person.  All future council meetings will move to that format until further notice.

The leader of Morningside College, who announced plans to retire last month, will now stay another year because of concerns surrounding COVID-19.

On Monday, the college suspended a nationwide search to replacement President John Reynders 

The president of the college’s board asked Reynders if he could stay to help see the college through the pandemic.

Reynders who took over as president in 1999, originally planned to step aside in June of 2021 to retire to Florida.