Noon News 3.27.20: 2 More Deaths in IA, Drive-Through Testing Underway, Skyrocketing Unemployment

Mar 27, 2020

Credit State of Iowa

The state of Iowa reports two more people have died from complications of COVID-19.  This brings the total number of deaths to three.

On Friday, the Iowa Department of Public Health added 56 more positive cases for a total of 235.  There have been a total of more than 3,700 negative tests.

The number of Siouxlanders impacted increased as well.  There are new confirmed cases in Woodbury, Monona and now Dickinson County for a total of eight people.  All the new cases involve people 61-years or older.

Drive-through testing for COVID-19 started Friday in Woodbury County.

But, testing isn’t available for everyone.  It’s being held in an undisclosed location for patients with recommendations from their doctors.

With today’s new numbers, Woodbury County has three confirmed cases.

There is good news when it comes to Influenza in Nebraska.  The CDC reports activity has changed from widespread to regional.  That’s the same for South Dakota.  Iowa is still seeing widespread infection.

Unemployment numbers for February were released today, last month Iowa saw a rate of 2.8%, Nebraska’s rate was 2.9%. 

However, after the closures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, claims for jobless benefits in Siouxland states skyrocketed last week.  There are almost 42,000 claims in Iowa, up 17 times from the previous week.

The biggest share of claims, more than 13,000, came from the sector that includes bars and restaurants that were ordered to close on March 17. 

On Thursday, the governor pushed that date back to April 7th.

The Iowa Restaurant Association says as many as 20 percent of the state's restaurants may not come back after this pandemic.

In Nebraska, there were almost 16,000 initial unemployment claims filed in the state up from 799 the previous week. 

More than 1,700 people in South Dakota filed for jobless claims last week, a 90-percent increase from the 169 claims filed the week prior.

The city of Sioux City plans to keep facilities closed to the public until further notice because of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

That includes City Hall, Long Lines, the Public Museum and Art Center.

However, the city does remain fully functional and is taking appointments for business on a limited bases.  There will still be garbage and recycling service, busing and the airport will stay open.

The Customer Service Center has extended waiving all late penalties and fees for utility bills and parking fines until April 30.