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Sioux City Police Department

Sioux City Police are on the lookout for a Sioux City man accused of a shooting at a gentleman’s club over the weekend. 

A woman was serious hurt during the shooting that took place after a fight outside Mavericks in the old stockyard area early on Saturday.  The victim was in the parking lot at the time watching the confrontation that didn’t involve the suspect.  Witnesses say 26-year-old Rudy C. Johnson started shooting toward the fight.

National Weather Service

We are getting a “White Christmas” courtesy of a winter storm.

Blizzard warnings are posted for all of Siouxland due to snow, strong winds and bitter cold until 9 tonight. 

The weather is creating treacherous travel conditions.

The National Weather Service says Sioux City is expected to receive three inches of snow. But, some spots in the region could see 5-to-7 inches.

Because of worsening weather conditions, Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott issued a snow emergency.

CDC

The Sioux City Community School District released a weekly report on COVID-19 cases and for the first time also listed students and staff in quarantine.

This past week, the report showed four students and six staff members tested positive for the virus.

One multi-grade classroom at North Middle was put into Emergency Response Virtual Learning.

Siouxland News/KMEG/FOX44

Sioux City’s two hospitals received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine today. 

This is audio from a live stream from Siouxland News KMEG 14-FOX 44 television on Facebook this afternoon of two veteran front-line health care workers getting their shots at MercyOne. 

Nurse, Mary Jones and the Medical Director for Emergency Medicine Siouxland Dr. Joe Liewer were the first two to get their shots.  Both have worked for more than 25 years at the hospital. 

Beth Hughes is President at MercyOne.

Associated Press

It’s unclear why Iowa will receive fewer doses of coronavirus vaccine than initially promised by the federal government.

But the state is moving ahead with plans to relax restrictions beginning Thursday even while reporting nearly 100 additional deaths.

The Iowa Department of Public Health released a statement Wednesday evening saying the state’s allocation would be reduced by up to 30%.

The statement noted distributions were also being lowered to other states. The agency didn’t explain why the allocation would be smaller.

TYSON

The family of a 65-year-old Iowa man  is suing Tyson after he died of COVID-19 while working at the company's pork plant in Storm Lake. Michael Everhard, of Fonda, died June 18, three weeks after he contracted the virus. His family contends in a lawsuit that Tyson didn't implement proper safety precautions to protect Everhard and other employees from the virus. Several Tyson executives at the plant are also named in the lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of Everhard's three children.

Sioux City Community Schools

The Sioux City Community School Board took action to try and slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep students and staff safe.  Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer with a wrap-up of last night’s meeting.

The Sioux City Community School Board unanimously voted Monday night to return to hybrid learning after Winter Break on January 4, 2020. 

The district started the first two-weeks with students either attending class on Monday-Thursday or Tuesday-Friday.

Bernie Scolaro

West High School Counselor Bernie Scolaro talked to SPM's Sheila Brummer about her personal battle with COVID-19 and thoughts on school safety.

Scolaro has worked at West High School for more than 20 years and also spent time at Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools and at Catholic Charities as a counselor.  She is the current Vice President of the Siouxland Uniserv Unit for teachers and is the Past President of the Sioux City Education Association.

Vaccine distribution plans will be discussed Monday afternoon by Siouxland public health officials.  Siouxland District Health Department and Dakota County Health Department will hold a press conference Monday afternoon at the Security Institute at Western Iowa Tech, to provide information related to COVID19 vaccine plans.  That press conference is set for 1:30 p.m. Monday.

Dan Greenwell and Taylor Goodvin

Two members of the Sioux City Community School Board say the district needs to be more transparent when it comes to releasing information about COVID-19 so they can make informed decisions during the pandemic.  A weekly report is expected tomorrow.

One of the two members, Dan Greenwell, talked to SPM’s Sheila Brummer about concerns he shares with board member Taylor Goodvin.

Full statement from the Sioux City Community School District:

pxhere.com

The debate continues on K-12 education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Iowa’s Governor wants to keep students in class.  A recent survey teachers in the Sioux City Community School district showed only 10% wanted to continue with in-person learning.  Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer explores the issue with a couple of long-time educator, union leader and school administrator.

President-elect Joe Biden is tapping former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack for a second stint as the U.S. Agriculture secretary. Vilsack served eight years as the agriculture secretary under President Barack Obama and has been a longtime supporter of Biden

Today, President-elect Joe Biden has tapped former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack for a second stint as the U.S. Agriculture secretary. Vilsack served eight years as Agriculture secretary under President Barack Obama. Vilsack has been a longtime supporter of Biden and he campaigning for the former vice president on farm and rural issues in the 2020 presidential campaign.

The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting an additional 99 COVID-19 deaths and an additional 2,246 confirmed cases. Some of the deaths are from earlier in the pandemic as the state's numbers undergo methodology changes. Also, COVID-19 deaths can take up to a week to be reported on the state's Coronavirus.Iowa.gov website. Siouxland District health says today there have been 103 cases added to the total case count in the last 24 hours. Woodbury County is still experiencing significant community spread of COVID-19

MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center and UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s are reaching out to the business community to ask for their help in combatting COVID-19. The hospitals say they have experienced the highest number of COVID-19 patients since the beginning of the pandemic. The hospitals are asking business owners to require employees and customers to wear a mask to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in our community.

And UnityPoint plans to raise the minimum hourly wage of its workers to $15 an hour.
The pay increase goes into effect in January. The employees most likely to see their pay go up as a result of this change are those who work in housekeeping, food service, nursing assistance and other clinical support roles, central supply and patient access associates, among others.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said today she will extend the state's mask requirements and limitations on some indoor and outdoor gatherings for another week. Last month, Reynolds issued a mask requirement for when people are indoors and within 6 feet of people from outside of their household for 15 minutes or more,  limited the size of indoor and outdoor gatherings; and restricted bar hours.

Gov. Kim Reynolds today announced she is extending the state’s partial indoor mask requirement and other current COVID-19 restrictions for another week. Under the current public health proclamation, Iowans are required to wear a mask in public areas indoors. That’s if they are unable to socially distance from those outside of their household for more than 15 minutes.
Indoor gatherings are limited to 15 people, while outdoor gatherings are limited to 30. Restaurants and bars must also issue last call by 10 p.m.

Iowa PBS

Iowa’s governor says she wants to keep students in class during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I would encourage parents to talk to educators, talk to school board and let’s get kids back in school.”

Governor Kim Reynolds made her statements during a news conference this morning.

Reynolds says scientific evidence shows children up to the age of 10 are less likely to become infected and most positive cases in schools are from staff members who were likely infected from outside the classroom.

coronavirus.iowa.gov

Iowa started tracking the COVID-19 deaths of people who were diagnosed with the virus but not tested, a change that could add hundreds more deaths to the state's count.

Iowa now accepts clinical diagnoses from doctors and not just positive virus tests when attributing a death to coronavirus.

The change removed 433 deaths from the system but added 610, providing an initial net gain of 177 deaths and raising the state's toll to more than 2,900. Some of the removed cases could be added back in.

Sioux City Police Department

Stricter mask requirements went into effect in Iowa almost a month ago.  But, are people in Sioux City following the rules?  Siouxland Public Media’s talked to the top law enforcer for city for an update the impact of the disease on the police force.

Sioux City’s Police Chief says so far no citations have been handed out  since the Governor issued a partial mask mandate for public spaces.

“More often than not we are finding when someone calls and lists a concern people are voluntarily complying.  No one is trying to make a statement out there.”

Siouxland District Health Department

Iowa posted another 35 deaths from the coronavirus, continuing the high levels related to the pandemic according to the state coronavirus website.

The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Iowa has risen over the past two weeks from 29 deaths per day on Nov. 22 to 45 deaths per day on Sunday, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The state’s total death count of more than 2,700 is the 28th highest in the country and the 20th highest per capita.

FACEBOOK/MercyOne

Hospitalizations reached an all-time high at Sioux City’s two facilities this week.

There were a combined 108 patients at UnityPoint-Health St. Luke’s and MercyOne on December 1st. The number did dip to 88 today.  The Chief Medical Director at MercyOne Siouxland, Dr. Larry Volz, talked to SPM’s Sheila Brummer about the surge, stress levels and what people can do to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Dr. Larry Volz, the Chief Medical Officer at MercyOne Siouxland, says his facility has been busy with COVID-19 patients since the later part of the fall. 

MercyOne

This week, hospitalizations in Sioux City reached an all-time high at Sioux City’s two facilities.  There were a combined 108 patients at UnityPoint-Health St. Luke’s and MercyOne on December 1, 2020. The number did dip to 88 today.

The top doctor at MercyOne in Sioux City provided Siouxland Public Media with an update current conditions, social media rumors, staffing, schools, treatments, vaccines and more.

Here's MercyOne Chief Medical Officer Dr. Larry Volz. 

Iowa continues to see record numbers of coronavirus cases. Today the state reports more than 25 hundred new cases of COVID-19 and 85 additional deaths.  So far, Iowa has a total of 2,603 coronavirus deaths. There are 1,000 people hospitalized. The 14-day statewide positivity rate is 16.6%.
The deaths of four Woodbury County residents attributed to COVID-19 were reported today, as well as 142 new cases. 

For the second straight day, Iowa reported a staggering number of COVID-19 deaths. Another 84 deaths were reported today, following 70 a day earlier. Before this week, the highest number of deaths reported in a single day was 47, which was reported on Nov. 25.

The state of Iowa will prioritize health care workers and the most vulnerable citizens as it distributes COVID-19 vaccinations. 

At a press conference today, Governor Kim Reynolds said she expects the first distributions to nursing home residents to start on Dec. 13th. There will be a shipment of 26,000 doses of a vaccine developed by Pfizer.  Iowa will receive more doses over the next few weeks. And that includes a vaccine from Moderna, for a total of 172,000 doses by the end of December.

This week on The Exchange, we have a wide-ranging conversation about the spread of COVID-19 in Iowa with University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Epidemiologist Dr. Eli Perencavich.

We begin our conversation with Siouxland District Health's Tyler Brock. Brock says despite the continuing numbers of additional cases of COVID-19 in Woodbury County, the numbers have decreased slightly in the last week.

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Sioux City Police Department

Sioux City police say they are investigating a death inside an apartment used by transients as a homicide. The victim's body was found Tuesday near 26th and Douglas near Grandview Park. Police did not release the gender of the victim, who appeared to have signs of blunt force trauma. The person appeared to have been deceased for a week. A medical examiner has not yet determined the cause of death. The apartment is part of a complex where 33-year-old Solomon Blackbird was shot on November 1st. He later died. Police say the two deaths do not appear to be related.

covidrecoveryIowa.org

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says November brought the biggest surge of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

Reynolds says the first week of the month saw 28,000 new cases with a positivity rate of 32%.  The second week 30,000 new cases and a positivity rate of about 29%.

Those numbers were cut in half the week of Thanksgiving.  Reynolds says even though no testing was done on Thanksgiving Day, the rest of the week experienced more testing than ever before.

Food Bank of Siouxland

Thanksgiving is holiday with a focus on food; everything from the turkey, all the fixings and pumpkin pie.  But, for some across the country and even here in Siouxland knowing how to even afford that  next meal might be a challenge, especially during the pandemic.

Siouxland Public Media reached out to the Food Bank of Siouxland for perspective.  Here’s Executive Director Jacob Wanderscheid.

CDC

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations at Sioux City’s two major medical facilities reached an all-time high on Monday. 

MercyOne and UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s are caring for a combined 102 patients, with 72 battling COVID-19 only.  The previous high was in late May when patient levels reached the mid 90s. 

Hospitalizations continued to fall in other parts of Iowa.  However, some health care officials are expressing concern that they may rise again if Thanksgiving gatherings caused additional virus spread as expected.

Iowa and Woodbury County COVID-19 Cases Rise

Nov 25, 2020

112520 404 News
Iowa today reported its highest single-day increase in COVID-19 deaths, topping the mark set one week ago. Woodbury County topped 10,00o coronavirus cases.
The Iowa Department of Public Health today reports another 47 additional deaths due to COVID-19. In total, 2,271 people with COVID-19 have died in Iowa, according to the state's Coronavirus.Iowa.gov website. There have been nearly 220 thousand positive cases.
In Woodbury County, there have been 49 cases added to the total case count.

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