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Iowa today reported its highest single-day increase in COVID-19 deaths, topping the mark set one week ago.
Today the Iowa of Department of Public Health reported another 47 additional deaths due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. In total, 2,271 people with COVID-19 have died in Iowa, according to the state's website.

There have been 49 cases added to the total case count in the last 24 hours. Woodbury County continues to experience significant community spread of COVID-19. The county now has reached more than 10 thousand cases of the coronavirus and 96 deaths, according to Siouxland District Health.

Since the pandemic arrived in early March, more than 218 thousand people have tested positive for the coronavirus. Another 3,365 coronavirus cases have been reported since yesterday.
The increases come as Iowa hospitals struggle with the coronavirus surge.
The chairperson of the Iowa Hospital Association warned yesterday that the Iowa hospital region that includes the state's most populous area has at times in the last week been down to two or three intensive care unit beds as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lack of beds and staffing shortages have forced some Iowa hospitals to transfer patients to other facilities, Kirk Morris, the president of the association, said at a news conference.

State of Iowa

House Democrats in Congress lost enough seats in this month's elections that they'll have the smallest majority in more than a century according to the Associated Press.

To find out what happened, the party has already begun a “deep dive” examination, looking at the party’s move farther left on national issues and how they would fix the economy greatly impacted by COVID-19.

The coronavirus continues to spread in Iowa.  More than 500 people with COVID-19 have died in the state so far this month and 2,224 overall, according to the state department of health.  There have been 82 cases added in the last 24 hours in Siouxland and one additional death of an elderly female. More than 4,500 residents of long term care centers are infected with the virus and 143 nursing homes reported coronavirus outbreaks today.

As Iowans prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, the coronavirus continues to spread across the state. The state’s death toll has grown to 2,224.
Another 19 COVID-19 deaths were reported today, along with an additional 3,860 confirmed coronavirus cases. There have been 82 cases added in the last 24 hours in Siouxland and one additional death of an elderly female. Siouxland District Health is asking residents  to help reduce the spread.
In her news conference today, Governor Kim Reynolds asked all Iowans to do the same thing over the  Thanksgiving holiday.

Erika Hansen/Instagram/@re.arranged

The COVID-19 pandemic forced non-profits to make modifications to host must-needed fundraisers.  Many moved to virtual events and auctions.  As Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer reports one local organization launched an in-person event today with safety a top concern.

For more than 40-years, Big Brother Big Sisters of Siouxland has hosted an annual “Tour of Homes” as its major fundraiser.

Iowa has surpassed 200,000 coronavirus cases today, with 4,359 confirmed additional cases. Another 25 people with COVID-19 have died, according to the state coronavirus website,

In Woodbury county, there have been 127 cases added in the last 24 hours. 
Siouxland District Health reports that there has been one additional death of an older adult female (61-80).


If people and businesses in Sioux City don’t follow new health guidelines issued by the state of Iowa this week to stop a big spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, they could face legal action. 

That’s the word today from Sioux City police who say they will enforce the rules, including wearing masks in public buildings.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds today talked about rising numbers of infection in long-term care facilities.  Siouxland Public Media’s Mary Hartnett has more.

At a news conference today, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds talked about stemming the rising tide of COVID 19.  She also promoted her public information program.

There have been nearly 200 thousand total positive cases of covid 19 in Iowa, and more than two thousand deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. State health officials say there were 38 more deaths and almost 4,200 new cases this morningTuesday, the Governor announced tougher rules requiring Iowans to practice social distancing and wear masks in public places when they cannot social distance.

City of Sioux City

New restrictions imposed by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds kicked in Tuesday to try and reduce infection numbers and hospitalizations due to COVID-19.  They include requiring masks in all public and state  

buildings in certain circumstances.  Siouxland Public Media reached out to Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott and he shared his thoughts on enforcement, the local hospital surge and pandemic fatigue as he faces an autoimmune disease putting him at higher risk for complications if he contracts the virus.

Governor Kim Reynolds will give a live address to Iowans about COVID-19 at 6:05 tonight.

A news release says Reynolds will announce new steps to fight the virus and talk about Iowans' need to practice virus mitigation efforts.

Unity-Point Health-St. Luke’s is once again urging the Siouxland community to step up and slow the spread of COVID-19.

Siouxland Public Media reached out to Sioux City’s two hospitals today after concerns on social media that patients were being transferred to other facilities. One post on Twitter that appears to be from a lung expert in central Iowa said “Patients are coming to Des Moines from Sioux City to Davenport.” 

SPM News 404 11.13.20

The Sioux City Community School District this week has 11 reports of positive COVID-19 cases from students that attended school, and 21 reports of positive COVID-19 cases from staff that attended school.  The district moved several classrooms and one entire middle school to virtual learning this wee.  East Middle School and Sunnyside Elementary each had one classroom go virtual, Morningside STEM Elementary had two classrooms closed down, and West Middle School will hold only virtual classes through November 25, the day before Thanksgiving. 

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In Nebraska, Gov. Pete Ricketts today outlined new and tighter health restrictions that he plans to impose if COVID-19 patients fill 25% or more of hospital beds. 

If the number of patients hits that mark, he would limit indoor gatherings to 10 people and outdoor gatherings to 25 people. He would close bars except for delivery and take-out, hold wedding and funeral receptions to the 10-person limit and postpone any elective surgery that can be delayed. 

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 The coronavirus continues to spread broadly across Iowa. 

New York Times

The New York Times highlighted Sioux City in a story released today on places hard hit by the coronavirus.

The Exchange this week commemorates Veterans Day.


Iowa coronavirus trends continue to worsen as increasing numbers of hospitalizations further stress hospitals and health care workers as they try to keep up with the surge.

Iowa Department of Public Health data showed almost 4,800 additional cases in the past 24 hours, and 26 more deaths, bringing the state total to 1,898.  There are two more deaths in Woodbury County, for 105 in all.

It was the fifth consecutive day Iowa reported more than 4,000 new cases a day. 

Sioux City Community Schools

The Sioux City Community School District addressed increasing absences with staff and students due to COVID-19.  Even though no official action was taken, Siouxland Public Media's Sheila Brummer has more on the increasing concern with some school leaders when it comes to keeping students and staff safe.

Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Paul Gausman says some buildings in the district are getting close to moving to virtual learning only.

The state of Iowa allows a school district to move to virtual learning if the 14-day positivity rate exceeds 15% with 10% absentee rates. 

Nebraska Department of Human Services

Today, Nebraska’s governor announced additional measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19, but he still rejects the idea of a statewide mask mandate.

The Sioux City Musketeers take to the ice in Sioux City on Saturday night for the first time since the start of the pandemic. New CEO Travis Morgan talked to Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer about safety during this era of COVID-19.

The Sioux City Community School District reports 13 news COVID-19 cases; 8 students and 5 staff in 9 buildings across the district.  Two multi-grade classes at West Middle School moved to Emergency Response Virtual Learning.  Woodbury County’s 14-day test positivity rate is almost 21%.  Anything above 15% is one criteria for a school district to move to on-line learning only.  District also need at least a 10% absenteeism rate.  A spokesperson for the Sioux City Community School District told Siouxland Public Media this week, that level hasn’t been reached yet.  The topic will likely be br

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Iowa Department of Public Health Spokesperson Amy McCoy resigned today.

McCoy was a legislative liaison for the department who started handling COVID-19 related media requests at the start of the pandemic. 

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Large numbers of coronavirus cases have been trending for the last week in Iowa.  In Woodbury County, since yesterday, there have been 121 new cases and no further deaths.  There have been 8154 cases in Woodbury County and 102 deaths since the pandemic began.  The county has a 14-day positivity rate of 20.9 percent.  Iowa public health officials reported 3,533 new confirmed cases Friday and 14 more deaths. The number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals reached a new high of 912. Yesterday there were more than 45 hundred new cases and 20 further deaths, according to the Iowa coronavirus website.   On the same day, Gov. Kim Reynolds launched a media campaign to encourage people to take action to reduce the state's surging number of coronavirus infections. The governor did not impose any mandates or enforce new rules. 

Associated Press

Today, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced plans for a new public service campaign as cases continue to climb.  She says Iowans need to made an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 during the next three weeks. 

Reynolds also says the success of Republican candidates in the general election was proof that most Iowans support her decision to not require masks and quickly end most restrictions on businesses.

Reynolds says the media campaign would begin next week and would include newspaper, television and radio advertising.

Results from the 2020 Election on The Exchange

Nov 5, 2020

The general election was November 3. This week on The Exchange, we discuss the election results. Siouxland Public Media's Mary Hartnett and Sheila Brummer are the program's hosts.

Democratic Sioux City State House Representative Chris Hall and Woodbury County Republican Party Chairwoman Suzan Stewart discuss and analyze the results.


Iowa saw the most new cases of COVID-19 in a 24-hour period since the start of the pandemic, with more than 2,800 new infections and 26 deaths.  That includes a man in Woodbury County between the ages of 61-and-80 for 101 deaths in all and 95 news cases.

Woodbury County’s 14-day test positivity rate is the highest since the state started releasing that data at 20%.

President Donald Trump and Sen. Joni Ernst have held off challenges in Iowa, which had been considered a swing state after voters chose Democrat Barack Obama twice but swung to favor Trump four years ago. The Republican president and Democrat Joe Biden held events in Iowa in the days leading up to Tuesday’s election indicating what had appeared to be a tight race. Ernst had breezed to an easy win in 2014. She won again but by a narrower margin against Democrat Theresa Greenfield, who heads a Des Moines property development company.

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It is election day, and Iowa voters are expected to cast ballots in record numbers. Nearly a million people have cast absentee ballots.


Concerns about the coronavirus contributed to the surge in early voting. 64% of active Democratic voters and 42% of Republicans requested absentee ballots. 

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It is finally Election Day, and the polls are open across the country. Iowans have already cast roughly a million early ballots. Polls opened at about 1,200 polling places at 7 a.m. today, and voting will continue until 9 p.m. The Secretary of State's Office reports just over 2 million Iowa residents are registered to vote, and about half of them already cast an absentee ballot. 

OCTOBER 30, 2020
Associated Press

Democrat Joe Biden is making his case against President Donald Trump on the coronavirus in Iowa, one of the states hit hardest by the pandemic.

Speaking Friday at a drive-in rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, Biden rattled off a litany of statistics about how the pandemic has hit the state, noting Iowa has hit a daily record number of cases and hospitalizations this week and highlighting the steep job losses there since the pandemic hit.