COVID-19 updates for Iowa and Woodbury County, local health official advice, South Dakota marijuana ruling, March for Lost Children, Muhlbauer drops out of U.S. Senate race, and more
Heading into the Thanksgiving weekend, Iowa state health officials report more than 10,000 new COVID-19 infections in the past week as the 14-day test positivity rate continues to climb.
On Wednesday, it was reported to be 10.4 percent, up from 9.7 percent the previous week.
The level in Woodbury County is slight less than the state rate and down just two-tenths in a week.
Twenty two percent of the new confirmed infections were in children 17 and under.
623 Iowans are hospitalized with COVID-19, up from 544 last week. This is the third week in a row, hospitalizations statewide have been on the rise. There were 10% fewer patients with the virus in Sioux City for 35 in all and 22 battling COVID-19 only.
An additional 86 Iowans were confirmed to have died from COVID-19 in the past week. This brings the state’s total death count to 7,354, with 258 in Woodbury County. No deaths were added in Woodbury County.
Officials with Siouxland District Health say to try and reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus people should stay home if they feel sick, even when their symptoms are mild.
They also encourage people to wash their hands and get vaccinated. Currently 47.5% of Woodbury County residents are fully vaccinated, 200 more than last week.
Native American communities marched through Sioux City Wednesday morning to remember children who are separated from their families and placed into foster homes.
The memorial march first began 19 years ago as a protest against the treatment of Native Americans by the Department of Human Services, not now the focus is on healing.
This year, over 200 native children have been put into foster care throughout the state of Iowa.
The South Dakota Supreme Court has upheld a lower court’s ruling that nullified a voter-passed amendment to the state constitution that would have legalized recreational marijuana use.
Gov. Kristi Noem instigated the legal fight to strike down the amendment passed by voters in November.
The Republican governor opposed marijuana legalization as a social ill, but her administration argued in court that the amendment would have broken technical rules of the state constitution. The state Supreme Court sided with those arguments, ruling Wednesday that the measure would have violated the state’s requirement that constitutional amendments deal with just one subject and would have created broad changes to state government.
Western Iowa farmer and former Crawford County supervisor Dave Muhlbauer (mall-bauer) is ending his campaign for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Chuck Grassley. Muhlbauer announced Tuesday he would no longer seek the Democratic nomination for Senate. In his announcement, Muhlbauer noted the recent death of a nephew and the “devastating effect” on his family. Muhlbauer began his campaign in May. Former U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer, retired Navy Adm. Mike Franken of Sioux City, Minden City Council member Glenn Hurst and former state Rep. Bob Krause (kruh-ow-s) of Burlington are still seeking the Democratic nomination. Grassley is running for an eighth U.S. Senate term. State Sen. Jim Carlin of Sioux City also is seeking the Republican nomination.
Former Republican state lawmaker Lora Hubbel says she plans to run for South Dakota governor as an independent. It would be Hubbel’s third try at landing the job. She ran for the Republican nomination in 2014 and lost to then-Gov. Dennis Daugaard. She was unsuccessful in her efforts to get on the 2018 ballot as a Constitutional Party candidate. KELO-AM reports that Hubbel has purchased advertising announcing her candidacy. Republican Gov. Kristi Noem said via press release in November that she would be seeking a second term. The statement said she has raised $10 million since she was elected and has more than $6.5 million in cash on hand.
Milton Andrew Munson’s obituary recalled his life as an Air Force veteran, a pharmacist, husband and father, and as a Nebraska football fan. That was evident in one line in the obit, which reads: “In lieu of flowers, please place an irresponsibly large wager on Nebraska beating Iowa.” The Lincoln Journal Star reports that the obit, written by Munson’s sons, ran Nov. 18 in the Hastings Tribune. It caught fire on social media and captured the attention of two radio hosts. Soon, more than $5,000 had been contributed for the big bet. Some of the money will go to Big Brothers/Big Sisters. The Huskers are a point-and-a-half underdog in Friday night's game.