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Newscast 06.01.22: COVID cases on the rise; SC Pools to Open this week

COVID-19 seems to be making a bit of a comeback. Severe illness resulting in hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients took a big jump over the last week, according to a report from the South Dakota Department of Health today.

The department reported 52 hospital beds were occupied by a patient who had tested positive for the coronavirus. That's a 73% increase from the previous week. Of those occupying a bed, six were receiving intensive care.

No new deaths were reported.

Federal officials are reporting 180 Iowans are hospitalized with COVID-19 as of today, and this marks an increase from last week. Those numbers indicate COVID hospitalizations have increased by 41 as compared to last week.

That’s as state officials report 44 hundred positive COVID tests have been confirmed in the past seven days. A slight drop from the number of positive tests reported last week.

State officials have also added 15 Iowans to their death count, bringing the total to more than 96 hundred.

According to federal data, more than 62 percent of all Iowans are fully vaccinated.

A bill passed late in the legislative session that places a two-year hold on new gambling licenses will impact the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission’s meeting Thursday in Emmetsburg.

Racing and Gaming administrator, Brian Ohorilko says he anticipates the Commission will pause the licensing process, according to Radio Iowa..

Governor Kim Reynolds has not yet indicated if she will sign the casino moratorium bill into law. Organizers in Cedar Rapids wanted to Commission to consider an application for a casino there after the Linn County gambling referendum passed.

U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack is unveiling hundreds of millions of dollars in new U-S-D-A grant and loans to do things like establish grocery stores in underserved areas, build more cold storage facilities for fruits and vegetables and support training for employees in the meat and poultry industry.

Vilsack indicated $155 million in federal grants will be available to set up grocery stores in rural and urban communities that are considered “food deserts.” Six-hundred million will be awarded to expand or build new facilities that process and store fruits and vegetables. Three-hundred million is set aside to bolster organic food production.

Iowans and other Midwestern residents could face rolling blackouts this summer if extreme heat and spiking demand is met with insufficient power.

The warning by the North American Electric Reliability Corp., a Georgia-based regulatory authority called NERC, prompted state regulators Tuesday to grill utilities on how they would handle controlled outages.

Iowa and 14 other states are at high risk of "energy emergencies during peak summer conditions," NERC said.

Leif Erikson will be the first of the city pools to open for the season Saturday.

The hours of the 1100 31st St. pool will be from 1 to 6 p.m., seven days a week.

The Riverside Aquatic Center which, due to an ongoing maintenance issues, has had to push back its opening date to June 11, according to Sioux City Parks and Recreation.

The hours for the 1301 Riverside Blvd. pool will be from 1 to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

The Lewis swimming pool will also open on June 11. The 1621 Sioux Trail pool will open form 1 to 6 p.m., seven days a week.

Admission for the Leif Erikson and Lewis pools are $3 for children and $4 for adults. The Riverside pool admission is $4 for children and $5 for adults. Assistance for low income families is available.

For more information on qualification requirements or swimming lessons, go to siouxcityparksandrec.com and click on the Polls tab.

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