The Coronavirus

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An Iowa judge has temporarily blocked the enforcement of a new abortion law.  The law requires women to wait 24 hours before having an abortion while a legal challenge is argued in the courts.

Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the law yesterday. The law was set to take effect tomorrow, but Judge Mitchell Turner issued a temporary injunction preventing it from taking effect until a lawsuit is resolved.

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Governor Kim Reynolds says Iowa school officials who mandate that everyone in a school building must wear face masks need to now seriously consider how to implement that policy.

State guidelines released last week for reopening Iowa’s K-through-12 schools said face coverings could be allowed, but it will not be a statewide mandate. 

Newly posted guidelines from the Iowa Department of Education have a list of considerations about face masks. During a news conference this morning, the governor said schools must define appropriate use.

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New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have added Iowa to a list of states covered by an advisory that requires travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his counter parts New Jersey and Connecticut, announced a travel advisory last week that requires individuals from states with “increased prevalence of COVID-19” to quarantine.

The advisory applies to states with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or a test positivity rate higher than 10%.

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Gov. Kim Reynolds says today Iowa is changing the way it counts who has recovered from COVID-19.  The state now shows more people recovering from the virus.  

Starting today, the state began considering Iowans to have recovered from COVID-19 28 days after a positive test, or two incubation periods of the coronavirus, unless the state receives information that the person is still hospitalized or has not recovered.

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Another five people with COVID-19 have died in Iowa, and there have been an additional 213 confirmed cases, the state reported today. 

The state was reporting 712 COVID-19-related deaths, an increase of five since the state's tally yesterday, according its  Coronavirus.Iowa.gov website.  

Today there are 28,941 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of 213 since yesterday. 

COVID-19 cases are on the rise in at least a half dozen counties in Iowa, and one of them is Woodbury County.

As of today, another three people with COVID-19 have died in Iowa, and there have been an additional 298 confirmed cases, the state reported.  Iowa has reported 28,735 cases. 

Woodbury County has 14 new cases of COVID- 19 today, for a total 3,147 cases, and 43 deaths.

Nebraska has seen an increase of 375 new COVID-19 cases since Friday night.  Health officials say the number of reported coronavirus cases in the state is approaching 19,000.

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After trending downward since early May, COVID-19 cases have leveled off in the past two weeks. And at least a half dozen counties are seeing case numbers rise

Another three people with COVID-19 have died in Iowa since yesterday, and there have been an additional 298 confirmed cases.  According to the state's coronavirus website, Iowa has reported 28,735 cases. 

Woodbury County has 14 new cases of Covid-19 today, for a total 3,147, and 43 deaths. Dickinson County had two more cases for a total 238 cases and two new deaths.

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Another three people with COVID-19 have died in Iowa, and there have been an additional 298 confirmed cases, the state reported today.  According to the state's coronavirus website, Iowa has reported 28,735 cases of the novel coronavirus. 

COVID-19 cases across Iowa had been trending downward since early May. But they have leveled off in the past two weeks with at least a half dozen counties seeing an uptick in cases.

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Iowa and Woodbury County saw some fairly large upticks in COVID-19 cases today.  Woodbury County has 17 new COVID-19 cases, with a total of 3,112 and 43 deaths.  Iowa has nearly 500 new cases and 701 deaths.  

At a news conference his afternoon, Kevin Greime director Siouxland District Health, said he was disappointed with those numbers, and the reluctance of some people to wear face masks.

  Woodbury County today has 17 new COVID-19 cases, with a total of  3,112 and 43 deaths.  Iowa has nearly 500 new cases and 701 deaths.  

 

Iowa has surpassed 700 COVID-19 deaths as another seven deaths were reported by the state on Friday. 

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Iowa Senate Democrats called today for Republican Governor Kim Reynolds to quickly sign an executive order allowing felons to vote once they have completed their sentences.  Reynolds has made a constitutional amendment restoring felon voter rights a top priority for two years. But, Senate Republicans have rejected her proposals. Against a backdrop of protests over racial injustice following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Reynolds this month promised to sign an executive order.  Iowa is the only state that disenfranchises all felons. 

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The Sioux City Public Museum, the Sioux City Art Center, and the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center have all announced plans today to reopen to the public on July 7. 

All of the facilities had been closed since March due to COVID-19 concerns.

Each will have new hand sanitizing stations and will require social distancing. Facility personnel will be required to wear face masks. Visitors are also encouraged to wear masks.

On The Exchange this week we talk with Sioux City Communty Schools Superindent Paul Gausman about the district's "Return to Learn" plan approved by the school board this week.  It calls for in-person, virtual and hybrid learning plans, depending on the status and spread of COVID-19.  

The coronavirus is surging in one of the most popular summer vacation spots in Iowa.  In Dickinson County cases have increased exponentially since Memorial Day.  We talk with 21 year old who says she caught the virus while staying with her parents at Lake Okoboji.  

This fall, Sioux City public school students could be attending class in-person, use a hybrid model or learn online.  That was the decision made at the meeting of the Sioux City Community School Board last night.  After a lengthy presentation, the board approved a “Return to Learn” plan for this fall.  Concerns about the spread of COVID-19 closed schools in mid-March and they never reopened. 

The spread of the coronavirus would determine the level of in-person schooling.  

Board president Jeremy Saint said the vote for a “skeleton” plan means more work needs to be done. 

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Three Woodbury County J ail inmates have tested positive for the coronavirus over the weekend, according to the Sioux City Journal. 

The three inmates were asymptomatic and had been around other inmates prior to being tested. The three are now in isolation. The remaining 144 inmates have been tested, and Sheriff Dave Drew said he expected to begin receiving results yet today.

With the daily totals of new cases in Woodbury County slowing recently, Drew said he had hoped the jail might avoid the coronavirus pandemic.

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New Coronavirus cases continue to show up in Iowa and Woodbury County. Iowa today has 307 new cases, and 21, 918 statewide and reported six new deaths for a total of 607.  Woodbury County has added 17 cases of COVID-19, for a total 2, 931 and 37 deaths, but no new deaths today. 

South Dakota reported three new deaths from COVID-19 today, and 52 new cases, according to the Department of Health. The state has had 68 deaths from COVID-19 and 5,523 cases of the virus, 

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The Coronovirus may be slowing down in some parts of Iowa, but new cases continue to show up in Siouxland. 

As of this morning Iowa has 307 new coronavirus cases, and 21, 918 statewide.  The state had six new deaths for a total of 607.  Woodbury County has added 17 cases of COVID-19, for a total 2, 931 and 37 deaths, but no new deaths today. 

South Dakota reported three new deaths from COVID-19 today, along with 52 new cases, according to the Department of Health.

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Another Woodbury County resident has died from the coronavirus.  According to Siouxland District Health, the man was 61 – 80 years old.  The death raised Woodbury County's total to 38.  As of this morning there were 17 new confirmed cases to COVID-19 in the county, with a total of 2, 931. 

Iowa was reporting another four COVID-19 deaths since the state's tally yesterday, bringing the Iowa's statewide total to 606. There are 21,919 confirmed cases of COVID-19, in Iowa.  That is an increase of 330 since yesterday. 

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There has been  one additional death due to novel coronavirus in Woodbury County. 

Siouxland District Health Department says today the death of the man, age 61 - 80, raised Woodbury County's total to 38.  There have been 17 new confirmed cases to COVID-19 in the county. 

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported 290 additional COVID-19 cases today (Friday) bringing the state to 18,792 positive tests overall.

Twenty more deaths were reported, for a total of 520 Iowans confirmed to have died of the coronavirus.

376 Iowans are currently hospitalized with the virus. State health officials say more than 10,500 have recovered from the illness.

Those numbers reflect the 24-hour period ending today at 10 a.m.

Today we hear from the Democratic Senate candidates in Iowa and the Republican candidates for the sheriff's office in Woodbury County.  Voters are being asked to weigh in on these races on June 2nd.

Chad Sheehan and Todd Wieck are running for sheriff.  Theresa Greenfield, Kimberly Graham, Eddie Mauro and Michael Franken are running for the chance to square off with Republican Senator Joni Ernst in the general election this fall.

The coronavirus continues to cause infections in the Siouxland area. Four more deaths due to complications of COVID-19 have been reported by the Dakota County Health Department.  There are now a total of 11 casualties and 26 people who have died in both Dakota and Woodbury Counties.  Dakota County added 37 new positive cases and Woodbury County saw 35 more, for a total of more than 3,600 for both areas.

Iowa health officials reported a dozen more deaths due to COVID-19, bringing the state total to 318.  

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Most coronavirus-related restrictions will be lifted statewide this Friday, May 15, Governor Kim Reynolds announced this morning at her coronavirus news conference. 

“All restrictions currently lifted in Iowa’s 77 counties will be expanded statewide, which includes restaurants, fitness centers, and additionally, salons, barber shops, massage therapy may reopen statewide, with some capacity restrictions, health measures that are put in place.”

Bars and casinos will not be allowed to reopen at this time.

The state of Iowa will open up significantly this Friday. Governor Kim Reynolds made that announcement this morning at her coronavirus news conference.  The opening includes most businesses excepting bars and casinos.

However, social distancing, and wearing a mask if your are not six feet away from others will be required.  Anyone who has been in close contact for more than 30 minutes with a confirmed positive case, also needs to continue to self-isolate for 14 days. 

All coronavirus-related restrictions will be lifted statewide this Friday, May 15. Governor Kim Reynolds made that announcement this morning at her coronavirus news conference. 

“All restrictions currently lifted in Iowa’s 77 counties will be expanded statewide, which includes restaurants, fitness centers, and additionally, salons, barber shops, massage therapy may reopen statewide, with some capacity restrictions, health measures that are put in place.”

Bars and casinos will not be allowed to reopen at this time.

Woodbury County COVID-19 casualties reached a new high yesterday with four deaths attributed to the disease.  Siouxland District Health reported the deaths along with 314 new positive cases of COVID-19.  Also, yesterday Iowa had the second-highest single day increase in Covid-19 deaths since the pandemic hit the state. The Iowa Department of Public Health reported eighteen more deaths and 539 additional cases of the coronavirus.  

Coming up on The Exchange . . .

We hear the latest on COVID-19 in Siouxland, including concerns over the spread of the coronavirus at meatpacking plants.  Tyson Fresh Foods and Seaboard Triumph plants have both had hundreds of workers test positive for COVID-19.  

Sioux City State Senator Jackie Smith asks for an independent task force to oversee testing and mitigation efforts at Tyson foods in Dakota City.

Latinx rights leader Joe Enriguez Henry is calling for a meat boycott in May to encourage Tyson and other meatpackers to do more to protect workers.

This week on The Exchange:

Siouxland mayors, including Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott, demand more transparency about the source of the recent surge in coronavirus cases in the tri-state area.

Governor Kim Reynolds looks forward to opening up 77 Iowa counties this Friday, after many weeks of lockdown because of COVID-19.

Iowa's Home Rule Constitutional Amendment could affect local rules about shutdowns during the pandemic, but, so far, the governor has the last word.

  Coming up on The Exchange . . .

We talk with Sioux City Community Schools Superintendent Paul Gausman about the liklihood of online commencements for graduation seniors at Sioux City's three high schools because of COVID-19, and how the district is trying to prepare students to come back to the classroom in the fall. 

We hear from local business owners who are trying to keep the doors open despite the general shutdown caused by the coronavirus.  Some applied for federal stimulus money and are still waiting to hear about their status. 

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