COVID-19

Siouxland District Health

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported no new deaths due to complications of COVID-19 and about 170 new cases, with two more in Woodbury County. The 14-day test positivity rate in Woodbury County is 6.1%

Siouxland District Health announced plans for the next large-scale vaccination clinic on April 27th at the Siouxland Expo Center. The clinic’s hours from 4:15 until 6:30 p.m. are geared toward people who need appointments outside regular business hours. The appointments are open now and available for anyone 16 years for their first dose.

CDC

A push is underway to reach members of the Sioux City community significantly impacted by COVID-19.  

Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer has more.

Local churches and Sioux City’s NAACP have teamed up with Siouxland Public Health to offer a special COVID-19 vaccination clinic. The event this weekend is geared toward Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

Information from the local health department shows vaccination numbers for the local Black and African-American community to be under 1%.

Siouxland District Health

The Iowa Department of Public Health shows no new deaths due to complications of COVID-19. There were 146 new cases including four new cases in Woodbury County in a 24-hour period. The 14-day test positivity rate locally is 6.2%. That is down almost one percent in one week.

A person “associated with” the Iowa Senate has tested positive for the coronavirus.

According to an email from the secretary of the senate, that person was last in the Iowa Capitol on Wednesday and tested positive Saturday.

CDC

Iowa Government Kim Reynolds provided an update on vaccinations in the state today. During a news conference that aired earlier today on Siouxland Public Media, Reynolds says so far 44% of Iowans 18 and older have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. The rate is almost double for those 65 years and older. Iowa ranks 9th in the country for vaccinations according to national numbers.

Reynolds says the state plans to concentrate on getting minority groups and college students vaccinated.

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An internal report has found that state police officers in Iowa drew their weapons and used force against suspects significantly more often in 2020 than prior years, due to a major increase in resistance.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety's annual report on force incidents found that suspects fled in vehicles and on foot from officers far more often in 2020.

Nebraska Health and Human Services

Nebraska Governor Pete Rickets offered a word of caution during a news conference on Monday. Nebraska is seeing an increase in COVID-19 patients after 18 weeks of falling hospitalizations. Ricketts says there is more of the virus out in the community and reminded Nebraskans to avoid the “three C’s”: closed spaces, crowded places, and close contact.

UnityPoint Health-St. Luke's

We recently passed the first anniversary of COVID-19 in Siouxland, Siouxland District Health confirmed the first positive case of the virus back on March 20th of 2020.

Part of our on-going coverage on the Pandemicincluding local health officials. Siouxland Public Media recently talked to The Chief Nursing Officer at Unity-Point Heath-St. Luke’s Wendy Lindley who shares details on the evolution of care and importance of wearing masks. Here is her conversation with Siouxland Public Media's Sheila Brummer.

Iowa Department of Public Health

The Iowa Department of Public Health showed 14 more deaths in the state due to complications of COVID-19 in the past 24-hours and more than 800 new cases with 30 more in Woodbury County. 

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts will get his first vaccination shot tomorrow at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha. The 56-year-old governor had previously signed up for the vaccine online, and was notified earlier this week that he was eligible for an appointment. He’s scheduled to get the first of two doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

CDC

The state of Nebraska plans to open up vaccinations for anyone 18 years or older starting on Monday, April 5th.

Governor Pete Ricketts made the announcement this morning during a news conference.

Ricketts expects additional doses to arrive through the Federal Pharmacy Program, including a big influx of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Ricketts plans to receive his vaccine this weekend.

 

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A new round of rental and utility assistance will provide up to 12 months of aid to those affected by the pandemic in Iowa. Governor Kim Reynolds made the announcement at her weekly news conference today.

Iowa Department of Public Health

The Iowa Department of Public Health shows nearly a half million people have received the COVID-19 vaccine. One more Iowan has died for a total of 5,675 deaths and 216 in Woodbury County. The number of new cases has fallen to 138 with nine in Woodbury County, according to Siouxland District Health. 

Siouxland District Health recorded 8 new cases today with a 14-day test positivity rate of 7.5%. There are 18 patients being treated at Sioux City’s two hospitals. Positivity rates and hospitalizations have stayed almost the same for the past few days. Statewide 171 are hospitalized.

Iowa Department of Public Health

The Iowa Department of Public Health reports six more COVID-19 related deaths and nearly 600 new cases with almost 10% coming from Woodbury County. There are still no outbreaks at long-term care facilities in the state.

An on-line vaccine dashboard shows more than 447,000 people in Iowa are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Siouxland District Health

Gov. Kim Reynolds has announced all Iowans may be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by April 5th.

Reynolds says she anticipates eligibility will expand as long as the state’s vaccine allocation increases as much as the federal government anticipates.

She says White House officials told her this week that they expect to significantly boost doses starting the week of March 29. This could double the state’s current weekly supply.

Iowa Department of Public Health

Two Siouxland-area health departments have now disclosed cases of the UK variant of the novel coronavirus.

The director of Siouxland District Health confirmed one case of the variant was reported to health officials in Woodbury County at the beginning of March. No other cases have been recorded.

Meanwhile, the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department coverage area recently saw its first case. The health department covers the counties of  Cedar, Dixon, Wayne, and Thurston.

NPR/Getty Images

The Nebraska Department of Health reports the COVID-19 variant from the United Kingdom has been found in Siouxland somewhere in the counties covered by the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department. This includes the counties of Cedar, Dixon, Thurston, and Wayne. The variant is more infectious and could cause more severe illness.

Iowa Department of Public Health

A local advocate for the immigrant community says there is concern people who speak other languages are not hearing factual updates about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Becky Carlson is the Executive Director of the Mary J. Treglia Community House in Sioux City. 

“There is a lot of rumors, and misinformation that is floating around for everybody because everything is so confusing. We just want to make sure people get access to that information.”

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A Polk County jury has found Des Moines Register reporter Andrea Sahouri not guilty of violating police orders during a racial justice protest last summer. Sahouri testified that she was pepper-sprayed and arrested at the protest near Merle Hay Mall in Des Moines, as she was trying to move away from police who were using tear gas to break up a crowd.

In his closing statement, defense attorney Nick Klinefeldt told the jury Sahouri was at the protest to cover it for the Register, not to break the law.

J.J. Stone for Siouxland Public Media

Sioux City leaders once again commented on the importance of wearing masks at this week’s city council meeting. Council Member Alex Watters expressed concern after attending the Greater Siouxland Home Show 

over the weekend at the new Expo Center.

The city manager says staff members from Spectra were handing out face masks and encouraging people to use them. Watters says he quickly left the Home Show.

Mayor Bob Scott and Council Member Julie Schoenherr weighed in. Here is part of their exchange in addtion to more reaction from Watters.

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Iowa’s new voting law faces a legal challenge.

Governor Kim Reynolds signed the Republican-backed bill into law yesterday (Monday). It shortened the time allowed for early, mail, and Election Day voting, and made many additional changes to Iowa’s election procedures.

The League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa filed a lawsuit.

Attorneys argue the new law unconstitutionally burdens Iowans’ voting rights. 

In a statement yesterday, Reynolds said the new law will promote transparency and accountability in elections.

Today is the one-year anniversary of the first positive cases of COVID-19 in the state of Iowa. Then were there three positive cases, since the start of Pandemic with more than 367,000 positive test results. There have been 5,559 deaths statewide and 214 in Woodbury County.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reports one more death due to complications of COVID-19 and almost 140 positive cases, including eight in Woodbury County.

Siouxland District Health

We’re approaching the first anniversary of confirmation of the first cases of COVID-19 in the state of Iowa. Siouxland Public Media reached out to Kevin Grieme the Director of Siouxland District Health, the public health agency that oversees Woodbury County, to look back on the past twelve months and the near future with the vaccine.

Several studies show people of color in the U.S. saw greater levels of sickness and death during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Grieme says work is being done to bring the COVID-19 vaccine to underserved populations. 

Ho-Chunk Capital

A big economic development from Ho-Chunk Capital today. The company finalized purchase of several businesses on historic Fourth Street in Sioux City from the Aalfs family. This includes the Aalfs main office building, Buffalo Alice, Antiques on Historic Fourth, M’s on 4th and SoHo.

Ho-Chunk plans to preserve and renovate several buildings and create new opportunities for commercial and residential tenants.

Associated Press

The Iowa Department of Public Health recorded three more deaths statewide due to complications of COVID-19 and more than 600 new positive test results, including 28 in Woodbury County.

The number of hospitalizations fell below 200 in Iowa. Sioux City’s two medical facilities saw a decrease of about 30% in patients with COVID-19. There were 15 yesterday and 11 today. The 14-day test positivity rate is up slightly to 6%.

Britton Hacke Photography

A few dozen people attended a vigil in downtown Sioux City on March 1, 2021 to remember victims and survivors of the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

Several who attended spoke about their loved ones who died during the past year. Others talked about the impact of the disease on minorities and front-line workers in the community.

Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer attended the event virtually on Facebook and shares the heartbreak and insight from the evening.

The full event can be found at this link.

coronavirus.iowa.gov

The Iowa Department of Public Health reports 27 more Iowan has died from COVID-19 with more than 450 new positive test results with 18 more cases in Woodbury County. The death toll in Iowa is just under 5,500.

Statewide there are almost 210 hospitalized, including 15 at Sioux City’s two medical facilities. That number has stayed steady in the middle teens for several days.

Sioux City, IA - March 1, 2021
youtube/City of Sioux City

Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott declared March 1st COVID-19 Memorial Day.

“To remember the survivors and victims of the COVID-19 Pandemic and to acknowledge the sacrifices and service of all first responders, medical providers, and others who have stepped up during this global pandemic.”

Council Member Alex Watters questioned if more could have been done to prevent deaths in the community.

Siouxland District Health

Victims and survivors of the COVID-19 Pandemic will be honored at community vigil in Sioux City March 1, 2021. The gathering is scheduled for 7 p.m. in front of the Siouxland Public  Museum. Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer talked to one of the organizers of the gathering Cassie Thompson.

* People who attend the event will be asked to social distance and wear masks with masks available for anyone who who needs one.  

Livestream of the event can be found here.

A memorial is planned for tonight in Sioux City for victims and survivors of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“It’s so important how this pandemic has impacted so many, especially in our community.”

That’s Cassie Thompson, a local advocate, and member of the on-line group Siouxland Wears Masks. The group helped organize the event, along with Iowa Educators for a Safe Return to School. 

Yesterday, volunteers hung 211 white ribbons in downtown Sioux City. One for each person in Woodbury County who have died of complications of COVID-19.

Siouxland Public Media

Upper photo: Brady Hanson Lower left: Pam Bailey Lower right: Cheryl Singleton Edit | Remove

The “The Takeaway” on February 24, 2021 featured a reflective moment surrounding the COVID-19 Pandemic and included community leader, Ike Rayford of the Sioux City Chapter of the NAACP. Rayford talked about the loss of three friends in 2020 and then shared a more in-depth look at the lives of Brady Hanson, Pam Bailey, and Cheryl Singleton with Siouxland Public Media.

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