Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins

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Officials say the condition of two of the people who tested positive for COVID-19 in Omaha after being evacuated from a cruise ship in Japan has improved significantly. Two of the 15 people being monitored at the University of Nebraska Medical Center were being cared for at the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit because of the severity of their symptoms. 

The Iowa Hygienic Lab soon should have the capability to test patients for the coronavirus that is spreading rapidly across the world, Iowa’s top public health official said this week.

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Governor Pete Rickets, said Nebraskans showed the world what it truly means to be Nebraska Strong, in his State of the State address this morning in Lincoln.

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“Nebraskans not only rescued stranded neighbors, but they also sandbagged levees, donated hay and supplies, delivered hot meals, and raised money for those who had lost everything.”

A federal report released today says Nebraska suffered more than $3.4 billion in losses from disastrous weather last year while the toll was $1.9 billion in Iowa.

  

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 34 states are now reporting high flu activity. 

That is an increase from 25 states last week.  Iowa and Nebraska are two of the 34 states experiencing high flu activity. 

In Iowa, the Department of Public Health lists influenza as "widespread" throughout the state.  The IDPH says this season there's been over 6,000 Iowans hospitalized for the flu and 11 people have reportedly died due to flu-related symptoms. 

This week on The Exchange, 

Presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg meets with potential caucus-goers in Siouxland.  We have a report.

Also, some of the Democratic candidates who are vying for an opportunity to oust US Senator Joni Ernst next year say they feel the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump should go forward.

Siouxland Public Media

The search for a replacement for the Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court Mark Cady will start soon.  Cady died unexpectedly of a heart attack a week ago at the age of 66.

Cady served on the state’s high court for 21 years and was even in charge of the nationwide Conference of Chief Justices.

“Mark Cady touched the lives of so many people, so it was a tragic loss for the state and for the nation.”