Mental Health

The coronavirus continues to spread in Iowa. Another 11 people with COVID-19 have died, and there have been nearly an additional 705 confirmed cases, the state reported Friday, according to the state's website. There have been 865 deaths because of the coronavirus in Iowa. Polk and Woodbury Counties continue to have the highest number of cases of the virus. 

Woodbury County has tallied 3612 cases and 47 deaths, and no new deaths or cases yet today.

July 3, 2020
Associated Press

Locally, there are 11 new cases of the novel coronavirus in Woodbury County, for a total of 3,282.  Dakota County reports five more positive cases for 1,805.  In the three counties in the Sioux City Metro area there are 83 deaths in all, with one in Union County where they also logged 140 cases.

Seven more Iowans have died from COVID-19 and 669 more have tested positive for a total of 739 deaths and more than 33,200 positive cases.

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.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported three additional deaths in 24 hours due to COVID-19 for a statewide total of 681 people and almost 400 additional cases.  The current total is almost 25,300 positive cases.

There were almost one dozen new cases of COVID-19 reported in Woodbury and Dakota counties on Friday for a total of 3,052 in Woodbury County and 1,751 in Dakota County.  There have been a total of 75 deaths.  There are still 113 cases in Union County and no deaths.

Mental Health Associates

In the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many uncertainties.  Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer talked to one local mental health provider on ways to ease the upheaval in our lives.

Susanna Shell-Philips works as a mental health therapist in Sioux City.

“A very important time to be grateful for all of our connections and the people we love.”

Shell-Phillips says it’s important to stay informed on the latest coronavirus updates, but don’t immerse yourself in all of the news.

Try to focus on something else.

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Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds delivered her condition of the state address this morning at the Iowa State House. Reynolds unveiled the “Invest in Iowa Act”.  The move would increase the sales tax by one percent and lower others.

“I’m proposing to cut income tax by an additional 10 percent for almost every Iowan, with lower-income Iowans receiving as much as a 25 percent cut.” 

Reynolds also proposes reducing county property taxes.  The state would help pick up the cost of mental health services. 

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Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill today that creates a children’s mental health system in Iowa.

Reynolds said that today marks a major milestone for mental health in our state. Reynolds spoke to a large crowd in the statehouse rotunda moments before she signed the bill into law.

Wikimedia Commons

I was a boy in the 1950s, forty long years after November 11, 1918, Armistice Day, when the unimaginable carnage of the First World War finally ended. As a kid, I knew very little about my great uncle, who, by way of a grenade thrown 100 years ago next month, met his death in some battlefield gully in France. What I knew is that he'd been killed in the Great War, and that my parents had better attend Decoration Day rallies in the cemetery south of town.

Wikimedia Commons

Given the scale of what once was, it wouldn’t be difficult to call the place “Siouxland's biggest fossil,” a sprawling, endless petrifaction. Walk out the door of the lobby, keep the walls on your left and circle the entire place--it'll take you the better part of a half hour because the place is gargantuan.

A century ago, it had to have been perfectly colossal because 116 years later it still is. If you've never seen it, drive up sometime. It’ll stop you in your tracks.

SD Chief Justice Mental Evaluations

South Dakota’s Supreme Court Chief Justice is urging lawmakers to ease regulations on who can perform mental health evaluations.  Siouxland Public Media’s Mary Hartnett has this report.


Senator Joni Ernst

Dec 9, 2016

Iowa Republican Senator Joni

 Ernst has co-sponsored a bill that speeds up approval for new drug treatments and bolster mental health resources.  Siouxland Public Media’s Mary Hartnett has this report.