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.

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.

This is Barb Gross with the Sioux City Public Library, and you’re listening to “Check it Out.” 

Today, I’m recommending ScaledBook One of the Deep Skin young adult trilogy by J.T. Ashmore, which is a pen name for two brilliant local writers you may recognize. Tricia Currans-Sheehan and Jeanne Emmons, both well-known for their years at Briar Cliff University, teamed up to write Scaled and the other two books in this science fiction series. 

Bernie Scolaro

West High School Counselor Bernie Scolaro talked to SPM's Sheila Brummer about her personal battle with COVID-19 and thoughts on school safety.

Scolaro has worked at West High School for more than 20 years and also spent time at Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools and at Catholic Charities as a counselor.  She is the current Vice President of the Siouxland Uniserv Unit for teachers and is the Past President of the Sioux City Education Association.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says November brought the biggest surge of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

Reynolds says the first week of the month saw 28,000 new cases with a positivity rate of 32%.  The second week 30,000 new cases and a positivity rate of about 29%.

Those numbers were cut in half the week of Thanksgiving.  Reynolds says even though no testing was done on Thanksgiving Day, the rest of the week experienced more testing than ever before.

Associated Press

Today, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced plans for a new public service campaign as cases continue to climb.  She says Iowans need to made an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 during the next three weeks. 

Reynolds also says the success of Republican candidates in the general election was proof that most Iowans support her decision to not require masks and quickly end most restrictions on businesses.

Reynolds says the media campaign would begin next week and would include newspaper, television and radio advertising.

October 5, 2020
Facebook/Nebraska Medicine

Health officials in Nebraska say the state has entered a dangerous period during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deaths in Nebraska have topped 500 according to the latest update from Sunday night with more people hospitalized with the virus than ever before.

There were 400 new cases, for a total of more than 47,800 since the state of the pandemic.  Nebraska health officials say a third of the state’s intensive care beds remain available. 

Sarah McSweeney / WITCC

While we navigate our way through education during a pandemic, it's not just the traditional schools and classrooms that are having to find new methods. For Mara Hall, coordinator of Western Iowa Tech's Lifelong Learning, having to social distance has meant not only revamping her catalogue but working one-on-one with her lifelong learners, often teaching them to connect through new media platforms such as Zoom. When they first arrive online to their classes, though, Mara sees them light up with happiness, not only for overcoming the tech obstacle, but for the rejoining of the community.

Woodbury County Auditor Pat Gill reports confusion at the polls today in a Special Election to fill an opening on the Board of Supervisors.

Gill says as of 11 this morning, 184 people cast their ballots in person at a total of 7 polling spots in District 2.  However, almost the same amount of people have showed up to vote, forgetting they already filled out an absentee ballot for the same election.

Are you craving ‘feel-good’ stories? Do you want characters to cheer for?  Leave the bleak headlines behind as Kelsey and Jenn shine a light on likeable characters in fiction in this episode of The First Fifty Pages.

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg

Isabel Dalhousie mysteries by Alexander McCall Smith

One Day by David Nicholls

M's on 4th

Starting today more businesses can re-open in the state of Iowa, including Woodbury County.  This includes salons, tattoo parlors and retail outlets. Restaurants can reopen with restrictions.  But, as Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer reports several in Sioux City plan to stay closed.

Even though restaurants can serve diners at 50% capacity on Friday, the owner of M’s on Fourth says his establishment will not open.

“Everybody needs to do what they need to do for their business.  But, I think there’s a few of us who believe public safety is priority.

Siouxland Public Media

For two days in a row, the number of deaths in Iowa due to COVID-19 continues to climb.  At a news conference on Thursday morning, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says 14 people have died.  It’s the largest amount since the beginning of the pandemic.  A day earlier the state reported a dozen deaths.

There are 302 new positive cases for a total of more than 7,100. 

Reynolds says even through parts of the state will open in limited capacity starting tomorrow she say the virus isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

The Democratic leaders of the Iowa House and Senate urged Republican Governor Kim Reynolds to issue a formal stay-at-home order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  They sent a letter to the governor asking her to go further in her response to the new coronavirus

Democratic U.S. Congresswomen Abby Finkenauer and Cindy Axne also called on Reynolds to do the same.

Reynolds says she’s already put strong restrictions in place.  Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer talked to one local politician who feels local governments know what’s best for their communities.

Iowa public health officials say coronavirus cases have increased by 52, raising the total statewide to 549.

Two more deaths were reported Wednesday. They were both over age 81.

The virus is now present in 60 of Iowa's 99 counties including O’Brien County in northwest Iowa.  The person who tested positive is a woman between the age of 41 to 60 and is self-isolating at home.

State health officials say 63 people are currently hospitalized.

Woodbury County Emergency Management

On Sunday, members of the National Guard delivered a pallet of personal protective equipment from the Iowa Department of Public Health to Woodbury County.

Emergency Management Coordinator, Rebecca Socknat says the gowns, surgical masks, gloves and even foot coverings will be distributed to medical providers and first responders like police officers and fire fighters.

And, more is needed as the pandemic continues.

“With the protocols that are in in place to protect the personnel we’re going to use all of the PPE because it is disposable.”

Twelve Clans Unity Hospital

The new coronavirus has put pressure on medical facilities from the very large to smaller, rural operations, including Twelve Clans Unity Hospital in Winnebago, Nebraska.  

Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer reports.

Laura Gamble is the COO of Twelve Clans Unity Hospital in Winnebago, Nebraska.  She has extensive experience in the medical field in northeast Nebraska.  Gamble joined Twelve Clans about nine months ago.  The Winnebago Tribe took over operations a year earlier, in July of 2018. 

26 de Marzo del 2020.  Soy Balbina Valadez de Mary J Treglia Community House con Siouxland Public Media News en Espanol.


El Miércoles, 25 de Marzo el estado de Iowa reportó 21 casos nuevos confirmados de COVID-19 para un total de 145.  Esto llego el dia despues que la gobernadora Kim Reynolds anunció la primera muerte en el estado relacionada con el brote de coronavirus.  La víctima es un residente del condado de Dubuque que tenía entre 61 y 80 años de edad. 


The Great Killer

Oct 15, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

When Edgar Hartman came down with the mumps, it laid him up for a month. That may seem unlikely. Mumps? Hartman was a 26-year-old soldier who'd just completed basic training and was actually aboard the ship and awaiting departure when he got hit with what most of us think of a simple childhood disease.