Iowa COVID-19 Cases Now Pass 300 – Four Deaths Reported
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa health officials have confirmed 38 more cases of the coronavirus and a fourth death. The Iowa Department of Public Health said Sunday that the state now has 336 positive cases, up from 299 on Saturday. The latest death was a Linn County resident between the ages of 61 and 80. The virus has now been found in 50 of Iowa’s 99 counties. The new
cases include 10 in Polk County, six in Linn County and four each in Johnson and Dubuque counties. For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in two to three weeks.
State Health Officials Report Monitoring Hospital Capacity
(Des Moines) — A few other states have announced hotels and convention centers are being converted into triage centers to deal with COVID-19 patients — and a top public health administrator in Iowa says discussions are underway here to determine how to manage patient flow. Sarah Reistter
is deputy director of the Iowa Department of Public Health.
Reisetter says patients from rural counties with complex health conditions are routinely transferred to hospitals in some of the state’s larger metros and that’s likely to be the case with COVID-19 patients.
Governor Kim Reynolds says she is meeting regularly with the leaders of the state’s major hospitals as well as with representatives of the Iowa Hospital Association. Reynolds says each has a “surge capacity plan.”
Governor Reynolds and the public health department’s deputy spoke during a news conference broadcast on Friday afternoon.
Tornadoes Damage Oelwein Apartment Complex
OELWEIN, Iowa (AP) – Severe storms damaged an apartment building and several farm buildings and homes in northeast Iowa Saturday night. A tornado that was spotted in Oelwein, Iowa, tore off part of the wall of a 12-unit apartment building and damaged the siding of a second building in the complex. Oelwein
police said no serious injuries were reported. Also in northeast Iowa, Dubuque County Emergency Management Director Tom Berger said at least six farms were damaged by a tornado near Sherrill, Iowa. The storm also destroyed multiple farm buildings and damaged at least two houses north of Potosi, Wisconsin, Grant County Emergency Management Director Steve Braun said.
Authorities Search For Missing Boater
HANLONTOWN, Iowa (AP) – Authorities in north-central Iowa are searching for a man who reportedly fell out of a fishing boat on the Winnebago River near Hanlontown. The Globe Gazette reports that emergency responders were called around 1:20 p.m. Friday, saying a man had fallen into the water and not
resurfaced. Worth County Sheriff Dan Fank says it appears the boat hit some cables, spinning the boat and knocking the man into the water. A second man in the boat was not injured. Fank says the stretch of river the men were fishing is a popular spot for recreational boating and kayaking.
Fire Destroys Pleasantville Church
PLEASANTVILLE, Iowa (AP) – Firefighters are battling a fire at a church in south-central Iowa that erupted before dawn Monday. Several firetrucks were dispatched to the Pleasantville Christian Church before 6 a.m. Water was sprayed down from a nozzle mounted on an aerial ladder as flames danced and heavy gray smoke billowed from the multilevel building. No injuries have been reported. The fire cause will be investigated.
OSHA To Fine Pet Food Plant
MAQUOKETA, Iowa (AP) – An agency wants to fine an eastern Iowa animal food operation for workplace safety violations, saying it has exposed employees to risks that include long falls. The Telegraph Herald reports that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration wants to impose fines of more than $74,000 on Devenish Nutrition. The company is based in Fairmont, Minnesota, and has a feed mill in Maquoketa. Company officials have declined to comment. Inspectors said after a Dec. 2-3 check that they found a lack of proper protection from falls along the Maquoketa building’s catwalk.
Inspectors also say employees were exposed to explosive dust hazards.
Iowa State University Extension Agronomist Says Soil Moisture In Surplus
(Le Mars) — The outlook for spring planting in Iowa is much improved over last year thanks to less rain and snow during the past winter. Iowa State University Extension field agronomist Joel DeJong (de-YOUNG), based in Le Mars, says at this time a year ago, farmers in many parts of the state were already dealing with significant challenges.
With the soil already saturated, DeJong says there is no room for any additional — or even normal — spring rain.
The 90-day outlook from the National Weather Service calls for above-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation. DeJong says heavy rain could quickly change the planting outlook.
DeJong says most farmers got fall fertilizer on their fields but not much tillage was done, so that narrows the spring planting window even more.