Home News Thursday News, May 21st

Thursday News, May 21st


State Parks and Campgrounds To Open For Memorial Day Weekend

(Des Moines) — Memorial Day weekend is always thought as the beginning of summer, and tradition says many people usually take the time to go camping at their favorite campground site. During Wednesday’s daily COVID-19 briefing, Iowa Department of Natural Resources director, Kayla Lyon joined Governor Reynolds by video from Pine Lake State Park near Eldora. Lyon used the opportunity to announce all of the state parks would open for the busy Memorial Day weekend holiday. However, with the opening, some restrictions will apply due to the presence of the COVID-19 virus within the state.

Lyon mentioned some of the other restrictions that will be placed on the state parks during this Memorial Day Weekend, and until such time the coronavirus is no longer looked upon as a threat.

The DNR director says many Iowans have taken a renewed interest in Iowa’s natural resources and have used to opportunity to explore Iowa’s parks. She says both hunting and fishing licenses have increased over last year’s numbers.

During Wednesday’s briefing, Governor Reynolds mentioned that we will have summer baseball and softball games, but specific details will be announced during Thursday’s briefing when Iowa Department of Education director Ann Lebo is expected to join the governor.



Reynolds Allowing Movie Theaters, Zoos, Museums to Open Friday

(Des Moines, IA) — Governor Kim Reynolds is moving up the re-opening of more Iowa businesses prior to the holiday weekend. The governor said effective Friday, movie theaters, zoos, aquariums, museums and wedding reception venues will be permitted to re-open with appropriate public health measures in place. Swimming pools will be able to open for laps and lessons
while the D-N-R is opening all modern restrooms and showers at the state’s parks. Reynolds says bars and other establishments that sell alcohol will be able to open next Thursday at 50-percent capacity. She also announced that Iowa school activities and sports can resume on June 1st. Reynolds says parents and athletes have been anxious to get playing again. Iowa’s casinos remain closed as of this time.



Iowa Agriculture Department To Allow Small Sized Meat Processors To Market Products Across State Borders

(Le Mars) — Good news was given to local community meat locker and processing facilities by the Iowa Department of Agriculture. On Wednesday, it was announced that small size meat processing facilities would be allowed to market their product across state lines. Up to this point, meat processed
at a small-town butcher shop would be inspected by state agriculture department inspectors, but would be forbidden to be marketed anywhere beyond Iowa’s borders. In the past, when meat that was to be transported across state lines would have needed to be inspected by federal meat inspectors by the U-S Department of Agriculture. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig says that has now changed.

Naig says officials had been working for such a deal for sometime, but it took the COVID-19 pandemic to bring the idea to an agreement.

The Iowa Agriculture Secretary says because of the situation, livestock producers are trying to be creative for marketing their livestock. He says farmers are turning to the smaller community butcher shops as a marketing alternative, since large-scale meat processing operations have been disrupted because of COVID-19 outbreaks, causing employee absences and a reduction of
processing capacity.

Naig says it may be months before the nation can resume normal meat processing capacity.



IDPH Reports 14 Additional COVID-19 Deaths, 237 New Cases

(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Department of Public Health says 237 more positive tests brings the total number of COVID-19 cases to 15-thousand-533.
State health officials also reported 14 more Iowans died of coronavirus, increasing the death toll to 381. Hospitalizations dropped by two patients to 381 and 126 Iowans are in intensive care units. More than 82-hundred patients are no longer in isolation. Almost 12-thousand-600 people have had a serology test and one-thousand-689 tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies.



Iowa Casinos Remain Closed Despite Some Lifting Of Restrictions

(Des Moines, IA) — While Governor Kim Reynolds announced she is allowing many businesses to reopen early — the state’s casinos are still not on the list. Reynolds said Wednesday that the casinos have been working on plans to safely reopen. “This is a discussion and a dialogue that they’re having and they have asked to have us connect them with the Department of Public Health, so together we can sit down and start to look at what that guidance looks like as we start to maybe give them the opportunity to maybe begin to open back up,” Reynolds said. The governor said amusement parks are following the same type of process.



Axne Announces $100 Million Grant to Expand COVID-19 Testing in Iowa

(Washington, DC) — Congresswoman Cindy Axne says the Iowa Department of Public Health is getting a 100-million-843-thousand-dollar grant to expand COVID-19 testing and lab capacity. The grant was awarded by C-D-C’s National
Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases. Axne said, “expanded testing and contact tracing is the only strategy that allows Iowa to safely re-open while still rooting out outbreaks of COVID-19 in our communities and keeping our families healthy.”



Des Moines Man Charged in Starving Deaths of 2 Dogs

(Des Moines, IA) — A Des Moines man is facing animal neglect charges after two dogs were found dead in his apartment. The criminal complaint says 21-year-old David Goodburn caused the deaths of the dogs by “intentionally starving the animals to their death.” The Animal Rescue League of Iowa said Goodburn adopted the dogs, Nori and Brie, in March. A-R-L says Goodburn
abandoned the dogs and left them trapped in his apartment. He was booked into the Polk County Jail and later released on four-thousand dollars bond.