Home News Wednesday News, July 15th

Wednesday News, July 15th


Good Samaritan Society Of Le Mars Reports Three Positive Cases Of COVID-19

(Le Mars) — The Good Samaritan Society of Le Mars long-term nursing care facility is confirming three residents tested positive for COVID-19, out of all 55 residents tested, with one still pending. In a news release, Administrator, Karen Mousel says, “Good Samaritan Society continues to use vigorous infection control measures and extra precautions to monitor the
health of all residents and staff members. As always, the health, safety and well-being of our residents, staff and the community we serve is our top priority.”

Plymouth County Community Health Director, Tara Geddes, explains the protocol all long-term care facilities must follow when positive cases have been detected within a facility.

Geddes says the number of positive cases reported in Plymouth County continue to increase, although there have been some indications the trend is slowing down.

The Community Health Director says most recently the demographics in Plymouth County showing positive case results of having COVID-19 are the younger to middle age demographics.

Geddes says as of Tuesday, July 14th, Plymouth County has reported 354 positive cases.




12-Year Old Boy Nearly Drowns At Little Sioux Park

(Sioux City) — Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office is reporting that a 12 year old boy was pulled from the water by other people at the Little Sioux Park near Correctionville on Tuesday after a possible drowning. The incident happened at about 1:47 p.m. CPR was started and the victim was transported to MercyOne Healthcare in Sioux City by Wings One, a life flight helicopter.
The victim’s condition is unknown at this time, and his name is not being released until the investigation is completed.




City Council Awards Contract For Industrial Park Grading Project

(Le Mars) — At last week’s Le Mars city council meeting, council members approved a grading project for the Industrial Park located on the southern edge of town. By a vote of 4 to 1, with Goodchild voting in the negative, the city council awarded a contract to Vander Windt and Sons contractors.
Vander Windt and Sons presented the lowest bid at $230,000.70. City Administrator Jason Vacura says the project received eleven different bids for the project.

Vacura says this is the third project the city has awarded to Vander Windt and Sons Contractors. The first was a runway extension project at the city municipal airport, and the second, is the current project that involves a berm near the police station and O’Rielly’s Auto Parts store to protect that region of town from future flooding. Vacura says the work behind the police
station is nearing completion.

The land at the industrial park is owned by the Le Mars Business Initiative Corporation with the payments to be made back to the city at the time the lots are sold to prospective businesses.



School Officials Begin Conversations Regarding The Start Of School

(Le Mars) — School officials across the state, including here at Le Mars, are wondering what is the best method to follow in order to begin school this coming fall? Le Mars Community School District superintendent, Dr. Steve Webner says each option has its pros and cons. Webner met with school board
directors Monday evening to begin discussions regarding the start of school.
One particular challenge is having the space for social distancing. Webner says with any decision that will be made will be in conjunction with health officials recommendations.

He says it may not be possible to have classrooms with enough space for social distancing.

We will feature additional comments from Superintendent Webner during future news updates.




Governor Says Schools Need To Be Flexible In Reopening

(Webster City, IA) — Governor Kim Reynolds says state officials realize the health concerns of teachers are an issue as schools reopen for classes. More than 17 percent of Iowa’s K-through-12 teachers are 55 or older. During a stop in Webster City, the governor says we are doing students a disservice by
not opening schools back up and getting them to school, but we have to be flexible, and we have to look at different alternatives. The president of the Iowa State Education Association, Mike Beranek, says “there’s not a teacher in the state who does not want to see their students back at school, but teachers want to ensure students aren’t put in harm’s way in an
environment that is not safe. ” The teachers’ union is seeking a statewide mandate that staff and students wear face coverings. It’s also calling for social distancing inside buildings and smaller class sizes.





Program Offers Free NARCAN

(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Department of Public Health and the Iowa Board of Pharmacy are sponsoring a new program to give out doses of a drug that can reverse opioid overdoses. Health Department Opioid Initiatives Director,
Kevin Gabbert says NARCAN will be made available free at pharmacies for people who come in and fill out some eligibility information. Gabbert says this will help some be prepared in the event they encounter someone experiencing a suspected opioid overdose. Gabbert says a two-pack NARCAN kit can cost approximately 150 dollars — and that is a lot for most Iowans.
Gabbert says recent numbers show there’s still a need to have this drug available as the state saw a 13 percent increase in the number of deaths involving opioids from 2018 to 2019.




Fort Dodge Prison Inmates Being Retested For COVID-19

(Fort Dodge, IA) — The governor says all the inmates at the state prison in Fort Dodge who’ve tested NEGATIVE for COVID-19 are being re-tested. An inmate died of complications of the virus and an autopsy is being conducted on an inmate who died this past weekend for a possible link to the virus. A total
of 186 inmates, along with 19 staff members, have tested positive at the Fort Dodge facility among the nearly 14-hundred tests that were performed in the past couple of weeks. The director of the state’s prison system has posted a video on the Iowa Department of Corrections’ website, answering questions
about the outbreak and adjustments made inside the prison.




You Might Want To Re-Think That Trip To Chicago

(Chicago, IL) — If you were planning a trip to Chicago, you might want to re-think those plans. You will be required to quarantine for 14 days when you get there. Iowa is one of two states added to the list of people who will have to quarantine when they visit the Windy City. Oklahoma also added
to a list that now includes 17 states. The states were included on the list based on the rate of new confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100 thousand residents. The order issued Tuesday also applies to city residents who return from one of the designated states.




State Auditor Sand Questions Handling of Test Iowa Info, Reynolds Responds

(Des Moines, IA) — A report from the State Auditor’s office says coronavirus results from the Test Iowa program are not being properly handled because they go from the State Hygienic Lab to three other entities before making it to the Department of Public Health. Auditor Rob Sand says Iowa law requires direct reporting of the results to the state. Sand said, “the first
issue is it doesn’t comply with the law. The second issue though, is that it creates apparently pointless risk because it has a long reporting chain before it actually gets to public health officials.” The tests go to two Utah companies involved in Test Iowa, then come back to Iowa and the Office of the Chief Information Officer before ending up at the Health Department.
Governor Kim Reynolds said in response today that “Attorney General Tom Miller’s office concluded that the State Hygienic Lab procedures do follow the law, and they have an extensive letter that they put together that addresses the state auditor’s issues.”




368 New COVID-19 Cases, 3 Deaths in Iowa

(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting 368 more positive COVID-19 tests, increasing the state total to 35-thousand-830 cases. Three Iowans have died of coronavirus since Monday which brings the death toll to 755 since the pandemic began. State health officials say 186
people are hospitalized with COVID-19, 67 patients are in intensive care and 32 are on ventilators. More than 381-thousand tests have been completed in the state and 26-thousand-885 Iowans are considered recovered.




Des Moines City Council Votes to Require Masks in City Buildings

(Des Moines, IA) — Des Moines city workers and the public are now required to wear masks inside city buildings to reduce the chance of spreading coronavirus. In a resolution passed Monday, the Des Moines City Council also encouraged businesses and nonprofits to follow suit in their workplaces.
Councilmember Josh Mandelbaum says with cases of COVID-19 surging in the area, residents need to take extra precautions. He said, “the only way that we can help solve this is if we all get to a point where we are wearing masks, and wearing face coverings, and doing the simple things that we can to
protect each other.” Governor Kim Reynolds says her state emergency order pre-empts local officials from mandating face coverings for all residents.
Paden Sheumaker of Des Moines encouraged council members to challenge the governor’s position. The council is asking city attorneys to look for ways to accomplish that.