Two Traditional Christmas-Themed Events Cancelled Due To COVID-19 Virus
(Le Mars) — Two traditional Le Mars Christmas-time holiday celebrations that normally would have occurred this weekend will not happen this year due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Christmas lighted parade, and the Pioneer Village Winter Wonderland held at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds
would normally kick off the holiday season. Both events usually draw thousands of visitors to the “Ice Cream Capital of the World.” Joel Johnson, has in the past, served as the lighted parade’s coordinator. He says next year he hopes the parade will be bigger and better.
TestIowa Sites Moving To Indoor Facilities
(Des Moines) — The five state-operated “Test Iowa” sites will continue to offer drive-through screenings this winter, but not in open parking lots.
Governor Reynolds says sites in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Waterloo have already relocated to enclosed spaces test-takers can still drive through.
Friday was the final day of testing for the Council Bluffs site at the Western Trails Historic Center. It will reopen at 8 a.m. Monday in the Southwest Iowa Transit Agency facility in Council Bluffs.
Last week, more than 19-thousand Iowans were screened for Covid during the four weekdays the five Test Iowa sites were open. Reynolds says on the Monday before Thanksgiving, a record six-thousand-seven-hundred-three (6703) test kits were collected at the five locations. The sites were closed on
Salvation Army Looking For Volunteer Bell Ringers
(Mason City) — Salvation Army chapters across Iowa are asking for more help in staffing their red kettle sites as part of Christmas fundraising campaigns. Major Geffory Crowell of the Mason City Salvation Army says the organization has implemented safety protocols at kettle sites due to the
Other protocols include all kettle equipment being cleaned prior to use, bell ringers not having any physical contact with donations or individuals, and bell ringers will be provided a training video that shows how to safely perform their duties and engage with the public in a COVID environment.
Crowell says there are numerous locations and times to choose from, and you can sign up easily online at RegisterToRing.com.
Crowell says he’s taken a couple of turns manning a kettle site and so far it’s been a great experience.
For those making donations, many kettle sites use Apple Pay and Google Pay technology in order to provide donors with an additional contactless form of donation. For more information about your local Salvation Army, head to salvationarmyusa.org.
ISU Ag Economist Says Livestock Producers Should See Higher Prices For Hogs and Cattle
(Ames) — Livestock producers can expect to see increased prices for both cattle and hogs for the upcoming year, according to an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach agricultural economist. Lee Schultz says after several quarters of expansion within the hog industry, we have begun to see signs of the hog numbers retreat, which should lead to slightly higher hog
Schultz says despite the pandemic, pork exports continue to remain fairly strong.
Schultz says beef exports have also been good, and look to remain strong heading into 2021. Schultz says what has benefited livestock producers during the COVID-19 pandemic, are meat products were able to retain its value.
The Iowa State University Ag Economist says the problems encountered earlier in the year when meat processing plants were needing to shut down for a while due to large employee absenteeism, as a result of the wide spread outbreak of
coronavirus, seem to be in better shape today.
Schultz says throughout the time of the COVID-19 outbreak, demand for meat products held strong. He says we saw a major shift from consumer demand at restaurants to increase consumer demand at the super market and grocery store. He says we are starting to see a resumption of food service which has also lead to a higher demand for meat products.
Record COVID-19 Deaths in Iowa For Second Straight Day
(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting a record number of COVID-19 deaths for the second day in a row. Eighty-four more Iowans died of coronavirus complications after the previous daily high of 70 fatalities on Thursday. A total of two-thousand-603 people have died
since the pandemic began. Two-thousand-901 new positive tests were reported Friday, increasing the state’s total to 239-thousand-693 cases. The one-thousand patients hospitalized with COVID is a decrease of 34 since yesterday. Two-hundred-24 patients are in intensive care and 128 are on ventilators. There are 135 virus outbreaks in long-term care facilities.
Seventy-eight counties have an average 14-day positivity rate of at least 15 percent.
Nearly $9 Million in CARES Act Funding to Prevent Evictions, End Homelessness
(Des Moines, IA) – – Governor Kim Reynolds says nearly nine-million dollars in assistance is available to low-income Iowans who are at risk of eviction or lost housing stability. Federal CARES Act funding will also provide support for homeless shelter operations. To be eligible for eviction prevention assistance, Iowans must have an income of 50 percent of the area
median income or less and be at imminent risk of eviction. Iowans must currently be homeless for assistance in rapidly regaining housing. Thirty-five agencies around the state were awarded a total of eight-point-eight-million dollars in Emergency Solutions Grant Program funds.
Iowa Congresswomen-Elect Vow To Vaccinated For COVID
(Des Moines, IA) — Iowa’s two congresswomen-elect both say they will get the Covid vaccine as soon as they are eligible to do so. Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa is an eye doctor and the former director of the Iowa Department of Public Health. She said, “I don’t think it should be mandatory, but I would encourage every single person to get the vaccination. ” Republican Ashley Hinson of Marion, First District congresswoman-elect, said when it comes to the vaccines, she wants to ensure hospitals, clinics and pharmacies have the resources to administer the shots to those who want it. She added “I’ve had Covid, but I’m planning to the vaccine as well.” Hinson said the vaccine can help the country get “back to
Food Insecurity Tripled in Iowa Households With Children
(Des Moines, IA) — This year’s pandemic has made a bad situation worse for tens of thousands of Iowans who aren’t sure where their next meal may be coming from. The Food Bank of Iowa has launched its Hunger-Free Holidays fundraising campaign. Spokeswoman Emma Runde says the goal is to raise one-million dollars in order to purchase four-million meals. Runde says “food insecurity, since January of 2020, has doubled and unfortunately, for households with children, food insecurity rates have tripled.” Runde says 600-thousand dollars has been raised so far, but there’s a ways to go yet before the goal is reached. You can donate at HungerFreeHolidays-dot-org or
the Food Bank of Iowa website. The Food Bank of Iowa serves 55 counties.