Reynolds Loosens Some COVID-19 Restrictions
(Des Moines) — Governor Reynolds made some modifications to her emergency healthcare proclamation as announced during her Wednesday news conference.
Reynolds says bars and restaurants can remain open for their normal business hours, but with some restrictions still in place.
Reynolds has loosen some of the earlier restrictions regarding spectators at sporting events.
The Iowa governor also offered an update relating to the COVID-19 situation across the state, saying there is good news as the numbers have been declining.
Reynolds says Iowa hospitals have been able to maintain a stable position while starting to see the number of patients also show a decline.
Reynolds also reported that eight semi-loads of personal protection equipment (PPE’s) have been delivered this week to 430 of Iowa’s long-term care nursing facilities.
The governor says the new restrictions will begin on Thursday, and will be in effect until January 8th.
King Says Congress Is Dysfunctional During Pandemic
(Washington) — Congress is scheduled to adjourn its legislative session tomorrow, but it isn’t certain as to whether or not a second COVID-19 relief package will be passed before members of Congress return home for the holidays. Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King says Congressional leaders
indicate an agreement has been reached, of which King says if there is such an agreement, why haven’t Congress been called to vote? King says he is very disappointed with how Congress has been conducting business for the last couple of years. King blames Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats, who hold
a majority in the U-S House for the problems.
King says a pending winter weather storm scheduled to hit the eastern coast may actually delay a pending vote for the relief package.
The 4th District Iowa Republican says although he lost his bid for re-election, he is not going anywhere, saying he wants to remain involved and assist with consulting on policy issues.
1986 New COVID Cases in Iowa, 14 Additional Deaths
(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting one-thousand-986 new positive COVID tests, increasing the state’s total to 260-thousand-237 cases. Fourteen more Iowans have died of coronavirus complications which brings the death toll to three-thousand-354. The number
of Iowans hospitalized with COVID fell to 776. One-hundred-52 of those patients are in intensive care and 85 are on ventilators. Forty-seven counties have a two-week average positivity rate of at least 15 percent.
More than 200-thousand people have recovered from the virus.
State To Get Fewer Doses Of COVID Vaccine
(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Department of Public Health has announced the federal government will send up to 30 percent fewer doses of Covid vaccine to Iowa than previously expected. A statement released by the agency indicated it would take some time for state officials to adjust distribution plans.
Earlier in the day, acting Iowa Department of Public Health director Kelly Garcia said the state was poised to move quickly once doses of vaccine arrive. The agency will post a running tally of how many Iowans have been vaccinated on the state’s coronavirus tracking website, along with information about the vaccines that are available. The now-scrapped plans
had been for up to 154-thousand health care workers and 59-thousand nursing home residents and staff to get doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines expected to arrive this month.
Waukee Man Accused of Trying to Spread COVID-19 to Police Officer
(Waukee, IA) — A Waukee man is accused of trying to infect a police officer with the coronavirus. Sixty-one-year-old Mark Bishop was arrested Tuesday and is now charged with assault with attempt to inflict serious injury. The criminal complaint says officers went to Bishop’s home with a search warrant and he coughed several times in one of the officer’s face.
Officer Dave Richardson said that Bishop told him and correctional officers at the Dallas County jail that he had COVID-19. Richardson wrote,”Mark knowingly tried to spread the virus on myself and put me in fear for my health.” Bishop is also charged with pointing a gun at a female neighbor on December 4th.
Supreme Court Hears Water Quality Lawsuit
(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a case where the state is asking that a lawsuit by environmental groups challenging the strategy for handling farm runoff into the Raccoon River be dismissed. Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement attorney, Brent Newell, argued the Nutrient Reduction Strategy the state put in place is voluntary
and does not protect the ability to use the river for recreation and drinking water. Newell asked the court to declare the voluntary relief unconstitutional. Jeffrey Thompson spoke for the state and says the Nutrient Reduction Strategy is not a do-nothing policy — but it is replete with all kinds of reporting and funding incentives.
Tyson Foods Announces Firing Of 7 Managers Over Betting Controversy
(Waterloo, IA) — Tyson Foods has announced the firing of seven managers over allegations they bet on how many of the company’s employees would contract COVID-19 at its Waterloo plant. The allegations came to light during a lawsuit filed by the son of a Tyson employee who died. The company says an independent investigation led to the firing of the bosses who had already been suspended without pay. The announcement was made Wednesday while company officials were in Waterloo for talks with team members. Former worker Isidro Fernandez died from COVID-19 complications in April. His son filed the suit.
Historic Hotel Ottumwa Up For Sale
(Ottumwa, IA) — A historic site in downtown Ottumwa is now up for sale.
The owners of Hotel Ottumwa, which was built in 1916, have decided to sell, but will maintain operations until a suitable buyer is found. The owners made their intentions of selling known in a Facebook post this week. The hotel was purchased by the Shwartz family in 1982 and the current owners are the second generation of the Schwartz family to own and operate the hotel.
The building is on the National Register of Historic Places. The owners said a four-million-dollar renovation was planned, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic and aging ownership, the choice was made to sell instead.
Poison Control Center Says Poinsettias Not Unsafe
(Sioux City, IA) — A registered nurse and spokeswoman for the Iowa Poison Control Center says concerns about poinsettias being deadly if eaten are simply not true. Tammy Noble says poinsettias have had a bad rap over the years. One study found that a child would have to eat as many as 500 poinsettia leaves to become poisoned, but aside from that, Noble says the
leaves taste terrible so no one would likely ever eat a lethal dose of them.
They’re a lovely plant, she says, and they shouldn’t concern you. She says other plants that may appear in your house during the year-end holidays could pose a more significant threat. Noble says to take care with holly berries and mistletoe as they -can- be poisonous. If you have a question or concern, call the Sioux City-based Iowa Poison Control Center anytime at 1-800-222-