Sioux City Now Has Highest Daily COVID Growth Rate In U.S.

Woodbury County saw its biggest spike in COVID-19 cases yet on Friday, indicating a worsening situation in Western Iowa.

According to Siouxland District Health, the number rose by 129, bringing the total to 287. On Monday, that number was 75.

The New York Times has been tracking the way outbreaks happen in cities across the country. The data currently shows the Sioux City metro area, which spans three states, is now the city region with the highest average daily growth rate in the United States. It has a 101 percent daily growth rate, and, on average, the number of cases has doubled daily.

Screenshot of New York Times graphic

The Times explains: “Growth rates are useful measures in epidemics because they tell us whether things are getting better or worse. In places where the growth rate is high but the number of cases is relatively low, a community may still have time to flatten its curve before an outbreak becomes widespread.

“Communities with a lot of cases and a high growth rate are on track to have a serious problem. A high growth rate on top of a large number of cases means that a still larger number of people are on track to become ill or die.”

The explanation for the spike comes from more testing, but the increased testing is due to new local outbreaks, which can also be connected to the jump in cases on the other side of the river in Dakota City, Nebraska.

Dakota County, which contains South Sioux and Dakota City, yesterday reported 246 cases.

Officials have held back from tying the spike to the Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Dakota City. Tyson officials have acknowledged cases, but not released numbers.

But in the Midwest, meat packing plants have been the driving force behind most of the recent spread of the coronavirus. Many in Eastern Iowa have been explicitly tied to plants there and led to temporary shut downs to contain the infections.

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Many Iowans, particularly in Sioux City, cross the Missouri River to work at the Dakota City Tyson plant, and residents of Dakota County have to use Iowa hospitals because their own county doesn’t have any.

Woodbury County’s first reported death was 64-year-old Raymundo Corral, a Sioux City resident who worked at the Tyson plant.

And yet, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has flatly refused to shut down meat packing facilities.

At his press conference yesterday, Ricketts called the spread a “community problem.”

“I don’t foresee a scenario where I would tell them to close,” he said yesterday.

“The Republican governor warned that would jeopardize the nation’s food supply and possibly lead to civil unrest if people could not get access to meat,” the Sioux City Journal reported. Ricketts cited some of the recent protests around the country demanding individual states reopen.

The packing plant shutdowns in Iowa have been a result of the companies deciding to do it, some after being pressured by local officials.

The JBS USA plant in Grand Island, Nebraska has led Hall County and its neighbors to become some of the biggest hotspots in the country.

“The Hall County rate is also now about equal to that of Louisiana, which ranks among the top states nationally in both cases and deaths. It’s also higher than the per capita rate in Michigan, a state that has been in such a significant state-ordered lockdown because of the virus that it’s spawned public protests,” the Grand Island Independent reported.

In Northwest Iowa, only six counties have zero reported cases.

“The health department for some reason doesn’t want to tell us where the cases are coming from, but I guess it doesn’t matter,” Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott said. “It somewhat proves for every case there is, there’s two additional people that become infected by it. That’s what’s concerning me and alarming me.”


by Nikoel Hytrek
Posted 4/24/20

Iowa Starting Line is an independently-owned progressive news outlet devoted to providing unique, insightful coverage on Iowa news and politics. We need reader support to continue operating — please donate here. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more coverage.

11 Comments on "Sioux City Now Has Highest Daily COVID Growth Rate In U.S."

  • Whoever you are, your so full of shit its coming out of your ears!!!! There is NOT that many cases in the entire Woodbury county!! Fake ass people like you is what the problem is today!!! Go lie to someone else Demonrats

  • Ricketts is a god dam idiot hate to tell you this idiot you don’t need meat to survive but hey keep them open spread it more I sincerely hope you will be the first one that eats contaminated food

  • Soiux city is a greesy place but still I have to say this is fake cuz all the meth snort make them immune lol

  • Why don’t we shut down….the WHOLE PLANET for 2 WEEKS !!! EVERYONE EVERYWHERE can survive 2 freakn weeks without meat without pop without candy without rice without veggies without any food period….. As long as we have water…. We can do this….. Shut the whole planet down 2weeks and that should kill just about 80-90% of the virus… That’s what i believe would work the only thing that will work… Suck it up humans let’s do this. Lol yea good luck getting everyone on the planet to obey that order hahahahah hahahaha never happen. GOOD THING IT’S ALL JUST A SMOKE SCREEN FOR THE ULTIMATE COVER-UP. WHAT ARE THEY TRYING TO HIDE WHAT DID THEY DO WHAT DID THE HEADS OF STATE AND COUNTRIES DO THAT IS MORE FCKD UP THEN THE VIRUS??????? HOW ABOUT THE EXTINCTION LEVEL ASTEROID HURTLING TOWARDS EARTH AT 20,000\MPH …. WHERE’S THE NEWS COVERAGE ON THAT HUH HUH HUH? ? ? ON OR ABOUT 29APRIL2020 .

  • I agree shut every store every plant business if they haven’t bought there food by now too bad everyone has had time all people need right now is there meds nothing else

  • This makes me upset to angry at this point. Why is it people are so willing to people who dont know what they are talking about and either have political agenda or just wanna bitch and act like they know something.

    This is yet another example of the failed thought process that “it ain’t gonna happen here.” If people don’t get their heads on straight this will quickly move to that threshold of exponential growth and a lot more people dying.

    I have not spent the last 20 years of my life trying to teach and train people how to respond to situations like this to see own hometown become the leader in a statistic that no one should want to have.

  • I see a lot of armchair experts here, which is a real hoot considering this thing is not as bad as most would have the media make you think. So many snowflakes it amazes me

  • Jim, I think you need to talk with some the medical people treating these cases in hot spots like NYC. I bet they would beg to differ that this virus ‘isn’t that bad’!

  • I can’t believe that my home state has so many complete idiots!!! Glad I don’t still live there…although it’s not that great where I now live. The virus is everywhere in the World and you’d better believe it and STAY HOME!!!

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