New numbers from the New York Times show Iowa—specifically Sioux City—rising in the nation’s rankings for how badly COVID-19 is impacting the state.
The Sioux City metro area now ranks fifth in the country in overall growth of cases in the past two weeks, relative to its population, and the total is still growing. It was in first place for daily growth for much of the past week.
And the regional total grew again today to over 2,000 cases between Woodbury County, Dakota County, Nebraska and Clay County, South Dakota.
As of Saturday, Siouxland District Health reported 1,114 cases in Woodbury County. Dakota County had registered 942 confirmed cases as of yesterday. It is now the county with the second highest number of cases in Nebraska. Along with Clay County’s 21 cases, the metro area has 2,077.
The New York Times’ assessment also puts Sioux City at 13th in the country for metro areas hardest hit by the coronavirus.
Today, in counties surrounding Woodbury, stores, restaurants and fitness centers are reopening their doors, after Gov. Kim Reynolds gave permission last week. Woodbury County is the only one in Western Iowa not allowed to reopen because the number of cases and hospitalizations—now 65—continue to grow.
Most of that growth can be attributed to the Tyson Fresh Meats plant just across the Missouri River. Late Thursday evening, the Sioux City Journal reported the plant had 669 cases among its workforce. The plant has since suspended production for four days. The company said it will take the time to deep clean the facility.
by Nikoel Hytrek
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