Gazette Daily News Podcast, March 17

Jason Wilkerson, owner of Local Craft Ale House in Cedar Rapids, on Monday, March 16, 2020. Wilkerson decided to go to c
Jason Wilkerson, owner of Local Craft Ale House in Cedar Rapids, on Monday, March 16, 2020. Wilkerson decided to go to curbside to-go orders and growler fills in an effort to prevent spread of the coronavirus. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Even if you can’t celebrate it in public the way you’d like to due to COVID-19, hopefully you grabbed some Guinness and corned beef to enjoy at home while you were on that toilet paper run.

The weather should be fairly nice for most of Tuesday. According to the National Weather Service, there will be a high of 48 degrees Tuesday with sunny skies in the Cedar Rapids area. Enjoy the sun, as rain will return in the overnight hours and continue through Thursday.

Alright, so I mentioned COVID-19. I can’t get to nearly all of the closings or updates announced Monday due to the coronavirus, so I will try to hit the major ones. For other local closings you can check out our free and ongoing coronavirus coverage on

But, anyway, on Monday the City of Cedar Rapids asked bars and restaurants to close on St. Patrick’s Day following the cancelation of the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has not asked businesses to close by fiat, as of yet, but she did encourage Iowans to practice social distancing and proper handwashing to slow the spread of highly contagious respiratory disease. On Sunday the state of Iowa acknowledged there is community spread in the state, when previously they had said that the virus was limited to those who had traveled to countries already struggling with the disease. Finally, in Iowa, most school districts in the area followed a suggestion from Reynolds and closed through April 13. There are indications from the Iowa legislature that these districts will not be made to make up these canceled school days.

There are currently 23 people who have tested positive for the virus in Iowa. This number is expected to rise as the virus spreads and as more testing capacity is made available.

Nationally, the stock market fell hard despite measures from the Federal Reserve, dropping nearly 3000 points. President Donald Trump suggested the coronavirus pandemic, which he once downplayed, now likely will take months to resolve, and he encouraged Americans to follow new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control that call for limiting social gatherings to below 10 people at one time.

There may have been no post season due to the aforementioned virus, but Iowa’s Luka Garza is doing quite well for himself so far in post season awards. The star of the Hawkeye men’s basketball team was named a first-team All-American by CBS Sports, NBC Sports, and USA TODAY on Monday. This follows Garza being Iowa’s first Big Ten player of the year and him already garnering several national player of the year nods.