Gazette Weekend News Update, March 28 and 29

President Donald Trump, with members of the president's coronavirus task force, speaks during a news conference in the B
President Donald Trump, with members of the president's coronavirus task force, speaks during a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Be sure to subscribe to The Gazette Daily news podcast, or just tell your Amazon Alexa to “enable The Gazette Daily News skill" so you can get your daily briefing by simply saying “Alexa, what’s the news?"

Your weekend weather isn’t looking especially pleasant for a stroll outside. According to the National Weather Service showers from Friday into Saturday should continue into the early morning hours Saturday in the Cedar Rapids area. There may be areas of fog before 10 a.m. Saturday, with a high temperature near 66 degrees. This will be followed by a 90 percent chance of rain during the day. There will be a good chance of severe thunderstorms before 10:00 p.m. After that, the temperature should drop some and wind speeds should pick up.

There will be a chance of more rain on Sunday morning, as well, but it should settle down by 1:00 p.m. After that it will be mostly cloudy with a high of 53 degrees, but still breezy, with wind speeds between 20 and 25 mph.

Two more deaths from the COVID-19 coronavirus were reported Friday, bringing Iowa’s death total from the virus to 3 people all over the age of 60. There were also an additional  56 positive tests reported, bringing the state’s total to 235. Gov. Kim Reynolds defended her decisions against criticism from both sides, with some calling for shelter-in-place orders in addition to the restrictions she has declared, while others argued that the restrictions already in place have gone too far. She became emotional as she expressed sympathy for the victims of the disease and said the decisions she had made were some of the hardest of her career.

“You know, Iowans are scared and they’re nervous, and I appreciate that, but we’re going to get through it,” she said. “If you keep doing what we’ve asked you to do, we will be back to those good days. So hang in there.”

Nationally, coronavirus cases surpassed 100,000 in the United States, the first country to reach that mark, while in Washington D.C. President Donald Trump signed a $2.2 trillion stimulus bill intended to provide funds directly to Americans while also providing stabilizing measures for businesses large and small. The legislation will send direct payments of $1,200 to millions of Americans, including those earning up to $75,000 a year, and an additional $500 per child. It will fund an additional 13 weeks of unemployment and a four-month enhancement of benefits.

The rest of the money from the bill is intended to help businesses hit hard by the economic after effects of the COVID-19 virus, as well as giving support to embattled healthcare providers who have struggled to meet demand, especially in the nation’s hardest hit areas.

Our reporters will continue their coverage this weekend, but I hope you can also take some breaks from the news when you can. We’ll still be here when you return.

Today’s daily briefing is sponsored in part by Corridor Careers, now offering a virtual job fair on April 9th from 3 to 6 pm. For more job information and to get yourself registered for the event, visit corridorcareers.com/events.