The Gazette Daily News Podcast, April 6

Today’s weather is going to be cloudy with a chance of showers, possibly developing into thunderstorms this afternoon. On the bright side, the temperature is expected to see a high of 62. Tonight, a continued chance of showers and thunderstorms with a low of 54.

Expect the chance of rain to persist through Wednesday, but Thursday going into the weekend will see a little more sun with daytime temperatures hovering around 50.

Another surge of new coronavirus cases in Iowa puts the state up to 869 confirmed 71 counties, and with 22 coronavirus related deaths.

Over the weekend FEMA designated $44 million to Iowa for eligible work in the COVID-19 response. The funds are to be used on PPE like gowns, masks, and face shields as well as ventilators and more.

University of Iowa Health Care is now providing a 'virtual hospital' for COVID-19 patients. Most hospital beds are being held for only the most severe and at risk cases of coronavirus, and over 80% of cases are being instructed to recover at home, University of Iowa Health Care is providing daily virtual checkups as well as instructions and monitoring equipment necessary to check vitals while remaining in quarantine.

University of Iowa Health Care is also working toward potential COVID-19 treatments and is close to receiving the federal approvals it needs to use plasma from patients who have recovered to help those now hospitalized.

Officials are pushing for vote by mail for Iowa’s June 2 primary election. Since we’re not yet sure of the coronavirus’ curve, June 2 may be too soon for Iowans to be packing into enclosed spaces to vote. Even if people are back out in public, it certainly won’t be at pre-virus levels just yet as many people remain indoors as a precaution.

As everyone is holed up in their houses for the foreseeable near futurethings can get especially hard for families on top of other coronavirus stresses. Jacob Priest, an assistant professor in the University of Iowa College of Education with a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy provided some pointers to The Gazette for handling self-isolation. The tips include Be Patient, Create space for yourself when possible, Routines are good, but be flexible, Reassure your kids, Don’t try to address difficult topics in one conversation, Establish boundaries, Have conversations before things become problematic, and Check in with friends.

You can find all this and more at our dedicated coronavirus page, TheGazette.com/coronavirus.

In some non-coronavirus news, United Technologies Corp. and Raytheon Co. completed their merger Friday morning, forming one of the world’s largest aerospace and defense companies in a $135 billion deal — one of the industry’s largest-ever transactions. A UTC spokeperson declined to comment on any immediate changes planned for employees in Cedar Rapids or Collins Aerospace’s other Eastern Iowa locations.

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