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Thursday will be our last day this week in this recent rainy humid cycle. According to the National Weather Service, showers and thunderstorms are likely before 4:00 p.m. in the Cedar Rapids area. It should be cloudy for most of the day with a high of 71 degrees. The chance for precipitation for the day is listed at 90 percent, while rainfall as high as 1 to 2 inches is possible.
On Thursday night, it should calm down a bit, with the chance for rain going down, the skies clearing, and the wind dying down.
Apparently Americans are drinking more alcohol during the COVID-19 pandemic, and on Thursday Iowans will again be able to do so in public venues. Bars will have to follow the same safety restrictions as restaurants did when they reopened. This includes social distancing guidelines that limit establishments to being at no more than half capacity, spacing tables 6 feet apart, limiting party sizes to 10 or fewer at one time, and eliminating self-service food and drink.
At her Wednesday press conference, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds defended the state’s recently revealed practice of not confirming mass outbreaks of coronavirus at businesses until reporters ask about them. Reynolds and Sarah Reisetter, deputy director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, said that this practice allows the businesses to inform their employees and community first and gives the state time to confirm that an outbreak has taken place.
While hospitalizations continue to plateau in the state, daily death totals from the disease remain high. 21 more people were reported to have died from the disease on Wednesday, one of the highest daily death totals so far. 487 people in Iowa have died from the disease in the past two months.
On Wednesday University of Iowa public health researchers submitted a final coronavirus assessment to the Reynolds administration warning that reopening the state too soon will bring a “large increase in daily infections.”
“Absent any additional measures to keep the outbreak from spreading, such an approach still is expected to yield more infections and hence deaths,” according to the UI College of Public Health COVID-19 Response Group.
The group suggested different strategies for mitigating deaths while still relaxing social distancing, including the use of face shields.
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