Gazette Daily News Podcast, May 29th

Members of the Iowa National Guard work the check-in tent May 14 for testing patients at the Kirkwood Community College
Members of the Iowa National Guard work the check-in tent May 14 for testing patients at the Kirkwood Community College Test Iowa coronavirus testing site in Cedar Rapids. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

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Here’s a change: It is not supposed to rain at all today. According to the National Weather Service, it should be partly cloudy with a high of 69 degrees Friday in the Cedar Rapids area. It will be a little windy, however, with wind speeds from 10-15 mph. Friday night should have a low of around 49 degrees.

Iowa hit another grim coronavirus milestone Thursday, with the toll hitting 500 reported deaths since the virus was first reported in the state in early March. The virus now has been reported to have cases in all 99 counties.

The Iowa Department of Public Health also confirmed another outbreak at a meat packing plant Thursday. An outbreak at the Tyson pork processing plant in Storm Lake infected 555 of the plant’s 2,500-plus employees, or over 20 percent of its workforce.

In a welcome piece of news, Heritage Specialty Care, a long term care facility in Cedar Rapids that has the dubious distinction of having the state’s worst COVID-19 outbreak in the state so far, has now gone 28 days without a new case. This is significant because it is the equivalent of two incubation periods for the virus. 114 residents and staff tested positive for the disease, and 26 people died from the outbreak.

Iowa City-based standardized test company ACT will enact a series of cost-cutting measures, including voluntary resignations, the company said Thursday. One of the state’s largest employers, ACT had to postpone its national testing date in April because of the coronavirus pandemic and also has seen “a significant decline” in district and state testing programs. ACT said more cuts are expected in the future, although they were not clear on what those would be.

As violent protests following the death of a black man in police custody continued in Minnesota, Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman criticized the actions of the four Minneapolis officers involved in the arrest.

In a statement posted Thursday morning on the police department’s Facebook page, Jerman called the death of 46-year-old George Floyd “disturbing,” adding that “all individuals should be treated with dignity and respect.”

“The trust of the community is something that we can never take for granted, and incidents like this, regardless of where they occur, erode the trust that so many honorable men and women have worked very hard to build and cultivate. We remain committed to maintaining lasting, positive and trusting relationships with our community.”

This briefing is sponsored in part by Corridor Careers.  Are you looking for a job? is a resource to local job seekers where they can get job tips, sign up for local job alerts, build a resume and more. Check it out at