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There will be a few more days of relatively warm weather before a big temperature drop on Monday, so I suggest you take advantage of it. According to the National Weather Service, there will be a high of 43 in the Cedar Rapids area with cloudy skies clearing throughout the day. A 5 to 10 mph wind will also calm throughout the day, with the skies clearing Friday night, with a low around 28 degrees.
28 degrees, incidentally, is predicted to be the high temperature this coming Monday. So if you happen to do some shopping this weekend and also need to update your winter wear, it might be a good time.
It continues to be a lethal week for COVID-19 in Iowa. On Tuesday, the state reported 47 deaths from the disease, the highest since the pandemic began, while on Wednesday the state reported 41 deaths, the second highest. On Thursday, 37 more deaths were reported, bringing the death toll from the disease to 2,349.
Hospitalizations for the disease have continued to drop, with 1,269 patients listed as being treated in hospitals for the disease on Thursday, the first time the state has dropped below 1,300 patients since Nov. 15. 3,323 new cases were reported Thursday, with a positivity rate of 38.46 percent.
An apartment fire on Blairs Ferry Road Thursday displaced five residents on Thanksgiving, after they awoke to a power outage and the smell of smoke in the laundry room area of the building.
Hiawatha firefighters responded to a report of smoke in the building at 4:28 a.m. at 1440 Blairs Ferry Rd., according to a news release. The five residents had been evacuated before police and fire units arrived and nobody was injured.
Black Friday, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, will look very different this year as retailers and shoppers adjust to rising COVID-19 infections. Likely gone this year are the days of crowds gathering in the early morning hours to rush through the doors to grab bargains. They are being replaced by single-file lines of shoppers being asked to maintain social distancing.
Large retailers have turned Black Friday into a month long online event, with specific items offered on sale. Brick-and-mortar retailers are battling online giants like Amazon.com as COVID-19 concerns have prompted many shoppers to avoid in-person purchases.
Many retailers also are offering curbside pickup to entice shoppers to continue shopping at local stores rather than going online. Home delivery also is offered for everything from apparel to groceries. If you would like to learn more before venturing out, we have a list of store hours on thegazette.com.
The state of Iowa will have the spotlight on two college football teams on a Friday at a time when few other games may be competing for the nation’s attention.The headliner is Iowa State versus Texas, on ABC at 11 a.m. If the Cyclones win, they’re a home victory over West Virginia next week from an outright Big 12 regular-season title. Should Texas prevail, the league is likely to end up in a three- or four-way tie at the top. Iowa State has not won a conference title in football since 1912.
Iowa versus Nebraska, showing at noon on Fox, will be played with much lower stakes since neither team is likely to be conference champion at this point. But, it remains an important border rivalry, and could make the difference in how both teams view their seasons in a very strange year.