116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
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This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for Thursday, August 5.
We could get some much needed rain Thursday. According to the National Weather Service it should be partly sunny Thursday with a high near 82 degrees in the Cedar Rapids area. There will be a slight chance for showers and thunderstorms Thursday morning that will increase as the day goes on. Rainfall totals are not expected to be significant, except in the areas where thunderstorms develop.
Iowa added an average of 510 COVID-19 cases a day over the last week — the highest average since last April and even higher than the same time a year ago when vaccines were not yet available here, according to weekly figures released Wednesday by the state. The number of virus patients being treated in Iowa hospitals rose, too, from 157 to 201. It marked the first time since April 24 that hospitalizations exceeded 200.
In some good news, the rate of vaccination seemed to have increased slightly as well. The number of fully vaccinated Iowans rose by 11,308 over the past seven days, for a total of 1,490,392. That marks 55.69 percent of Iowans over age 12 being fully vaccinated, or about 47.24 percent of Iowa’s total population.
It remains to be seen how the numbers will change as schools are set to reopen and the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 is the dominant strain in Iowa.
There were two high profile departures in Iowa’s health industry announced Wednesday.
Sean Williams will resign as Mercy Iowa City’s president and chief executive officer effective Sept. 30, the hospital said Wednesday.
Mike Trachta, MercyOne System vice president of network affiliates and Mercy Iowa City chief operating officer, will serve as acting president of the hospital.
Mercy Iowa City is seeking to leave the statewide MercyOne network in search of a larger partner. The move comes after years of financial struggles for the hospital.
After three years as part of University of Iowa Health Care’s new administrative team, Chief Financial Officer Bradley Haws on Friday is leaving UIHC for the same position at Emory Healthcare — which is part of Emory University in Atlanta.
That has UIHC relying again on interim leadership while a search committee launches a national hunt for Haws’ successor. All this while UIHC attempts to navigate a complicated post pandemic financial world.
A Cedar Rapids man who drowned in the Cedar River last month while swimming has been identified as Clifford Deon Jones.
A 911 call was placed just before 5:30 p.m. July 16 by the 44-year-old man’s teenage son, who reported his father had been swimming in the river, but then went underwater and did not resurface.
The son told emergency responders that he and his father had been walking their dogs near First Street and O Avenue NW and they both went into the water to cool off.
Firefighters launched three boats, and after 30 minutes of searching, found the man’s body in about 10 feet of water, 15 feet from the shore, the news release stated.
Police have determined the death to be an accidental drowning.
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