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, December 2.
Thursday will feature the warmest weather left in the week, as temperatures will gradually drop afterward. According to a forecast from the National Weather Service, it will be mostly sunny with a high near 60 in the Cedar Rapids area. The wind will be moderate to light, calming to 5 mph by Thursday evening with a low of 37 degrees.
The number of Iowans hospitalized with COVID-19 this week, including those in need of intensive care and ventilators to help breathe, reached the highest level in nearly a year.
Hospitalizations in the state as a result of the coronavirus increased for the fourth week in a row, jumping to 721 from 623 last week, according to a report released Wednesday by the Iowa Department of Public Health. That’s the highest seen since Dec. 17, 2020, when 746 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19.
The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care and on ventilators also is at the highest total since December 2020.
In one bit of more positive news, the state reported 9,489 new COVID-19 cases this week, a decline compared to the previous week after five weeks of increasing infections. The state reported 10,643 new cases a week before. It is too soon to know if this will start a downward trend for infections, but since hospitalizations tend to lag a few weeks behind infections, a decrease in infections could give Iowa’s hospitals a chance to catch up with the latest surge.
Residents in northeast Cedar Rapids will be losing a grocery shopping option.
Hy-Vee will permanently close its Collins Road NE grocery store, adjacent to Lindale Mall in Cedar Rapids, on Jan. 9. The store has 53 full-time and 141 part-time employees, Hy-Vee communications officer Tina Potthoff said in an email. Pothoff said the employees will be offered jobs at other locations in the area. The closing is one of 4 stores being shuttered by the chain across 4 states.
Pharmacy customers will receive a letter notifying them their prescriptions will be transferred to a nearby Hy-Vee Pharmacy, or a pharmacy of their choosing, the company also said.
Hy-Vee Aisles Online pick-up services at these stores will cease as of Monday, Dec. 6. Delivery options will be fulfilled by a nearby Hy-Vee location, the chain said.
A Belle Plaine man was charged with two felonies Tuesday after police said he stole over $10,000 worth of copper from an abandoned apartment building.
Cedar Rapids police responded to a burglary report Monday at the Colonial Centre building and found Jeremiah Lee Hawkins, according to a criminal complaint. Along with Hawkins, police found two bags of copper wire that had been cut from the structure at 1500 Second Ave. SE, in the Wellington Heights neighborhood.
Police said Hawkins admitted to the burglary.
The 33-year-old Hawkins is charged with first-degree criminal mischief, a Class C felony, and third-degree burglary, a Class D felony. He’s also charged with possession of burglary tools and possession of methamphetamine.
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