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 Saturday, July 31 and Sunday, August 1.
Most of the rain appears to have gone to the west of the Cedar Rapids area, but at least the cool air it brought with it will stay. According to the National Weather Service there will be a slight chance of rain on Saturday morning. The haze from the west coast forest fires will also linger on Saturday, with some areas of smoke. Otherwise it will be mostly cloudy with a high near 80 degrees. On Sunday it will be sunny, with a high near 82 degrees.
A spokesperson for Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds indicated Friday that the governor has no intention to offer $100 incentives to Iowans to entice them to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19. President Joe Biden floated the idea as an effort to break through to the population of Americans that has resisted getting vaccinated.
Some areas in the country, including some Iowa counties, are seeing the return of increasing COVID-19 positive rates due to a highly transmissible strain known as the Delta variant. These high areas of rapid spread are most prevalent in areas that have low vaccination rates.
CDC documents reported on by the Washington Post on Friday stated that research has shown the delta variant can cause infections that are more contagious than the common cold, flu, smallpox and the Ebola virus, and is considered as prolific in spreading as the highly contagious chicken pox. Researchers are also concerned that this variant may infect people who have been vaccinated, which are referred to as breakthrough infections, but all indications are that even in these cases the vaccine prevents more serious symptoms.
As a federal ban on pandemic-related apartment evictions is expected to expire Saturday, Linn County and the city of Cedar Rapids are working with local groups to stall evictions and keep people housed here.
The eviction moratorium that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention enacted last September has prevented millions of tenants from being evicted while facing financial hardship and job loss during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the ban comes to an end, tenants who have fallen behind on rent payments now may face eviction. So local officials have put in place programs intended to prevent people from experiencing homelessness.
Starting Monday, Linn County is partnering with Iowa Legal Aid to maintain a physical presence at the Linn County Courthouse through its help-desk program. Iowa Legal Aid will provide legal assistance, as well as rent and utility assistance through Waypoint Services, on the spot to help prevent evictions
North Liberty-based South Slope Cooperative Communications will begin construction on a fiber network in Oxford in August, the company said Friday.
The network will be built within Oxford’s city limits before expanding into the surrounding area.
South Slope will use a federal grant and loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Reconnect Program worth $5.4 million to build the network.
South Slope continues to expand its fiber offerings into rural areas in response to an exploding demand for broadband as a result of the pandemic changing the way Americans work and seek entertainment.
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