Gazette Daily News Update, May 25

Happy Memorial Day! Today will see some sun with a high near 84, but there’s likely going to be some thunderstorms this afternoon. The chance of storms continues tonight and the temperature will drop to 65.

More showers and thunderstorms throughout the week, but expect it to start to clear up as temperatures climb to the 70s and 80s going into the weekend.

The number of coronavirus cases in Iowa rose today to 17,244 total cases and is now in 98 of Iowa’s 99 counties. The number of statewide deaths attributed to coronavirus has risen to 449.

University of Iowa is instituting a pilot program for a return to campus. The first phase will begin tomorrow with the Carver College of Medicine. Health and safety guidelines have been established for a return to modified daily operations. Iowa Athletics, specifically football and both men’s and women’s basketball programs, will be among the first groups back to campus. All student athletes will have to pass a formal clearance process to return for voluntary practices. Procedures will follow NCAA, Big Ten and campus best practices, while being supervised by UI Health Care staff. The goal of the pilot program is to operationalize health and safety measures in specific settings and the implementation of best practices on a bigger scale.

Fearing coronavirus, patients avoid seeking emergency care. According to a national poll from the American College of Emergency Physicians, 29 percent of adults said they have “delayed or avoided medical care” because of their concerns for contracting COVID-19.

Patient volume at UIHC’s emergency department is down 35 percent, according to hospital officials. In April, the emergency department — which averages about 4,500 visits per month — saw only 3,000 patient visits.

In April alone, UIHC lost about $22 million due to pandemic-related expenses and revenue drops, driven largely by fewer visits to its main campus and clinics, and with curtailed elective surgeries compounding patient fears.

You can find all this and the rest of our coronavirus coverage at our dedicated coronavirus page,

Wondering what's open over Memorial Day weekend in Eastern Iowa? Plenty! From shopping at NewBo Public Market, Coral Ridge Mall, and Lindale to some great craft beer options, Big Grove’s Iowa City Taproom and Solon Brewpub, which are all open with in-restaurant dining. A few more places are also available for curbside pickup. For outdoors lovers there’s Indian Creek Nature Center, Cedar Rapids parks (with some restrictions), and Iowa’s state parks. Check for the full details.

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