The Gazette Daily News Podcast, March 16

Iowa Weather For March 16, 2020

Our warm stretch from last week was interrupted by some snow this weekend, but that shouldn’t hang around long. Today’s high of 47 should melt what’s left pretty quickly, even though it’ll still be cloudy.

There’s a 30 percent chance of rain tonight between 8pm and 2am with a low of 31.

The rest of the week is going to be a grab bag. Some rain on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and temperatures ranging from a high of 59 on Thursday to a cold Friday night with a low of 22 with temperatures up and down within that range all week.

Iowa Coronavirus Updates For March 16, 2020

Iowa has seen its first case of community spread. Up until Saturday night, Iowa had seen 17 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and we were able to identify the origin of every one of them, mostly tracing back to an Egyptian Cruise a group of Iowans went on. But the 18th case on Saturday night couldn’t be traced, meaning Iowa officially has community spread, meaning it’s possible many more Iowans have it and don’t know.

Iowa has been preparing a plan of action for weeks and Governor Reynolds says they’re ready.

School closures have not been mandated yet, but Governor Reynolds has recommended a 4 week closure.

The Iowa legislature has suspended for 30 days.

The Iowa Supreme Court announced all jury trials, both civil and criminal, where the jury wasn’t sworn in by March 13th are postponed.

The state is working with grocers, food suppliers, and hospitals to make sure actions are taken to avoid supply shortages.

They’re advising against gatherings of more than 250 people, although yesterday the CDC issued a new national recommendation against gatherings of more than 50 people.

The national strategy is to flatten the curve, meaning preventing the spread of the virus as much as possible via social isolation and quarantines so that the hospital capacity is not exceeded as the virus spreads. It’s important to note that while the virus is less of a danger to younger and healthier individuals, they can still be transmitters, so even if you’re low risk, limiting social contact is important. If you're showing symptoms of any kind of illness, stay home and follow your doctor’s advice. Rest at home and traditional cold remedies are the prescribed treatments for healthy low-risk individuals, and in order to flatten the curve, officials are encouraging citizens to make sure valuable medical resources remain available for the elderly and more at risk individuals instead of having doctors and other resources occupied treating low-risk patients.

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics announces new procedures to screen patients and limit the spread to non-infected patients while keeping as many resources available as possible.

Illinois has issued an order to close all bars and restaurants. No such order has been given in Iowa, but as with the potential of School closures, the situation is being evaluated on a daily basis.

You can also review our weekly fact check, which this week explores a claim from Senator Joni Ernst regarding health funding and our preparedness to meet the caronavirus criss. Our team ranks the claim as true, but you can find their full analysis in the fact checker article and associated podcast.

For more info on the coronavirus, including live daily updates, visit TheGazette.com/coronavirus

Jefferson Decathlon Team Wins 20th Steaight Year

The Jefferson High School Academic Decathalon team won the state tournament this month for the 20th year in a row, qualifying for the national competition, which is something they’ve done more than any other school in the nation.

They’ve put in hours and hours of work to ace tests, essays and speeches after studying 1,000 pages of medical history.

The national tournament is in Anchorage, Alaska in late April. Obviously there’s concerns that it will be canceled due to coronavirus, but the team is still in good spirits and hopes to make team shirts that say “back to back to back to back to back to back to back” etc…

Mobile Barbershops Are Now Legal in Iowa

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds this past week signed into law the legalization of mobile barbershops.

William Burt, is a Waterloo man who served three years in jail for domestic abuse and drug charges, but when he got out in 2008, he was dedicated to be a force for good. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and now with the passage of this legislation, he’s even succeeded in changing state law to created a mobile barbershop he calls Kut Kings. His goal is to make the service a nonprofit so he can provide haircuts to Iowans in need across the state: low-income individuals, veterans and more.

Today's update was produced by Stephen M. Colbert. Be sure to subscribe to The Gazette Daily news podcast, or just tell your Amazon Alexa to “enable The Gazette Daily News skill" so you can get your daily briefing by simply saying “Alexa, what’s the news?"