213 New COVID-19 Cases, 5 More Deaths Reported Tuesday

Follow the latest Iowa news in our Daily Digest, a newsblog where you can catch up on all the headlines you'll hear about in our on-air newscasts.  

COVID-19 Information:

Tuesday, June 30

4:52 p.m. – Johnson County District Court judge blocks Iowa’s new mandatory 24-hour abortion waiting period from being enforced

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the bill into law Monday, and a district court judge stepped in Tuesday to stop it from going into effect on Wednesday.  

The law would require Iowans seeking an abortion to attend an additional appointment at least 24 hours before terminating their pregnancy.

It won’t be enforced while a legal challenge by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of Iowa plays out. The Iowa Supreme Court struck down a 72-hour abortion waiting period in 2018, ruling it unconstitutional. 

Planned Parenthood argues that means the Court must also find the 24-hour waiting period unconstitutional. Some Republican lawmakers said they hope this lawsuit leads to a new abortion-related court precedent in Iowa that would open the door to more abortion restrictions. 

Read more of this story. 

4:44 p.m. – Business and Nonprofit leaders in Des Moines share report on racial disparities in Polk County

A group of business and nonprofit leaders in the Des Moines area known as The Directors Council is sharing what it calls a blueprint to address racial disparities in Polk County.

The group’s One Economy report highlights a racial income gap. The median income for African American households is about $34,000, compared to $63,000 county-wide. 

Lonnie Dafney, a West Des Moines school board member, said Black workers need more job training but companies must also commit to hiring them.

The council recommends creating a Black job-seekers database and specific internship programs for Black students to help workers find higher paying jobs.

4:03 p.m. – Iowa Cubs announce there will be no season in 2020  

10:00 a.m. - 213 new COVID-19 cases, 5 new deaths reported Tuesday

These numbers reflect a 24-hour reporting period. 

Monday, June 29

4:54 p.m. – Gov. Kim Reynolds signs a mandatory 24-hour abortion waiting period into law 

It requires a person seeking an abortion to attend an additional appointment at least 24-hours before terminating their pregnancy. The law is set to take effect Wednesday. 

Planned Parenthood argued in court Monday that the law should be temporarily blocked from being enforced while their lawsuit seeking to get it struck down continues. 

A lawyer for the state argued Planned Parenthood doesn’t have legal standing to challenge the law. Planned Parenthood previously won a very similar case in which the Iowa Supreme Court found a 72-hour waiting period unconstitutional. The Johnson County judge on this case says he’ll enter a ruling as quickly as possible.  

Read more about what did and what didn't pass during Iowa's two-part legislative session from IPR's state government reporter Katarina Sostaric. 

4:29 p.m. – Historic hotel in Sioux City to reopen 44 years after it closed

The ten story Warrior hotel in downtown Sioux City and adjacent Davidson building have been developed as an Autograph Collection by Marriott Hotel. It will have 148 rooms and 22 luxury apartments.

Alex Cherubin with Restoration Iowa said people have already been putting down deposits to secure one of the apartments, but there’s still several left. He said renters will have access to all of the Warrior’s amenities.

Cherubin said the hotel will open August 27. Ninety-two rooms will be taking reservations. The apartments in the Davidson could open as early as mid-September.

3:16 p.m. – Small business can apply for Paycheck Protection program loans until Tuesday

Tuesday is the last day for small businesses to apply for coronavirus relief loans through the federal Paycheck Protection Program.

The money can be used for payroll, rent or utilities. And the loans can be forgiven but only if a business keeps the same number of workers at the same wages. 

Jayne Armstrong, the Iowa District Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration, said Congress changed the program rules this month to give businesses more time to use the funding.

The amount of the loan that must be used for payroll was also lowered from 75 to 60 percent.

According to the Treasury Department, nearly 58,000 Iowa businesses have been approved for loans totaling more than $5 billion.

10:00 a.m. - 298 new COVID-19 cases, 3 more deaths reported Monday

These numbers reflect a 24-hour reporting period ending at 10:00 a.m. 

7:12 a.m. – Some local public health officials worried about uptick in COVID-19 cases

As COVID-19 cases continue to track upward across the U.S. in the past week, some local public health experts are concerned about what this could mean for Iowa.

COVID-19 cases across Iowa had been trending downward since early May. But they have leveled off in the past two weeks with at least a half dozen counties seeing an uptick in cases.

Nola Aigner is with the Polk County Health Department. She said Polk County’s average daily case count has decreased this month. But she said they’re concerned this trend could easily reverse. That’s if Iowans don’t take precautions like wearing face coverings and social distancing.

“I think that's what worries us because we know as a state, we're behind. We were one of the last to peak. And so that makes us very worried,” she said.

The state reported last week that Iowans between the ages of 18 and 40 make up the largest and fastest-growing group reporting new COVID-19 infections. 

Sunday, June 28

10:00 a.m. - 495 new COVID-19 cases reported Sunday

There were 380 new cases announced Saturday, along with three new deaths for a total of 704.

These numbers reflect a 24-hour reporting period that ends at 10:00 a.m.