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THE WEEK IN COVID-19: Quad-City schools start to open as the COVID-19 case count continues to climb
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THE WEEK IN COVID-19: Quad-City schools start to open as the COVID-19 case count continues to climb

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Schools in Illinois  began to open up amid finalization of reopening plans for Iowa districts as the Quad-Cities added four deaths during the week because of COVID-19.

Friday July 31

  • Scott County teachers union representatives say Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds plan to reopen schools this fall is dangerous. If the positivity rate is less than 15% in a district, it is expected that there is complete in-person learning all the time. Schools can also use a 50% in-person plan and families can opt out for 100% online.
  • Dr. Louis Katz, Scott County Health Department medical director and infectious disease specialist, said in his 40 years of working on infectious disease,“we have never had this level of epidemiology.” Katz also said he thinks the U.S. “should shut down again.”
  • Adolph’s Mexican Food in East Moline sometimes has as many as 900 cars pass through its drive-thru lane these days. It gets 500-600 at the least any day. Before the pandemic, 65% of its business was take-out, so the adjustment has not been that hard.
  • Rock Island County reported an additional death due to COVID-19. The county now has 31 deaths and 1,575 positive tests. Scott County has 11 deaths and 1,549 positive tests.

Saturday, Aug. 1

  • At a time when many Iowans may want more information, according to the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, the state is seemingly using the coronavirus as a means to deflect information requests and delay them.
  • A group of Iowa doctors Saturday, while standing on the steps of the state capital, called for a statewide mandate to wear face coverings to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • East Moline Mayor Reggie Freeman is back performing official mayoral duties after testing positive July 10 for COVID-19. He had mild symptoms but was cleared for work by the county health department and his doctor July 24, and has been back at work. Freeman was also at the city council meeting in person Monday night.
  • Cruise the Canal will go on this fall in Geneseo despite COVID-19, according to the Geneseo Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the event. The actual date has not been decided.
  • 12 Bradley University students tested positive for COVID-19, including some after attending a social gathering after leading freshman orientation.

Sunday, Aug. 2

  • Illinois reported 1,467 new COVID-19 cases with Rock Island County having 10 of them.
  • Though many golf outings are not taking place this summer, Genesis Health Services Foundation will hold its annual golfing fundraiser Aug. 10. The event benefits nursing scholarships.
  • Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley told a small crowd in Mason City that he thinks people will see a new bill to help alleviate the economic pain suffered by citizens in the pandemic by Friday. Eviction moratoriums and extra unemployment benefits are two of the major concerns Congress needs to address in the bill. Grassley said he believes the $600 in the last bill for extra unemployment benefits needs to be lowered because it incentivizes people to stay home rather than work.

Monday, Aug. 3

  • More salaried jobs are being cut at Deere and Co., it announced without saying an exact number. During a year of tariffs and COVID-19, Deere revealed in May net income was projected to be off by $1 billion.
  • COVID-19 stranded a Bettendorf couple for six months on St. Martin in the Caribbean. The couple is now home.
  • Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker warned of big cuts to the Illinois budget if Congress does not come through and pass a bill to help states make up for lost revenue during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Bettendorf Schools adopted a hybrid learning program for this school year’s first nine weeks with the goal to add more in-person learning if the COVID-19 crisis subsides. The state requires at least 50% in person learning.
  • Both Scott and Rock Island counties each added one death from COVID-19, leaving the area with 44 now dead in the Quad-Cities as a result of the virus — 32 from Rock Island County.

Tuesday, Aug. 4

  • At least two Iowa school districts plan to defy Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ reopening plans — Waukee and the Des Moines Public Schools, the latter, the largest district in the state.
  • Arconic in Davenport said its sales are down 38% for the quarter ending June 30, but officials still expressed optimism for future growth. The company said it saved $250 million through “right-sizing.”
  • Health officials urged people to pick up the phone and answer questions from the county health department’s contact tracers.
  • The Pleasant Valley School District is addressing an issue with a teacher that involved a profane social media post regarding Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and her back to school orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Local governments in Iowa are in line to receive $125 million from the CARES Act to help defray losses caused by the pandemic.
  • Ex Quad-Cities River Bandits manager Russ Steinhorn has been called to the major leagues by the St. Louis Cardinals to assist in coaching. Six St. Louis Cardinals’ staff members and seven players tested positive for COVID-19 recently, leading to Steinhorn’s call-up. He managed the River Bandits to the Midwest league title 2017.
  • The Field of Dreams game between the Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Cardinals, scheduled for Dyersville,  has been moved to 2021 due to logistic complications caused by COVID-19. This year’s Aug. 13 game will be played at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago.

Wednesday Aug. 5

  • United Township High School welcomed about 450 freshmen Thursday and Friday for their first official day at school. Among the changes compared to other years no lockers and no lunch in the cafeteria.
  • The COVID-19 death toll in the Quad-Cities is now 46, after each county added one. Rock Island County has 33, Scott County 13.
  • State unemployment fraud cases topped 120,000 in Illinois, 114,000 of which targeted the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
  • Nine nuns from Clinton and Davenport are among the 56 Iowa Catholic sisters who signed a letter urging Sen. Joni Ernst and other Congressional leaders to provide Medicaid funding and extend the $600 unemployment supplement during the COVID-19 crisis.

Thursday, Aug. 6

  • The Rock Island County Health Department reports one additional death and 14 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of deaths in Rock Island County from the virus is now 34. In addition, the health department reports 14 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number to 1,693. Currently, 17 patients are hospitalized in Rock Island County.

Friday, Aug. 7

  • School nurses in East Moline and Silvis expressed concerns about back-to-school plans. They said they know it's best to have kids in the building, but weren't convinced daily screenings would be enough to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak that sends them back home.

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