The Clay County Board of Supervisors approved by a 3-2 vote a regulation that requires people to wear face coverings when in public and unable to stay six feet from others and when in certain indoor public settings. The regulation applies to all townships and incorporated cities in Clay County. However, those municipalities can opt out by approving ordinances of their own. The regulation will go into effect following publication in the Spencer Daily Reporter. It contains no penalty for violations.
The Spencer Regional Healthcare Foundation has provided a $1 million gift toward a technology enhancement for radiation oncology services offered by the Abben Cancer Center of Spencer Hospital. The generous gift represents contributions from hundreds of donors who have supported the cancer center in recent years, along with proceeds from the annual Abben Cancer Center Golf Classic. The $1 million gift makes up approximately 25 percent of the project costs.
“The foundation board was thrilled to make a substantial contribution to this project, as Spencer Hospital further advances cancer treatment in the region,” commented Pat Reno, foundation president. “In the mid-1990s, foundation leadership and community volunteers orchestrated a major fund-raising campaign to build and equip the cancer center. The cancer center is truly a gift for the community, by the community.”
Since Abben Cancer Center opened in 1997, Spencer Hospital has continually upgraded technology to offer patients optimal care.
Spencer Hospital’s Clinical Instructor, Jeff Messerole, was a recipient of the Experienced Provider award presented by Wings Air Rescue – a private air medical helicopter service operating out of Sioux City, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia. Wings Air Rescue provides air medical transport for critically ill and injured patients from referring hospitals and accident scenes to tertiary care facilities. The Experienced Provider award is presented each quarter by the company to an experienced provider in their respective services areas and acknowledges their contribution in advancing the education of EMS providers by sharing their experiences. Messerole was chosen in March, but due to COVID concerns, Wings Air Rescue was unable to present the award until now. “To me, it is an honor when recognized by my peers, as there are so many educators out there doing great work,” said Messerole.
The 2020 season for Mainstreet Market has been cancelled. Originally set to be five Thursday nights this summer beginning July 16, the Mainstreet Market had already been scaled back to only three nights.
Following the cancellation of the Clay County Fair the Spencer Alliance for a Creative Economy (SPACE) Board decided to cancel the remain three nights, Spencer Main Street Executive Director Nancy Naeve told the Signal.
In its place, SPACE will offer two events at Arts on Grand. On August 6 and August 13 artists will be selling items, with five artists selling at a time.
The hope is that it will be easier to social distance.
On August 6, The Iowa Project Brewing Company will have drinks available. Guests are asked to enter Arts on Grand through the back door and exit out the front.
Anyone watching Monday’s Spencer City Council meeting online or in person would have noticed a couple of social distancing-inspired seating changes. Council members and city staff were more spread out, with each of the council members sitting at individual tables. Mayor Kevin Robinson, city staff and Ward 1 City Councilman Tom Nelson also wore masks inside during the meeting. “We’re trying to spread out,” Robinson said during the meeting. “We’re trying to keep everybody safe and that’s why you’ll see people spread out all over the council room here tonight.”
At the end of the meeting, Robinson closed by praising the community on how it has handled COVID-19.
One person from Clay County has died due to COVID-19, according to data updated Wednesday by the Iowa Department of Public Health. This is the county’s first reported death during the pandemic. No other information about the individual is available. As of Wednesday afternoon, Clay County has 141 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). IDPH provides a breakdown of cases by age group.
Clay, Dickinson emergency management, public health teams issue joint statement on COVID-19, 4th of July
Note: Below is a joint statement from the emergency management and public health teams from Clay and Dickinson counties regarding COVID-19 and Fourth of July celebrations. To residents and visitors of Clay & Dickinson counties:
As we prepare to enjoy Fourth of July week and upcoming celebrations in our beautiful Iowa Great Lakes region, we wish to remind you that Independence Day is founded on sacrifices, which includes a history of Americans giving up personal comforts to enhance wellbeing for all. The public health and emergency management teams of Clay and Dickinson counties are teaming up to ask you to make just a few simple adjustments in your holiday weekend plans to help protect the health of our communities. Together, we can make a difference in minimizing the continued spread of COVID-19 locally. Protect others – Wear a mask in places where social distancing is difficult to maintain.
The Clay County Fair Association announced today that the 2020 edition of “The World’s Greatest County Fair” will not be held and will be postponed to September 11-19, 2021. The decision, announced following a vote by the Fair Executive Committee, was made amid concerns over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. After weeks of exploring various options, it became clear that the Fair could not protect the health and safety of fairgoers, staff, volunteers, 4-H/FFA youth, exhibitors, vendors, sponsors, and entertainers during the nine-day event. “The decision to postpone the Fair came with emotion and somewhat disbelief that it was really happening,” said Fair Association Board Chairman Charlie Elser. “But with lots of input from our partners and work by our staff, the decision was the right one.
Clay County Fair and Events officials want to know how comfortable people are with the idea of attending the Clay County Fair in 2020. As of now, the major annual event in Spencer is still on for September 12-20, but officials have sent out a survey to get more input. “A decision on what the 2020 fair will look like is going to require a pretty big toolbox of things to really kind of put together a full picture,” Clay County Fair and Events CEO and Manager Jeremy Parsons said. “And one of those tools that will be in the toolbox will be the results of the survey.”
The survey asks people to answer questions that will gauge their “comfort levels,” Parsons said, about attending the fair this year. It also tries to see what people may need to feel more comfortable at the fair.
“That’s just one of the tools that we will be using as we plan for the 2020 fair,” Parsons said.
Clay County has reached more than 100 cases of COVID-19. As of 5 p.m. Friday, the Iowa Department of Public Health has reported 102 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Clay County. Clay County Public Health has reported 57 people have recovered. Clay County has added about five cases per day this week, continuing last week’s sharp upward trend. Officials feared the possibility of a spike.
As Iowa begins to open up, Clay County and surrounding counties are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases. The Iowa Department of Public Health reported 59 confirmed cases in Clay County as of Friday evening. That’s an increase of 17 cases in a week. At a press conference Thursday, Spencer Mayor Kevin Robinson said the community’s COVID-19 task force, which meets daily and includes city, county and public health officials, expected the early June peak in cases. “We had prepared for that,” Robinson said.