A resident of Riverview Terrace Assisted Living in Spencer died August 20 after contracting COVID-19, becoming Clay County’s second death attributed to the novel coronavirus. Marjorie Ann Dalen, 89, contracted the disease and “passed suddenly,” according to an obituary on Warner Funeral Home’s website. Clay County earlier this month had a notable rise in confirmed cases, at least some of which are connected to Riverview Terrace. The Signal reported on August 12 that multiple cases among residents and staff had been confirmed at the facility. Riverview Terrace officials have acknowledged the outbreak but are not providing specific information about confirmed cases to the public due to tenant privacy laws.
Update: Riverview Terrace Assisted Living issued a press release on August 13 confirming that it has experienced an outbreak of COVID-19. The full press release is below, followed by the original article. Press release (August 13):
Riverview Terrace Assisted Living, a division of St. Luke Homes & Services, is reporting an outbreak of Covid-19. Representatives of Riverview Terrace, Spencer, has notified immediate family members, tenants and staff, but due to tenant privacy laws, officials are unable to share any further specific information about the confirmed cases.
The draft of the Return to Learn Plan for the Spencer Community School District that was released earlier this week describes three ways the district could return to school next month. Spencer Schools are scheduled to begin classes on August 24 for grades 9-12 and August 25 for grades K-8. How classes look when students are asked to begin, though, comes down to the Return to Learn Plan. The plan, as its introduction describes, “is intended to assist staff, students and families in providing direction and clarification for the return to learning in the fall.” The plan, an effort to create a safe environment as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, provides descriptions of roles and responsibilities for “stakeholders” based on three possible scenarios for how school classes may look: in-person, completely remote or online learning, or a hybrid model of the two.
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.
A total of 523 Clay County businesses and organizations received Paycheck Protection Program loans that they indicated would help retain 4,476 jobs, according to data from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and U.S. Treasury Department released the data on Monday for loans made under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The Signal has gathered data on the 523 PPP loan recipients in Spencer and throughout Clay County. That data is below. You can also view the data here.
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 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.