JOHNSTON — Buoyed by the prospects of a COVID-19 vaccine and encouraging shifts toward fewer cases and hospitalizations, Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday urged Iowans to stay vigilant during the holidays by following mitigation strategies to protect vulnerable people and keep businesses open.
“Iowa is ready,” said Reynolds, telling reporters she was optimistic that the state could begin receiving federally approved vaccination doses as early as December. Public health officials, she said, have a “fast-track” strategy to prioritize, allocate, distribute, transport, dispense and administer state-allocated vaccines through existing infrastructure based on availability.
Initial supplies likely will be limited, the governor noted, and “It will take some time for the vaccine to become widely available.” So the immediate targeted focus will be on immunizing first responders, Iowans who provide critical care and maintain critical infrastructure, and people with the highest risk for developing serious illness from the virus,
While any one of the three vaccines awaiting final approval “will be a significant step forward” in advancing Iowa’s overall pandemic recovery, said Reynolds, the immediate concern is the approaching holiday season and concern a new spike in cases, hospitalizations and deaths could happen if Iowans don’t adjust family traditions.
“I still believe that together we can keep the numbers trending in the right direction,” she said in pushing a stay-the-course approach to flatten Iowa’s coronavirus curve, which is ranked fifth worst in the nation by a White House task force.
Reynolds’ news conference came on a day Iowa reported 3,872 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total since March to 215,612. Another 19 Iowans died from the disease over a 24-hour period, bringing the toll to 2,224. Hospitalizations ticked up to 1,351 after five days of declines.
Outbreaks at long-term care facilities remained a problem, with the number rising to 144 with 4,572 individuals having tested positive and the centers accounting for 1,008 of Iowa’s COVID-19 deaths.
“No one has been untouched by this pandemic but for some the burden has been far heavier to carry, especially those who are grieving the loss of a loved one this holiday season. My heart goes out to you and your family,” the governor told a news conference at Iowa PBS studios.
“I believe that peace will soon be restored and our lives returned to normal if we continue our work together,” she added, telling Iowans “no challenge is bigger than our ability to overcome it. We don’t back down from difficulty.”
Earlier this month, Reynolds issued public health orders including a partial requirement for face masks in public — a mandate she had eschewed for weeks as unnecessary, having said she trusts Iowans to do the right thing without government orders. Her new orders include a requirement that anyone in a public indoor setting while also within 6 feet of other people for at least 15 minutes must wear a face mask.
“We have seen stabilization for sure, possibly maybe a trend down, but it is way, way, way too early to say this is really a trend. So we’re going to continue to monitor it and see if there’s other things that we need to do,” she told reporters.
The governor declined to change any of the public health orders currently in place, saying her goal “is to be very targeted with the mitigation efforts that we’ve put in place where we think we can have a significant impact.”
Reynolds said she and her public health team continue to monitor COVID-19 data and stand ready to “dial up and dial down depending on what we see.” But that requires finding a balance between protecting the lives and livelihoods of Iowans, she said.
“It’s hard on these business owners when they see their investment that they’ve put into this business be wiped away,” she said. “I’m hoping that there will be additional CARES money to help them get through this because it wasn’t their fault that we had to shut them down.”
Reynolds for months had dismissed calls for a mask mandate from public health and medical officials outside her administration — and from local officials, including in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, who acted on their own even as Reynolds said they do not have the authority.
She did, however, encourage Iowans to wear masks as part of an overall strategy that includes social distancing, washing hands and staying home when sick.
Asked if she should have acted sooner to impose new restrictions this month, the governor told reporters “it’s easy to second guess and I appreciate the opportunity that you all have.”
“You have to be careful about over-mitigating to people and having them still feel like they’re part of the answer, the solution and we’re not over-acting,” she said.
From the outset, Reynolds said her administration has been aggressive in providing testing, personal protective equipment, limiting visitations and taking other steps to address outbreaks at long-term care facilities.
Many Iowans are battling “COVID fatigue,” she said, but they continue to “do the right thing” and are “stepping up” to slow community spread of the disease in anticipation of a vaccine.
Thank you for all the cards I received for my 96th birthday. Each card held a special memory. Thanks for the memories.
Kaylah Godfrey attains Master's
Congratulations to Kaylah Godfrey who graduated with honors from UNI on November 28th with her Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology. She will be starting her job with Central Rivers Area Education Agency in January as a school SLP.
We are so very proud of you Kaylah.
Love, from the Godfrey & Hepperly families.
Ted Wisman, 80
This awesome guy is celebrating his 80th birthday on January 3rd.
Please help us celebrate with a card shower. Wishes can be sent to 20722 Poplar Avenue, Mason City, IA 50401.
All our Love, Your Wife & Family
Happy 50th Anniversary!
Steve and Shelley (Stanton) Moore of Mason City were married January 1, 1971 at the Zion Lutheran Church in Clear Lake, IA. They have two children, daughter Shannon (Mike) Janssen of Mason City and son Zach (Kelly) Moore with two grandchildren Zoey and Kellan of Sewickley, PA. Family fur babies are Sparky, KC and Shelby. Family will celebrate when they can all be together in 2021. Here's to a Happy NEW Year everyone!
THANK YOU hardly seems enough to say for all the cards I received for my 80th birthday.
I enjoyed and appreciated each one.
May God Bless you for your thoughtfulness.
Prayer to Saint Anthony
Thank you St. Anthony for helping DM find what had been lost and for all my prayers you have interceded for me. RP
This prayer to St. Anthony asks for help in finding missing items:
Saint Anthony, perfect imitator of Jesus, who received from God the special power of restoring lost things, grant that I may find (mention your petition) which has been lost. At least restore to me peace and tranquility of mind, the loss of which has afflicted me even more than my material loss.
To this favor I ask another of you: that I may always remain in possession of the true good that is God. Let me rather lose all things than lose God, my supreme good. Let me never suffer the loss of my greatest treasure, eternal life with God. Amen.
Leo Chisholm, 90
90th birthday, Leo Chisholm
No big party this time due to the virus. So we decided to have a card shower for dad.
Send cards to Leo Chisholm at 5 Presidential Court, Osage, Iowa 50461.
His birthday is December 24th. Thank you and Merry Christmas!
Thank you so much for all the cards we received for our 60th Wedding Anniversary. We appreciate everyone thinking about us and taking the time to send a card!
Wendell and Karen Westphal
Idona Schott, 105
Idona (Gesme) Schott will be celebrating her 105th birthday on December 26, 2020. Idona holds the record for longevity in the Gesme lineage.
In lieu of a party due to the pandemic in Iowa, she would enjoy a card, a letter, or even a phone call of congratulations sent to her at 300 Second Street NE, Apt 300, Mason City, Iowa 50401.
Schroeder, 50 years
Happy 50th Anniversary Perry and Sandi Schroeder!
Perry and Sandi Schroeder of Garner were married December 19, 1970.
Celebrating with them are their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Doris Boehnke, 93
Doris Boehnke will turn 93 on December 23rd.
Birthday wishes for Doris can be sent to her at 1030 260th Street, Ventura, IA 50482.
Happy Birthday Mom from your kids, grandkids and great-grandkids. We hope you have a wonderful day!!
FOR OUR SON BEN HANSON
WE’LL MISS YOU AT CHRISTMAS
You never said I’m leaving,
You never said goodbye.
You were gone before I knew it,
And only God knew why.
A million times I needed you,
A million times I cried.
If love alone could have saved you,
You never would have died.
In life I loved you dearly,
In death I love you still.
In my heart you hold a place,
That no one could ever fill.
It broke my heart to lose you,
But you didn’t go alone.
For part of me went with you,
The day God took you home.
WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH
Prayer to Saint Expedite
Thank you St. Expedite for helping with my mom's health scare. RP
Prayer to Saint Expedite for Urgent Need
Prayer to Saint Expedite for Urgent Need
Our dear martyr and protector, Saint Expediter,
you who know what is necessary and
what is urgently needed.
I beg you to intercede before the Holy Trinity,
that by your grace my request will be granted.
(Clearly express what you want,
and ask him to find a way to get it to you.)
May I receive your blessings and favors.
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen
If Saint Expedite grants your request,
place an ad in the newspaper thanking Saint Expedite,
so that his name and fame will grow.
Wilson, 50 years
Happy 50th Anniversary Mom & Dad!
Gordon and Linda Wilson are celebrating 50 years of marriage. They were married December 18, 1970. Celebrating with them is their son Bryan and daughter-in-law Ashley, and 2 grandchildren Hannah and Harper Wilson. Cards can be sent to them at: 5 Crystal Heights Place, Ventura, IA 50482. A family party will be planned at a later date.
DeEtta Pearce, 90
DeEtta (Nemmers) Pearce, of Mason City, will celebrate her 90th birthday December 19, 2020.
DeEtta has six children: Randy (Mary Kay) Pearce, Plymouth, MN; Rick (Colleen) Pearce, Rockwell; Ron (Arlina - deceased) Pearce, Ankeny; Roger (Dee) Pearce, Mason City; Rob (JoAnn) Pearce, Mason City; and Deb (Todd) Kalkwarf, Aplington. She has 15 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Cards and well wishes may be sent to DeEtta at: 603 S Tennessee Pl, Mason City, IA 50401.
Happy birthday! We all love you so very much!
Jackie Eden, 80
is turning 80 years
~ young ~
on December 14th!
Help her celebrate with birthday wishes,
notes, memories or photos
PO Box 83
333 Way Avenue
Woden, IA 50484
Root - 50th Anniversary
Leon and Bev Root will celebrate 50 years of marriage on December 27, 2020. Their family invites everyone to shower them with cards for their celebration.
Please send cards and memories to Leon and Bev Root, 930 200th St, Latimer, IA 50452.
A big thank you to our family for making our 50th anniversary celebration wonderful, even under the circumstances of Covid concerns.
Thanks to all our family & friends for the all cards and best wishes. We deeply appreciate all of you!
Bob & Phyllis Rodgers
Patty Smith, 90
Patty Smith of Mason City will celebrate her 90th birthday December 16th!
Please help her celebrate with a card or good wishes.
Cards/messages can be sent to 1634 Fourth Street SW, Mason City, IA. 50401.
Noon Rotary Club December Student of the Month, Nguyen Cao
Nguyen Cao, a senior at Mason City High School, was chosen as the Noon Rotary Club Student of the Month for December. She is the daughter of Tuan Cao and Ai Pham, and sister of Kiet and Louis Cao.
Nguyen has been a member of Mason City High School choir for three years, art club for two years, and science club for one year. She is also a member of the National Honor Society. Her community service includes volunteering at One Vision and school community services day.
Nguyen plans to attend Iowa State University to pursue a degree in apparel design and architecture.
Congratulations to Anamaria Canchola's National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) Virtual Induction on December 2, 2020. Master of Social Work Program at Walden University - Concentration: Advanced Clinical Practice. Anticipating graduation in summer 2021. Anamaria was awarded Phi Alpha Honor Society in August 2019. In August 2018, Anamaria accepted an academic scholarship of $12,000 from Walden University. We are very proud of you, Steve, Aaron, & Anthony Canchola
Bernice Kirk, 101
Bernice Kirk is celebrating her 101st birthday on December 11, 2020. Because of the covid, there will be no party, but cards are welcome.
Her address is as follows:
216 Third Street North
PO Box 613
Rockwell, Iowa 50469
Nicholas, 70 years
Bill and Mary Lou Nicholas are celebrating 70 years of marriage. They were married December 17, 1950, at the First Methodist Church in Mason City, IA. Celebrating with them are their 3 sons Bill (Barb) Nicholas, Greg (Julie) Nicholas, Jeff (JoAnn) Nicholas, 5 grandchildren Carolyn (Gabe) Haugland, Greg (Erin) Nicholas, Emily (Cory) Gerdts, Andrew (Paige) Nicholas, Victoria Nicholas and 9 great-grandchildren. Cards can be sent to them at: 3554 Ocean Drive 704S, Vero Beach, FL 32963.
Margery Demaray, 90
Margery Field Demaray celebrated her 90th birthday in her home at 1717 Indigo Avenue, Rudd, Iowa. Margie is the Mother of five sons and their wives, Roger and Lou Ann, Ron and Ellen, Randy and Wendy, Rick and Julie and Russ and Candy. Grandmother to 12 and Great Grandmother to 22.
Alta Hansen, 96
Alta Hansen, lifelong resident of Mason City, will celebrate her 96th birthday on December 18th. She is happy, healthy, and looking forward to the future and the vaccine. Please help us celebrate Alta with a card or kind word. Greetings may be sent to her at 812 16th N.E., Mason City, Iowa 50401.
Thank you to my family and friends for all the cards and greetings you sent me on my 90th birthday.
You gave me a wonderful day of great memories.
Harlan, 50 years
Pat and Carol (Josten) Harlan of Clear Lake celebrated their 50th anniversary with a small family supper in Colorado.
They were married on November 28, 1970, at the St. Boniface Catholic Church in Garner, Iowa.
The couple call Clear Lake home and love going out on the water with friends and family. They also spend time in Venice, Florida, where they enjoy biking, playing pickle-ball and going to the beach.
The Harlan's have two children, Sean (Colleen) and Theresa. They also have two granddaughters, Alayna and Evaline.
Happy 50th Birthday Brad Hill
Please help us wish this very special guy a Happy 50th Birthday on December 11th. Cards and wishes may be sent to him at 323 Lakeview Dr., Mason City, IA 50401.
All our love to you Bradley ~ your family
How grateful we are for all the cards, calls, messages and various other ways you made our anniversary very special.
Thank you each and every one of you.
Bud and Pauline Johnson
Dorothy Kahl, 80
Dorothy Kahl of Mason City, formerly of Nora Springs, will be celebrating her 80th birthday on December 17, 2020. Join her children Robert Kahl, Daniel Kahl and Jill (Kahl) Ritch as we commemorate this milestone with a card shower. Well wishes can be sent to 501 S Tennessee Place #302, Mason City, IA 50401-4338.
Lois Goeman, 90
Lois Goeman will turn 90 on December 8th. Help us in celebrating her birthday with a card shower. Birthday wishes can be sent to Lois at: 215 Country Club Drive Apt A, Belmond, Iowa 50421.
Willert, 25 years
Looks like we made it! 25 YEARS! SO much to be THANKFUL for! Scott & Lori Willert of 4211 Tulip Lane (Bolan), Kensett, IA 50448, married November 18, 1995. Thanks to our parents Joe & Linda (Koppen) Nydegger of Bolan and Carrol (and late Ruth) Willert of Thompson. Thanks to our children Kelsie & Cole attending UNI. Thanks to our relatives, church family, and friends who shared the past 25 years with us!
We are very grateful to our children, Kelli Duren and Chris Holahan, for organizing our 50th Wedding Anniversary announcement.
Thank you to all of our family and friends for the thoughts and gifts you shared with us.
Patrick and Diana Holahan
Larsen, 50 years
Rick and Linda Larsen are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary November 28th. They were married at St. Peters Lutheran Church in Lamont, Iowa.
They have a daughter Lori Hillman (son in law Arlington), son Charles, and three grandchildren, Kyle, Jessica, and Callie. Please join them in celebrating. Cards may be sent to: 2024 Lime Kiln Road, Osage, Iowa 50461.
Butterfield, 70 years
William Roland Butterfield and Martha Jean (Baker) Butterfield, of Mason City, Iowa, were married December 1, 1950, at the Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa. They are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary. Cards and wishes may be sent to them at 15696 Nettle Ave, Mason City, IA 50401. They have six children, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Married at 17 and 19 years old, Bill and Martha’s love and precious union has been for 25,568 days. They have had the courage and the faith to walk hand in hand along the path of God’s own plan he laid out for them that amazing day, December 1, 1950. Bill and Martha have been entrepreneurs in the Mason City area for decades owning businesses, rental properties and Butterfield Farm.
Many thanks to my family and friends for all the cards, calls, and flowers I received for my birthday.
I am so grateful.
Betty Taylor, 90
Betty Taylor, formerly of Swaledale, will celebrate her 90th birthday on December 4, 2020.
Due to the pandemic, a family celebration will not be possible. Betty would be greatly blessed by a card shower from family and friends.
Cards can be sent to:
Rockwell Care Center
707 Elm St East
Rockwell, IA 50469
Happy 70th Anniversary
Kenneth and Ruth Benjegerdes - November 26, 2020
Love from your family: Steven, Karen, Marian, Barbara, and Gary
It’s happening. It just got real.
Stan is retiring.
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