COVID-19

COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are available

BV Public Health has Moderna, J&J in stock
Pfizer also offered at pharmacies

Area public health authorities have stocked thousands of COVID-19 shots in anticipation of federal authorities approving the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines as boosters. Public Health Administrator Julie Sather told The Storm Lake Times the agency’s supplies of both vaccine brands are sufficient for those who are eligible for a booster shot. She said on Thursday morning the agency […]

BVRMC requiring staff to receive COVID-19 vaccine


Buena Vista Regional Medical Center will require all staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 ahead of the holiday season. In a letter Friday to employees, CEO Rob Colerick acknowledged that vaccinations as a condition of employment is a matter that “causes much conversation and feelings,” but ultimately allows BVRMC to provide the “safest possible environment” for patients and insure stability operating […]

BV Covid load surges to its highest level this year

Over 100 new cases in 2 weeks

Over 100 Buena Vista County residents tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks, a rate near record transmission for 2021, according to the state’s coronavirus monitoring website. The state website reported Thursday afternoon 112 residents tested positive since Aug. 13. The last time that many county residents contracted the virus was late January, when access to vaccines wasn’t […]

Storm Lake man lost both of his parents to COVID-19

José was laid back, Lidia was tough 

While most of us anticipate a summer when we can forget about Covid, one Storm Lake family won’t forget. They lost both parents to the virus.  José Florentino Estrada, 90, died Nov. 13, 2020, and his wife Lidia Valadez-Chavez, 73, died Feb. 11. Both lived in Storm Lake for the past five years.  Grieving the loss are their 12 children: […]

Food workers to get shots this week

2,300 J&J doses bound for Tyson, Rembrandt employees

Employees at area food processing plants are expected to receive up to 2,300 doses of coronavirus vaccine by the end of this week, which could bring the county’s inoculation rate up to a quarter of its Census population. Buena Vista County Public Health Administrator Julie Sather told The Storm Lake Times in an email Sunday night employees Rembrandt Foods in […]

Editorial: Why are we so far behind? 


Buena Vista County has one of the lowest Covid vaccination rates in a state with the 46th-lowest rate. Clay and Carroll Counties, the same size, have vaccinated twice as many. Cherokee County, far smaller than Buena Vista, has vaccinated nearly as many, 539 v. 549. What with all the health care workers and Tyson and the university and the elderly you […]

Tyson tries to secure COVID-19 vaccines for workers

Working with consultant independent of public health scheduling

Tyson Foods’ is expected to deploy an independent vaccination infrastructure for its 3,500 Storm Lake employees in the coming months. A news release the company issued on Wednesday said the company will “deploy mobile health clinics and expert clinical staff to support vaccine communications, administration and counseling at Tyson Foods facilities beginning in early 2021 and continuing throughout the year.” […]

The top local sports stories of 2020

SL native Bjorkgren becoming an NBA head coach tops list
Newell-Fonda girls repeating state hoops title comes in at No. 2

It was an uncharacteristic year for sports in the Storm Lake area in 2020. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which began in March, changed the landscape for teams in many sports. It cancelled the entire spring sports seasons for track and field, golf, soccer and tennis teams. High school teams were then allowed to participate in baseball and softball, […]

Local health system able to cope with Covid flow so far

Hospitals near capacity but keep transfers down

UnityPoint Health believes it has successfully managed months of heightened traffic in the hospital network containing Buena Vista County amid the coronavirus pandemic, as transfers have been kept to a minimum and capacity hasn’t been exceeded.  James Roetman, the CEO of Pocahontas Community Hospital and UnityPoint’s liaison to the BVRMC, told the hospital board on Monday the closest the system […]

Reynolds: ‘Iowa is ready’ for distribution of COVID-19 vaccines when available


Gov. Kim Reynolds said Tuesday Iowa is ready to distribute COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are available. “The availability of a COVID-19 vaccine will be a significant step forward for our nation and our state,” Reynolds said. “Vaccines will reduce COVID-related illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths and further advance our overall recovery to the pandemic.” Pfizer has applied to the […]