AP: At Midwest state fairs no masks required, vaccines are free

AP: At Midwest state fairs no masks required, vaccines are free. “Nestled between corn dog stands, animal barns and booths touting hot tubs and John Deere tractors, a Hy-Vee pharmacist and several nurses have been administering COVID-19 vaccines at the Iowa State Fair to anyone eligible that wants one. Their booth didn’t have the long lines of more popular attractions, but by Monday more than 150 people had received a shot since the 11-day fair started on Thursday. More than 400,000 people attended the fair in its first four days.”

‘We are capacity now’: Task force says St. Louis hospitals will start sending patients to out-of-area facilities (KSDK)

KSDK: ‘We are capacity now’: Task force says St. Louis hospitals will start sending patients to out-of-area facilities. “St. Louis Metropolitan Task Force head Dr. Alex Garza had a grim message after touring area hospitals on the busiest travel day of 2020 so far: ‘We are at capacity now.’ Garza said that in one hospital, there was one bed for three waiting patients. He expects the Thanksgiving holiday — which traditionally comes with extended-family gatherings, travel, and shopping sprees — will increase local coronavirus cases.”

‘We’re drowning’: COVID cases flood hospitals in America’s heartland (Reuters)

Reuters: ‘We’re drowning’: COVID cases flood hospitals in America’s heartland. “The vital signs of the 30-year-old COVID-19 victim were crashing, and Kearny County Hospital in rural Lakin, Kansas, just wasn’t equipped to handle the case. Miller, Kearny’s chief medical officer – who doubles as the county health officer – called around to larger hospitals in search of an ICU bed. With coronavirus cases soaring throughout Kansas, he said, he couldn’t find a single one.”

New York Times: 1 America, 1 Pandemic, 2 Realities

New York Times: 1 America, 1 Pandemic, 2 Realities. “The pandemic and the nation’s disjointed response have taken the notion of two Americas to a new extreme. As known coronavirus cases in the United States have surpassed 12 million over the course of the pandemic, the daily routines of millions of Americans are now shaped by their ZIP codes and governors and beliefs about the virus: Do they wear masks? Go to school in person or online? Eat out? Get exposed to the virus?”

Associated Press: Surging virus cases get a shrug in many Midwestern towns

Associated Press: Surging virus cases get a shrug in many Midwestern towns. “It’s not that people in Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa and elsewhere don’t realize their states are leading the nation in new cases per capita. It’s that many of them aren’t especially concerned. Wayne County, home to 6,400 people in southern Iowa, has the state’s second-highest case rate, yet its public health administrator, Shelley Bickel, says mask-wearing is rare. She finds it particularly appalling when she sees older people, who are at high risk, shopping at a grocery store without one.”

More than 1,000 in Iowa hospitals; COVID-19 hospitalizations up 84% in past two weeks (Des Moines Register)

Des Moines Register: More than 1,000 in Iowa hospitals; COVID-19 hospitalizations up 84% in past two weeks. “For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic arrived in Iowa, more than 1,000 people were being hospitalized in Iowa with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Hospitalizations have increased dramatically in the past two weeks. On Oct. 25, the state reported a then-record 561 COVID-19 hospitalizations. On Sunday, the state reported 1,034, an increase of about 84%. Sunday’s hospitalizations were up 42 from the day prior.”

Practical Farmers of Iowa: New Midwest Grazing Exchange website aims to connect livestock farmers with landowners in six states across the region

Practical Farmers of Iowa: New Midwest Grazing Exchange website aims to connect livestock farmers with landowners in six states across the region. “The Midwest Grazing Exchange… is a free matchmaking service that aims to connect graziers and landowners in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin. Graziers can search for forage to graze and landowners can search for livestock to graze their land.”

Washington Post: How the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally may have spread coronavirus across the Upper Midwest

Washington Post: How the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally may have spread coronavirus across the Upper Midwest. “Within weeks of the gathering, the Dakotas, along with Wyoming, Minnesota and Montana, were leading the nation in new coronavirus infections per capita. The surge was especially pronounced in North and South Dakota, where cases and hospitalization rates continued their juggernaut rise into October. Experts say they will never be able to determine how many of those cases originated at the 10-day rally, given the failure of state and local health officials to identify and monitor attendees returning home, or to trace chains of transmission after people got sick. Some, however, believe the nearly 500,000-person gathering played a role in the outbreak now consuming the Upper Midwest.”

AP: Virus cases rise in US heartland, home to anti-mask feelings

AP: Virus cases rise in US heartland, home to anti-mask feelings. “Utah has seen its average daily case count more than double from three weeks earlier. Oklahoma and Missouri are regularly recording 1,000 new cases a day, and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, a staunch opponent of mask rules, tested positive this week. Kansas and Iowa are also witnessing a spike in cases. And South Dakota and Idaho are seeing sky-high rates of tests coming back positive.”

BBC: The pandemic is fuelling a surfing boom – in Ohio corn country

BBC: The pandemic is fuelling a surfing boom – in Ohio corn country. “With holidays to beachside destinations scuttled by the pandemic, adventure seekers in America’s Midwest are hitting their local waterways, writes Stephen Starr. In any year but this, landlocked Ohioans would descend in their thousands on the beaches of the Florida panhandle and the Carolinas for summer vacation. The pandemic, unsurprisingly, has changed all that.”

Aberdeen News: Website’s new weather tool to aid farmers in 12 states

Aberdeen News: Website’s new weather tool to aid farmers in 12 states. “Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has debuted a new tool on the Forecast and Assessment of Cropping Systems (FACTS) website that displays weather summaries for every crop reporting district in 12 Midwest states. The weather summaries include data from 1984 through today, updated every month and with information on temperature, precipitation, radiation and other weather indicators — like the number of days with extreme weather rain events, or the number of warm nights.”

HempGrower: Universities Partner to Create a Midwestern Hemp Database, Ask for Grower Participation

HempGrower: Universities Partner to Create a Midwestern Hemp Database, Ask for Grower Participation. “The university extensions of Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Purdue (Indiana) are searching for hemp farmers in their respective states who are willing to provide them with precisely taken crop samples and growing data in exchange for discounted cannabinoid testing. The universities will publish the wealth of data they receive from farmers on the Midwestern Hemp Database, an online tool already brimming with data from the project’s nearly 200 different varieties grown by about 70 registered participants so far.”