116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Nearly 12,000 Iowans — or the equivalent to the population of Oskaloosa — tested positive for the coronavirus this week.
In total, the state added 11,723 new COVID-19 cases, according to a Gazette analysis of state data. The seven-day average of new cases this week was 1,675 — the highest since Jan. 11, when the seven-day average was 1,715.
This week’s jump also is a 40 percent jump over the previous week’s 8,404 new COVID-19 cases, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health numbers.
Children aged 17 and younger was once again the age group with the most new infections reported over the past seven days, remaining at 29 percent of this week’s new cases from the week before.
Cases among this age group have been steadily increasing over the past month. Four weeks ago, the age group’s rate was 13 percent.
The total number of COVID-19 cases reported in Iowa since March 2020 now stands at 428,517.
With 11,723 new cases, the statewide seven-day positivity rate increased slightly this week, to 9.1 percent, compared to 9 percent this past week.
Linn County reported 960 new cases, compared to the 744 recorded last week. That brings the seven-day average to 137 — the highest reported since Nov. 30, 2020 — with a 10.1 percent positivity rate.
The new cases bring the county’s total case count since March 2020 to 25,698.
Johnson County added 399 cases, for a seven day average of 57, the highest since Jan. 13. The positivity rate is 7.1 percent, compared to the 8.3 percent from this past week.
A total of 16,596 county residents have tested positive since March 2020.
All 99 counties continue to experience a high level of community transmission of the virus as of Tuesday, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Residents in all Iowa counties should wear masks in public indoor spaces, even if they are fully vaccinated, according to federal public health recommendations.
As of this week, more than 50 percent of the state’s entire population is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to state data.
Some 1.6 million Iowans — or 50.14 percent of the population — were inoculated against the coronavirus as of Wednesday.
Just among Iowans eligible to receive the vaccine — those aged 12 and older — the vaccination rate is 59.12 percent this week. Among Iowans aged 65 and older, 82.6 percent are fully vaccinated, according to state data.
An additional 126,247 individuals received the first dose of a two-dose series as of this week.
In Linn County, completed vaccinations rose 1,085, meaning 56.48 percent of the population was fully vaccinated as of Wednesday. That also accounts for 70.96 percent of all residents aged 16 and older.
An additional 513 Johnson County residents completed either one- or two-dose vaccine series, bringing the total number of fully vaccinated individuals to 92,367. That’s 61.11 percent of the total population, or 74.30 percent of the population aged 16 and older.
The number of hospitalizations statewide remained at 578, the same as this past week. It’s the highest rate seen in Iowa since Jan. 8.
Patients in intensive-care units dropped slightly, to 157 from 158 this week. Patients on ventilators also decreased to 73 compared to 82 the week before.
Individuals not fully vaccinated account for 87.3 of all ICU patients and 78.3 percent of all COVID-19 hospitalizations, according to the state public health department.
As of Wednesday, there were 38 COVID-19 patients in Linn County hospitals, compared to the 51 hospitalized the previous week, Linn County Public Health data shows.
Those aged 17 and younger accounted for 7 percent of all hospitalizations statewide, the same as the week before.
Iowans between the ages of 70 and 79 account for the largest share of COVID-19 hospitalizations with 23 percent.
Iowa confirmed 64 deaths from 37 counties this week, including 37 deaths from September and 27 that occurred in August.
This week is more than double the count from this past week, when Iowa added 30 individuals to the confirmed statewide death toll.
The statewide death toll from COVID-19 since March 2020 now stands at 6,401.
Among the 64 deaths confirmed this week, 31 were residents aged 61 to 80. Twenty were aged 80 and older and 12 were between the ages of 41 to 60.
One death occurred among the 18-to-40 age group.
Linn County recorded three deaths this week, bringing the countywide total to 353.
Polk County reported the highest death toll statewide with eight deaths confirmed this week. Lee County had seven deaths.
Scott County recorded four deaths and Kossuth confirmed three residents had died. The remaining counties reported one or two deaths each.
More than 31,000 Iowans received a COVID-19 test this week, according to state coronavirus data.
UnityPoint Health-Cedar Rapids said its clinics are experiencing “extremely high volumes” of sick patients requesting COVID-19 tests at its facilities.
As a result, they are urging individuals who are not sick and haven’t been exposed to COVID-19 — but need to be tested for another reason — to consider seeking out other test options. That includes local pharmacies or the county public health department.
“As always, if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, our health care providers want to see individuals as soon as possible — particularly if the individual is high-risk or unvaccinated,” UnityPoint Health officials said in a statement.
Long-term care facility outbreaks
As of Wednesday, 23 long-term care facilities statewide reported an outbreak, which is defined as three or more positive cases among staff and residents. That’s an additional three nursing homes from last week.
Earlier this summer, the number of outbreaks across the state had dropped to zero.
The infection rate among nursing home staff rose at a higher rate than residents, according to new data released by AARP Wednesday. Coronavirus infections increased from 0.33 to 1.68 per 100 staff members in the four weeks ending Aug. 22, compared to the increase from .08 to .36 per 100 residents.
The vaccination rate is lower among staff, with 65 percent of staff in Iowa fully vaccinated compared to 92 percent of nursing home residents as of Aug. 22, according to AARP.
John McGlothlen of The Gazette contributed to this article.
Comments: (319) 398-8469; firstname.lastname@example.org