116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Eighty-six long-term care facilities in Iowa reported COVID-19 outbreaks in the past week — more than five times the number of facilities reporting outbreaks six weeks ago.
It’s the most facilities with outbreaks since Jan. 12, 2021, which was less than a month after the first COVID-19 vaccines began arriving in Iowa.
And while the number of new cases and hospitalizations is decreasing statewide, 184 COVID-19-related deaths were reported in the past week, the highest since the 199 reported Feb. 10 last year.
The outbreaks in nursing homes — three or more cases among residents and staff — has been rapidly increasing in recent weeks as the highly contagious omicron variant of the novel coronavirus has spread across the state.
Last week, 63 Iowa facilities reported outbreaks. Three weeks ago, it was 25. On Dec. 15, it was 16, according to the state Department of Public Health weekly reports.
New COVID-19 infections, however, dropped this week from the previous Wednesday, when the state had the highest number of new cases in a single week ever reported during the pandemic.
Iowa on Wednesday reported 34,949 new COVID-19 cases in the past week, with an overall seven-day positivity rate of 24.1 percent, state coronavirus data shows.
Last week, the state public health department reported 38,574 new infections and a seven-day positivity rate of 26.2 percent.
To date, almost 700,000 cases of COVID-19 — 699,849 — have been reported in Iowa since March 2020.
The number of new cases also decreased in Johnson and Linn counties.
Johnson County ended its weekslong streak of record-breaking new infections. It reported 2,079 new cases in the past week, a decline from the 2,364 reported last week. The county’s seven-day positivity rate — 26.5 percent — is the same as last week.
Linn County reported 2,593 new infections, a decline from the 3,078 reported last week. The county’s seven-day positivity rate increased slightly, to 27.8 percent, compared last week’s 27.6 percent.
All 99 counties in Iowa remain in the “red zone” of maximum community transmission of the virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
After a dramatic increase in recent weeks, the number of people being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals statewide dropped to 929 in the past week.
By comparison, 991 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized last week.
This week, the number of virus patients in intensive care dropped to 165, down from 182 the week before. The number of patients on ventilators decreased to 77, down from 95 last week.
The number of children hospitalized with COVID-19 increased this week, however, rising to 35 from 32 last week. Among those, only four of the children were fully vaccinated, state data shows.
Those aged 17 and younger represented 5 percent of new hospital admissions this week, compared to last week’s 6 percent. Those in the 18 to 29 age group represent 9 percent of the admissions, compared to last week’s 13 percent.
The percent of hospitalized who are not fully vaccinated has decreased for five consecutive weeks.
Of the 929 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 this past week, 63.6 percent were not fully vaccinated, according to state public health officials.
Those not fully vaccinated account for 68.5 percent of those in intensive care.
The statewide COVID-19 death toll rose to 8,501, with 184 deaths reported in the past week due to the virus.
That is the highest weekly total since 199 deaths were reported Feb. 10 last year. Among this week’s confirmed death toll, the age groups were:
- 18 to 40 — 5
- 41 to 60 — 32
- 61 to 80 — 89
- 80 and older — 58
Linn County reported 12 deaths in the past week, bringing the countywide death toll since March 2020 to 513.
With one additional death confirmed this week, Johnson County’s COVID-19 death toll is 121 since March 2020.
As of Wednesday, another 7,612 Iowans completed the coronavirus vaccine series in the past week.
That brings the total number of fully vaccinated Iowans to 1,796,088 — 56.93 percent of the state’s population and 60.69 percent of the population aged 5 and older.
Thousands of Iowans continue to receive a booster dose, with 22,817 getting the extra shot in the past week. That brings the number of fully vaccinated individuals with a booster dose to 939,309.
In Linn County, an additional 609 residents became fully vaccinated in the past week. The 144,552 county residents now fully vaccinated represent 63.76 percent of the total population and 67.99 percent of the population aged 5 and older.
In Johnson County, another 336 individuals became fully vaccinated, bring the county total to 103,223. That’s 68.30 percent of the total population and 72.47 percent of the population aged 5 and older is fully vaccinated.
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John McGlothlen of The Gazette contributed to this report.