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Iowa COVID-19 cases rise, but deaths remain low this week
Johnson County has highest positivity rate in state for second week in a row
The number of new COVID-19 cases continued to increase in Iowa in the past week, but the number of coronavirus deaths in the state remain low.
The state added 2,114 new coronavirus cases in the past seven days, up 23 percent from the 1,716 new cases reported last week, according to new data from the Iowa Department of Public Health.
New cases have been increasing steadily in Iowa for more than a month as the omicron subvariant, BA.2, has become the dominant coronavirus strain in the Midwest and the rest of the country.
By comparison, Iowa reported 478 new cases five weeks ago. In total, the state has reported 765,186 cases of the coronavirus since the pandemic began two years ago.
Johnson County had the highest seven-day positivity rate in the state for the second week in a row, reaching 304 positive tests per 100,000 residents. Last week, it was 247 positive tests per 100,000 residents.
In the past week, the county reported 367 new cases of the coronavirus — the highest weekly total reported since Feb. 16, when the county reported 449 new infections in one week.
Last week, Johnson County reported 305 new infections and 174 the week before. To date, 35,039 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the county since March 2020.
Linn County reported 258 new COVID-19 cases this week, an increase from the 215 cases reported last week and the 103 cases reported four weeks ago.
In total, 52,775 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Linn County since March 2020.
As of April 28, three Iowa counties — Johnson, Poweshiek and Howard — were rated in the “medium” category for COVID-19 transmission levels. All other Iowa counties remained in the “low” category.
Under federal guidelines, people living in areas rated as medium or low no longer need to wear masks indoors or in public spaces.
The number of individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 in the past week in Iowa totaled 86. That compares to the 84 individuals hospitalized with the virus last week, and 63 patients the week before.
Hospitalization totals, however, remain far below the 991 patients hospitalized the week of Jan. 19 at the height of the omicron surge.
The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care has increased for the third week in a row, reaching nine patients statewide as of Wednesday.
That compares to six patients last week and two patients the week before, which was an all-time low.
On Wednesday, the state public health department confirmed four deaths as a result of the coronavirus in Iowa — the lowest number of deaths confirmed in one week since the pandemic began, data shows.
The deaths were reported in Black Hawk County (two), Grundy County (one) and Pottawattamie County (one).
Last week, state public health officials confirmed 19 deaths from the virus, and 31 the week before.
In total, 9,533 Iowans have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March 2020.
No coronavirus-related deaths were reported in Linn or Johnson counties in the past week.
In Linn County, 581 people have died since the pandemic began. In Johnson County, 152 people have died.
Another 2,320 individuals completed a vaccine series in the past seven days, bringing the number of total fully vaccinated Iowans and non-Iowans to 1,922,920 as of Wednesday.
With this week’s additional shots, 62 percent of the state’s total population and 66.1 percent of Iowans aged 5 and older are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
As of Wednesday, an additional 3,517 individuals received their booster shot in the past week, bringing the total number of fully vaccinated and boosted individuals to 1,034,082 in Iowa.
Linn County reported 66.8 percent of the total county population and 71.2 percent of residents aged 5 and older were fully vaccinated as of this week, per the CDC.
Johnson County remains the only county in Iowa that has topped the 70 percent vaccine threshold. As of Wednesday, 72.7 percent of the total county population and 77.2 percent of those aged 5 and older were fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
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John McGlothlen of The Gazette contributed to this report.