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Over the past week, Iowa added an average of almost 700 new COVID-19 cases per day — the highest average recorded since February — according to weekly figures released Wednesday by the state.
The new totals were released late Wednesday evening as the state again adjusted the way it reports COVID-19 data. The Iowa Department of Public Health now will release hospitalization data at 11:45 p.m. Wednesdays.
The change comes a little more than a month after health officials announced that the state would no longer update coronavirus data daily, instead shifting to updating numbers on a weekly basis.
Sarah Ekstrand, spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Public Health, said the hospitalization data “updates in the evenings on Wednesdays to ensure that we capture the hospitalization data for the entire week, including data collected Wednesday morning.”
Additionally, she said, updating that portion of the state website at 11:45 p.m. Wednesdays “ensures we are able to capture the complete data posted in the other data sets throughout the day on Wednesday.”
“This page has always been the last to be updated in our update series,” she said in an email to The Gazette.
All other data updates occur Wednesday afternoons, she said.
Over the seven-day period ending Wednesday, 4,872 new COVID-19 cases were added in Iowa, bringing the state’s pandemic total to 387,273.
That worked out to 696 new cases per day, the most since Feb. 10.
Linn County added 381 new cases in the past week, bringing the county’s total number of COVID-19 cases to 22,177. The county’s seven-day average is 54 – the highest recorded since Feb. 6.
Johnson County added 162 cases, bringing its total to 15,066 total. The county’s seven-day average is 23 – the highest reported since Apr. 26.
The state confirmed 17 new deaths in 15 counties. Of those, two were people between the ages of 41 and 60, nine were between 61 and 80, and six were 81 or older.
The deaths occurred between July 9 and Aug. 7.
One of the deaths occurred in Linn County, bringing its pandemic death toll to 344. Crawford and Polk counties reported two deaths each. Other counties reporting one death were Buchanan, Butler, Cherokee, Dallas, Decatur, Grundy, Harrison, Kossuth, Monona, Pottawattamie, Webster and Woodbury.
Across the state, hospitalizations rose from 201 to 355 over the past week – the highest number reported since Feb. 4, according to IDPH data reported Wednesday night.
The number of patients in intensive care units jumped from 61 to 103 – the highest number recorded since Jan. 10 – and the number of patients on ventilators went from 24 to 49 – the highest number reported since Feb. 4.
More than 1.5 million Iowans had been fully vaccinated as of Wednesday afternoon, according to state data.
The number of fully vaccinated Iowans rose by 10,666 over the past week. Now 56.09 percent of Iowans 12 and older are fully vaccinated, or 47.58 percent of Iowa’s total population.
In Linn County, 721 more residents completed a full vaccine series over the past week, bringing the total to 122,169. That’s 67.71 percent of those 16 and older and 53.89 percent of the total population.
In Johnson County, 453 more people became fully vaccinated over the past week, bringing the total to 89,569. That’s 72.05 percent of those 16 and older and 59.26 percent of the total population.
Starting next week, The Gazette will shift its weekly COVID report to Thursdays to ensure readers get the most complete and up-to-date COVID-19 data from the state.
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