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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
For the first time in nearly three months, no Iowans have died as a result of COVID-19 in comparable 24-hour periods, state data released Sunday shows.
But the state continues to see a rise in new cases of the novel coronavirus disease.
In the period between 11 a.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday, Iowa reported no COVID-19 deaths, the first time since April 2 that has happened. Iowa's overall death toll because of the virus stands at 705.
However, the state's rolling seven-day average of new daily COVID-19 cases has steadily risen for eight consecutive days. On June 19, Iowa's weekly average was 267 cases, which has crept upward. On Sunday, the weekly average rose to 363 new cases.
Total new positive cases in the 24-hour period tallied 497, bringing the overall total to 28,430 cases since the virus was first confirmed in Iowa on March 8.
Johnson County has seen a recent spike in COVID-19 cases, which public health officials attribute in part to more young people gathering socially, including in reopened downtown bars and restaurants.
On Sunday, Johnson County, home to the University of Iowa, reported 56 new cases, the 12th day of double-digit increases. Some Iowa City businesses including bars and restaurants have voluntarily closed temporarily in an effort to curb the spread.
Story County, home to Iowa State University, also has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases. Cases there have more than doubled in 10 days, from 332 to 667 total cases.
Hospitalizations, however, are down statewide.
As of Sunday, 118 people were hospitalized because of the virus, down from 131 the day before and the lowest since April 10.
The number of patients in intensive care and patients on ventilators also dropped. The number of COVID-19 patients on ventilators is down from 22 to 18, the lowest since the state first reported those numbers on March 30, when it also reported 18.
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John McGlothlen of The Gazette contributed to this report.