CORONAVIRUS

Another 5 Iowans die from coronavirus

Daily testing hits new high, yet shy of goal

A National Guard member waves through a car Thursday at the Test Iowa coronavirus testing site at the Kirkwood Community
A National Guard member waves through a car Thursday at the Test Iowa coronavirus testing site at the Kirkwood Community College Continuing Education Training Center in Cedar Rapids. Those wishing to be tested must have an appointment. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

Iowa’s daily death toll from the novel coronavirus has not been lower than the five reported Sunday for two weeks.

In a 24-hour period ending at 11 a.m. Sunday, the total state death tally from COVID-19 was 533. Another 345 positive cases over the period were reported for a total of 19,487 since the disease was confirmed March 8 in Iowa.

The five deaths reported Sunday tied the number reported for a similar period May 23. On May 17, four deaths as a result of the virus were reported.

Three of the deaths reported Sunday were in Polk County, which remains the state’s worst hot spot for the disease with 126 deaths and 4,225 known cases. Linn and Wapello counties each reported one death.

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While Polk County reports the most deaths and positives cases, it also has the state’s highest number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 — 1,798, followed by western Iowa’s Woodbury County with 1,6476. Overall, the state Department of Public Health reported, 11,062 Iowans have recovered.

The period also shows the highest number of daily tests conducted so far. The 4,840 total is a little shy of the goal of 5,000 tests a day set by Gov. Kim Reynolds.

She has said the $26 million Test Iowa program announced more than a month ago would hit 3,000 tests a day and another 2,000 would come other testing options. However, the state does not disclose data showing where these tests are conducted, making it impossible for the public to know whether the Test Iowa program is working as intended.

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The number of people hospitalized from the virus dropped by 27, from 368 to 341 — the single biggest daily decline.

The next phase of the governor’s reopening of the state takes effect Monday. Under her latest order, Reynolds is permitting casinos and gaming facilities to reopen, as well as amusement parks, outdoor performance venues, bowling alleys, pool halls and arcades — but at all half capacity and according to social distancing, hygiene and public health guidelines.

The order also allows for community, leisure and non-school recreational and sporting gatherings and events of more than 10 people if public health measures are implemented.

John McGlothlen of The Gazette contributed to this report.

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Our most important Coronavirus coverage is free to the public.

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All donations are tax-deductible.