CORONAVIRUS

COVID-19 hospitalizations dip below 250 for first time since August

State reports 738 new virus cases, 27 deaths

(Dreamstime/TNS)
(Dreamstime/TNS)

The number of people being treated for COVID-19 in Iowa’s hospitals Friday is the lowest total seen in the state since August.

Hospitalizations dropped from 274 to 249, marking the first time hospitalizations have dipped below 250 since Aug. 12, when the count was 243, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health,

The number of patients in intensive care also dropped from 64 to 59, while patients on ventilators edged upward from, from 26 to 33.

NEW CASES

Iowa reported 738 new COVID-19 cases and 27 new, confirmed deaths during the 24-hour period ending at 11 a.m. Friday.

The new numbers bring the state’s total number of virus cases to 327,995 and deaths to 5,223 since last March when the virus first appeared in Iowa.

The new cases come from 3,358 tests in the 24-hour period. Iowa’s seven-day average of new cases is 667.

Linn County on Friday reported 33 new cases, bringing the county’s total to 19,023 since March. The county’s seven-day average is 33.

Johnson County reported 28 new cases, bringing its total to 12,783. The county’s seven-day average is 24.

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Of the new cases, 153 were reported in youths up to age 18, bringing the number of Iowa minors infected with the virus to 36,505 since March.

One new case was reported among education workers during the 24-hour period, brining that total to 7,717.

DEATHS

The 27 deaths confirmed Friday occurred between Nov. 22 and Feb. 6.

Of those deaths, 15 were of individuals over the age of 80, nine were of individuals 61 to 80 years old and three were of individuals between 41 and 60.

Black Hawk and Fayette counties reported three deaths each. Counties reporting two deaths each were Linn, Polk, Wapello and Woodbury.

Counties reporting one death each were Chickasaw, Dubuque, Ida, Johnson, Keokuk, Mitchell, Monona, Montgomery, Pottawattamie, Scott, Sioux and Washington.

LONG-TERM CARE

As of Friday, 37 of Iowa’s long-term care facilities were experiencing virus outbreaks — three or more cases among residents and staff.

In those facilities, 1,019 individuals were COVID-19 positive. Since the start of the pandemic, 2,136 individuals in the facilities have died from the virus.

Lantern Park Specialty Care in Coralville reported one new case Friday — bringing its total to 44 — and added one recovery for a total of 35.

VACCINATIONS

As of Friday, the number of vaccine doses administered in Iowa reached 434,629, with 416,761 doses going to Iowa residents.

Individuals receiving the first dose totaled 208,771, and individuals completing the two-shot regimen totaled 112,929.

In Linn County, doses administered total 30,276, with 8,025 people having completed both shots.

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Johnson County has administered 33,542 doses, with 10,531 people having completed both shots.

WHO CAN GET VACCINE?

Front-line health care workers, residents and staff at long-term care facilities, and Iowans 65 and older are eligible to receive vaccines now.

For Iowans under age 65, you may qualify for a vaccine if you meet criteria in the groups below. The tiers of Phase 1B are ranked in order of vaccination priority:

• Tier 1: First responders such as firefighters, police officers and child welfare social workers; school staff and early childhood education and child care workers.

• Tier 2: Food, agriculture, distribution and manufacturing workers who work or live in congregate settings that don’t allow for social distancing; people with disabilities living in home settings and their caregivers.

• Tier 3: Staff and residents in congregate living settings that include shelters, behavioral health treatment centers, sober living homes and detention centers (but not college dorms); government officials and staff working at the Iowa Capitol during the legislative session.

• Tier 4: Inspectors responsible for hospital, long-term care and child safety.

• Tier 5: Correctional facility staff and incarcerated people in state and local facilities.

Those who don’t meet these criteria will have to wait. The state will announce when other ages and occupational categories qualify.

Comments: (319) 398-8238; kat.russell@thegazette.com

The Gazette’s Katie Brumbeloe contributed to this report.

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