CORONAVIRUS

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Iowa drop below 500

Still, that's worse than last summer's surge

A portable road sign reads #x201c;Thank you healthcare workers#x201d; along Hawkins Drive at the University of Iowa Hosp
A portable road sign reads “Thank you healthcare workers” along Hawkins Drive at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City on Monday, April 13, 2020. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

The number of patients being treated for COVID-19 in Iowa hospitals dipped below 500 Sunday for the first time in nearly three months.

A downward trajectory of coronavirus patients over about the last eight weeks continued in a 24-hour period ending at 11 a.m. Sunday when the number dropped from 505 to 474 — the first time since Oct. 19 it fell below 500.

Nonetheless, that still is higher than the worst surge of last summer, when Iowa COVID-19 hospitalizations reached a peak of 417 on May 7.

Of the latest hospitalizations, those in intensive care rose from 91 to 93 and those placed on ventilators inched up from 39 to 40 in the 24-hour period.

Iowa public health data showed there were 731 new COVID-19 cases in the period, for a total so far of 304,855.

Of those, Linn County added 55 for a total so far of 17,675. Johnson County added 38 cases for a total of 12,037 so far.

Data shows the new cases were based on 2,550 individual tests, a daily positivity rate of just under 29 percent.

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According to state calculations, 36 of Iowa’s 99 counties have two-week positivity averages exceeding 15 percent.

Both Linn (9 percent) and Johnson (11 percent) are below that 14-day average threshold.

Another two deaths — one in Dubuque County and one in Polk County — were confirmed in Sunday’s data.

One person was between the ages of 61 and 80 and the other was over 80, the state reported.

The latest confirmed deaths brings to 4,323 the number of people in Iowa who have died as a result of the virus in less than 10 months.

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