CORONAVIRUS

Iowa adds 2,000-plus COVID-19 cases, 59 deaths

Health officials adjust counting of cases in long-term care facilities

Medical staff check documents for a coronavirus test Nov. 19 at the Test Iowa site, 5755 Willow Creek Dr. SW, in Cedar R
Medical staff check documents for a coronavirus test Nov. 19 at the Test Iowa site, 5755 Willow Creek Dr. SW, in Cedar Rapids. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Iowa on Friday reported 2,057 new coronavirus cases and 59 confirmed deaths.

The new numbers, analyzed at 11 a.m. Friday, bring the state’s totals to 293,454 cases and 4,124 deaths since the start of the pandemic last March.

Iowa’s current seven-day average for new cases is 1,574.

Linn County reported 86 cases and six deaths. The county’s seven-day average for new cases is 78, up for the ninth consecutive day.

To date, 17,175 cases of the virus have been confirmed in Linn County since March, and 264 people have died from it.

In Johnson County, 58 new cases and two deaths were reported. The county’s seven-day average for cases is 54.

Other counties reporting deaths Friday were Montgomery, with five, and Polk and Plymouth counties, with three each.

Counties with two deaths were Black Hawk, Buchanan Delaware, Lyon, Mitchell and Pottawattamie.

Counties with one death each were Adair, Appanoose, Benton, Bremer, Carroll, Cerro Gordo, Clinton, Des Moines, Emmet, Fayette, Hamilton, Ida, Iowa, Jackson, Jefferson, Jones, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, O’Brien, Osceola, Ringgold, Scott, Sioux, Webster, Winnebago, Woodbury and Wright.

Hospitalizations

Across the state, 579 individuals were hospitalized with the virus as of 11 a.m. Friday, down three from Thursday. The number of patients in intensive care dropped by 11, to 108, and the number on ventilators decreased by one to 51.

Long-term care

As of Friday morning, 84 of Iowa’s long-term care facilities were experiencing virus outbreaks, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health, which considers three or more cases among residents and staff as an outbreak.

Friday was the first day for a new online dashboard reporting outbreaks at long-term care facilities.

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The new reporting procedure shows only the positive virus cases associated with current outbreaks. The previous method also counted positive cases from previous outbreaks.

With the update, the number of current COVID-19-positive cases in long-term care facilities decreased by 1,556 to 1,894 cases.

The way of counting those who’ve died in long-term care facilities also changed to come in line with the state’s new methodology put in place near the end of 2020.

The change increased the number of deaths in the facilities to 1,677 — an increase of 538 from Thursday’s total. Those 538 deaths had been included in the statewide death count but hadn’t been broken out as deaths in nursing homes.

The new total means 40.7 percent of the virus deaths in Iowa have taken place in long-term care facilities.

As of Friday, 59 percent of the Iowans who’ve died of the virus have been 80 years of age or older; 22 percent have been 70 to 79 years old; and 13 percent have been 69 to 69, according to state figures.

In other developments:

• West Ridge Care Center in Cedar Rapids was removed from the outbreak list after being added on Nov. 24.

• Northbrook Manor Care Center in Cedar Rapids now has 45 current virus cases after the adjustment, compared to the 52 reported under the former way of tracking cases.

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• The Gardens of Cedar Rapids shows 20 cases and 12 recoveries after previously listing 24 cases.

• Briarwood Healthcare Center in Iowa City previously listed 11 cases, but since the update lists five cases

• Lantern Park Specialty Care in Coralville now shows 29 virus cases and 23 recoveries after previously listing 38 cases.

• Clarence Nursing Home in Cedar County now lists three cases after previously showing 80 cases.

Comments: (319) 398-8255; gage.miskimen@thegazette.com

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