CORONAVIRUS

Iowa confirms 138 more COVID-19 deaths

Hospitalizations for the disease continue to decline

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the novel coronavirus
This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the novel coronavirus. This virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. (CDC via AP)

After not confirming any additional COVID-19 deaths over the last two days, the state Sunday morning verified 138 more, bringing the total number of people in Iowa whose deaths have been attributed to the respiratory disease to 3,589.

Earlier this month, Iowa public health officials said they were changing the way they were confirming deaths caused by COVID-19.

Starting after Dec. 7, the state began counting according to federal cause-of-death coding, which is based on the death record completed by the health care provider — and no longer reconciling a death with a previous record of a positive coronavirus test.

Because of the change, COVID-19 deaths are no longer reported in real time on the state’s coronavirus website at coronavirus.iowa.gov and there can be delays.

Of the newly confirmed COVID-19 deaths, 82 were of people over the age of 80; 48 were between the ages of 61 and 80; seven were between the ages of 41 and 60 and one was between the ages of 18 and 40, the state reported.

Polk and Scott counties each reported 11 of the deaths and Black Hawk reported seven.

Marion and Woodbury counties each reported six and Clayton reported five. Dubuque, Jackson, Mitchell, Palo Alto and Pottawattamie counties each reported four.

Davis, Floyd, Jones, Linn, Muscatine, Union and Webster counties each reported three. Dallas, Des Moines, Hardin, Ida, Jefferson, Page, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Story and Warren counties each reported two.

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And 31 counties each reported one death: Adair, Allamakee, Boone, Buchanan, Buena Vista, Butler, Cerro Gordo, Clay, Crawford, Delaware, Fayette, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Henry, Humboldt, Keokuk, Kossuth, Lucas, Mills, Monona, Osceola, Poweshiek, Ringgold, Sac, Sioux, Wapello, Washington, Winnebago, Winneshiek and Wright.

Iowa also reported 2,440 new cases over the 24-hour period ending at 11 a.m. Sunday, for a total of 267,147 so far.

The new cases were based on 8,504 test results in the period, meaning that 6,064 tests were negative or inconclusive.

Of the new cases, 136 were added in Linn County and 73 were in Johnson County.

The number of patients being treated for the disease in Iowa hospitals declined over the 24-hour period, though the share of patients seriously ill increased.

Hospitalizations dropped from 679 to 639, while patients in intensive care increased from 140 to 149 and those on ventilators went up from 77 to 79, state data shows.

The state reported outbreaks Sunday morning at 142 long-term care facilities, the same total as a day earlier.

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