CORONAVIRUS

Iowa coronavirus deaths soar to record 47 in 24-hour period

Hospitalizations dip slightly over last day

Iowa National Guard soldier directs motorists Nov. 19 at the Test Iowa site at 5755 Willow Creek Dr. SW in Cedar Rapids.
Iowa National Guard soldier directs motorists Nov. 19 at the Test Iowa site at 5755 Willow Creek Dr. SW in Cedar Rapids. Motorists, who are tested there be appointment only, are asked to keep their windows shut and have their driver’s license or state ID and have the QR code issued for their test. The site provides protection from winter weather for medical staff and testing subjects. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Iowa reported more COVID-19 deaths between 11 a.m. Tuesday and 11 a.m. Wednesday than it has during any 24-hour period since the start of the pandemic.

According to data from the Iowa Department of Public Health, the state reported 47 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in 31 counties in the 24-hour period. The previous record — 39 deaths — was reported on November 18.

To date, 2,271 people have died from the virus since March.

The state also reported 3,345 new COVID-19 cases during the 24-hour period, with a positivity rate of 39.11 percent.

The new additions bring Iowa’s total number of reported coronavirus cases to 218,957.

The new cases reported Tuesday included 367 children ages 17 and younger, bringing the number of infections in that age group to 21,172 since March. Three new cases were also reported among education employees, bringing that total to 7,597.

Hospitalizations across the state dipped slightly from 1,351 to 1,305 and the number of patients on ventilators dropped from to 155 to 150.

The number of patients in intensive care units also saw a slight decline 275 to 269.

The governor’s office announced Wednesday that the five state-operated Test Iowa Sites will be closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving, including the Linn County locations at Windstar Lines, 5755 Willow Creek Drive SW, in Cedar Rapids. The State Hygienic Lab, which runs the tests, also will be closed for the holiday.

The five sites will reopen for testing as usual on Friday, Nov. 27, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Individuals who wish to be tested at any site must first complete an online assessment at testiowa.com, and schedule an appointment. Locations and hours of operation for all test sites can be found at testiowa.com or coronavirus.iowa.gov.

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The state reported a total of 8,552 test results in the past 24 hours, with the remaining 5,207 tests resulting in negative or inconclusive outcomes.

The latest report from the White House Coronavirus Task Force, dated Nov. 22, said that 99 percent of Iowa’s 99 counties are now in the highest level “red zone” for community transmission, with Polk, Linn and Scott counties representing 26.8 percent of the new cases in the state.

Ninety-eight of the state’s counties remain in the red zone according to the report. In the last report, all 99 counties were listed in the red zone. Lucas County is the only county that is now in the yellow zone,

The report said the task force is “Encouraged by the steps the Governor is taking to decrease transmission; this is the first week where the rise in cases is less than previous weeks.”

“With all counties in the red zone for new cases and nearly 70 percent of nursing homes with at least one positive staff member, mitigation and messaging needs to be further strengthened as other states have done,” the report added. “Effective practices to decrease transmission in public spaces include limiting restaurant indoor capacity to less than 25% and limiting bar hours until cases and test positivity decrease to the yellow zone.”

Locally, Linn County reported 181 new virus cases, with a 24-hour positivity rate of 31.05 percent. The county’s total number of cases is 13,649 and its seven-day average is 205.

Johnson County reported 87 cases, with a 24-hour positivity rate of 25.22 percent. The county’s total number of cases is 9,236 and its seven-day average is 107.

Story County added 94 virus cases, with a 24-hour positivity rate of 19.92 percent. The county’s total number of cases is 6,597 and its seven-day average is 120.

Black Hawk County reported 178 new cases, with a 24-hour positivity rate of 41.49 percent. The county’s total number of cases is 10,598 and its seven-day average is 153.

Jones County reported 20 new cases, and a 24-hour positivity rate of 51.28 percent. The county’s seven-day average is 51 and its total number of cases is 2,257.

The one death reported in Linn County Wednesday brings the county’s death toll to 162.

Scott County reported six deaths and Black Hawk County reported four. The counties that reported three deaths each are Appanoose and Jackson while Cass and Muscatine counties reported two deaths each.

The counties that reported one death each are Adair, Adams, Benton, Butler, Carroll, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Clayton, Emmet, Franklin, Grundy, Jasper, Jones, Kossuth, Lee, Linn, Marion, Marshall, Mills, O’Brien, Plymouth, Polk, Pottawattamie, Shelby, Webster and Woodbury.

Currently, Iowa is reporting 150 outbreaks among long term care facilities across the state, with 4,624 individuals who have tested positive for the virus and 1,024 deaths.

In Linn County, The Gardens of Cedar Rapids was added to the outbreak list Wednesday with 6 cases, 4 of which were reported in past 14 days.

Willow Gardens Care Center added one case Wednesday, from 25 to 26, 2 of which were reported in the past 14 days. Recoveries stayed the same at 9.

The 10 Iowa counties that have seen the most COVID-19 cases are:

• Polk: 3,2343

• Linn: 13,649

• Black Hawk: 10,598

• Scott: 10,597

• Woodbury: 10,002

• Johnson: 9,236

• Dubuque: 8,925

• Story: 6,597

• Dallas: 6,134

• Pottawattamie: 5,925

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

John McGlothlen of The Gazette contributed to this report.

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