CORONAVIRUS

Iowa breaks previous record for coronavirus deaths in 24 hours

The Test Iowa site, 5755 Willow Creek Dr. SW, in southwest Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. The site prov
The Test Iowa site, 5755 Willow Creek Dr. SW, in southwest Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. The site provides protection from winter weather for medical staff and testing subjects. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

In just the first four days of December, Iowa confirmed 200 COVID-19 deaths — nearly a third as many as recorded in the entire month of November, the worst monthly peak since the pandemic began.

Friday morning, the state broke the record coronavirus death toll for the second day in a row — 84 new confirmed deaths on top of 70 a day earlier. Added to the 24 deaths recorded Tuesday and 22 added Wednesday, the state has confirmed 200 COVID-19 deaths in less than a week. Iowa confirmed 688 deaths in November, by far the deadliest month so far.

Since the state reported its first COVID-19 death on March 24, 2,603 Iowans have died from it.

With Worth County on Friday reporting its first death due to COVID-19, Decatur County stands alone in Iowa’s 99 counties as not attributing a death to the pandemic.

Of the most recently confirmed virus deaths, Black Hawk County reported eight; Polk County reported six; Dubuque County added five; and Woodbury County added four. Cerro Gordo, Grundy, Jackson, Jefferson, Marshall, Pottawattamie and Scott counties each reported three deaths. Butler, Des Moines, Floyd, Johnson and Lee counties each reported two. And Bremer, Carroll, Cass, Cedar, Chickasaw, Clay, Clayton, Clinton, Dallas, Dickinson, Greene, Hamilton, Hardin, Iowa, Ida, Jones, Linn, Louisa, Madison. Mills, Monona, Muscatine, Page, Poweshiek, Story, Tama, Union, Warren, Washington and Worth counties each added one.

Among those deaths, nearly half — 39 — were those 80 years old and above. Forty-one people ages 61-80 died and the remaining four were people ages 18-60.

Iowa added 2,905 new cases of the virus over a 24-hour period ending at 11 a.m. Friday, for a total so far of 239,699 cases.

Linn County added 103 of those new cases, and now has a total of 14,794 cases. Johnson County added 69 new cases and its total stands at 9,883.

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Statewide, four new cases fell under the education occupation category and 365 new cases were children under 17.

Two area long-term care facilities are no longer experiencing outbreaks — Terrace Glen Village in Linn County and Lantern Park Specialty Care in Johnson County — according to state data.

Hospitalizations due to the virus decreased from 1,124 to 1,000 in the 24-hour period. The last time Iowa had fewer than 1,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations was Nov. 8.

As of Friday morning, there were 209 virus patients in intensive care in Iowa hospitals and 128 on ventilators.

Comments: (319) 339-3155; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

Katie Brumbeloe of The Gazette contributed to this report.

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