CORONAVIRUS

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Iowa fall for 15th straight day, with Lee County reporting first coronavirus death

Chad Edmonds of Cedar Rapids raises a fist in the air as he's discharged from St. Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids on Fri
Chad Edmonds of Cedar Rapids raises a fist in the air as he’s discharged from St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids on Friday, May 1, 2020. Edmonds, 44, was in the hospital for 35 days as of Thursday following his coronavirus diagnosis. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 totaled 242 in Iowa on Thursday, the 15th consecutive day that number has fallen.

That includes 75 patients in intensive care units and 48 who are on ventilators, according to the state Dpeartment of Public Health.

At the peak of the coronavirus, Iowa had 417 people hospitalized with COVID-19.

The Iowa Department of Public Health on Thursday reported 269 new positive cases, bringing the total of those testing positive to 22,785.

Nine Iowans died in the past 24 hours from COVID-19, including the first death in Lee County, bringing Iowa’s tally to 638.

More than 14,000 Iowans have recovered from the virus.

On Wednesday, Gov. Kim Reynolds lifted the half-capacity restrictions on most Iowa businesses, including restaurants and theaters, while day care centers and senior centers can begin opening with social distancing recommendations.

Iowa’s declining number of hospitalizations is part of the criteria Reynolds is using to justify dialing back coronavirus restrictions ordered in March.

In the last 24 hours, 4,445 coronavirus tests were conducted, under Reynolds’ goal of 5,000 per day. Of those tested, 6.05 percent were positive.

As of Thursday, 208,951 Iowans have been tested, with 11 percent testing positive.

Comments: (319) 398-8370; sarah.watson@thegazette.com

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