CORONAVIRUS

Iowa COVID-19 cases hit records - again

Hospitalizations rise for seven days in a row

(Dreamstime/TNS)
(Dreamstime/TNS)

For the seventh day in a row Sunday, the number of patients being treated in the state’s hospitals for COVID-19 reached a record high as the disease continued to spread relentlessly and infected hundreds of more Iowans.

In a 24-hour period ending at 11 a.m. Sunday, the number of people hospitalized for the virus in Iowa jumped from 630 to 676. The number of those in intensive care rose from 153 to 164 patients — tied for the record high set on May 7 — but those on ventilators to help breathe fluctuated downward from 55 to 53.

Last week, in response to a question from The Gazette about whether Gov. Kim Reynolds had any comment about the spiking cases in Iowa, a spokesman for the governor’s office noted that only about 11 percent of patients in the state’s hospitals are there because of COVID-19, and that hospitals have ample capacity to handle the pandemic.

The White House Coronavirus Task Force has been saying for weeks that Iowa is in a “red zone” for both the high number of cases per capita and a high positivity rate — the percentage of tests run in a period that are positive — and that additional mitigation steps are needed.

Iowa continued those alarming trends Sunday.

According to state public health data, Iowa added 2,803 new cases of the infection over the 24-hour period, bringing the total number of cases so far to 130,248. Over a seven-day period, the state averaged adding 2,068 cases a day — a record.

Of the 8,366 test results run in the 24-hour period, 5,563 were negative or inconclusive. The means a third of those tested — 33.5 percent — were confirmed to have the disease.

Linn County added 223 cases, for a total so far of 6,630, and had a daily positivity rate of 32.15 percent. Over a seven-day period, the county averaged adding 167 cases a day — a record.

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Johnson County added 82 cases, for a total of 6,234, and had a daily positivity rate of 27.7 percent. It added an average 58 cases a day over the last week.

The state said that, according to its calculations, 43 of the 99 counties had positivity rates of 15 percent or more on average over 14 days.

The number of new cases among school-age children up to age 17 reached a record high of 293 in the period, for a total of 11,621. The education occupation category added 49 cases in the period, for a total of 6,507.

Iowa reported one death due to the virus in the 24-hour period. The Woodbury County death brings the state total to 1,716 and that county’s death toll to 100.

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