CORONAVIRUS

November is Iowa's deadliest month of COVID-19

688 Iowans died because of the coronavirus in November

A worn mask is left in the parking lot of the Oakland Road Hy-Vee in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. Hy-Vee is n
A worn mask is left in the parking lot of the Oakland Road Hy-Vee in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. Hy-Vee is not currently requiring customers to wear masks while shopping, but masks were offered as customers entered. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

By far, November has proved to be the deadliest month ever in Iowa for COVID-19, claiming 688 lives and ranking the state among the nation’s grimmest when adjusted for population.

Worse, November’s deadly record comes on top of October’s deadly record — and far outpaces it. October’s 372 COVID-19 deaths was a peak until November’s toll nearly doubled.

According to databases maintained by the Washington Post and the New York Times, Iowa currently ranks sixth worst in the nation for its average rate of deaths per 100,000 people.

November also brought Iowa’s highest number of confirmed cases in a month since the pandemic began here in March. The state added 101,574 cases — almost doubling in just one month the cases accumulated in the nearly seven months prior, bringing the total so far to 229,019.

As with deaths, the month with the second-highest number of confirmed cases was October — and, again, the record then was far lower, at 38,883 for the month.

So while COVID-19 worsened in October, it mushroomed exponentially in November.

For the final day of the month, Iowa confirmed 28 more COVID-19 deaths Monday morning, bringing the total since last spring to 2,403 Iowans.

Woodbury County reported five of those deaths, Clinton County had four and Warren County had three. Counties reporting two deaths each were Appanoose, Polk and Webster, and counties with one death each were Black Hawk, Jasper, Johnson, Kossuth, Linn, O’Brien, Scott, Story, Wapello and Winneshiek.

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A total of 165 Linn County residents and 37 Johnson County residents have died since the start of the pandemic.

State hospitalizations continue to be high but dipped Monday for the sixth day in a row.

The number of people in Iowa hospitals being treated for the disease declined from 1,175 to 1,162. Patients in intensive care dropped from 235 to 224 and patients on ventilators inched down from 151 to 147.

Iowa reported 1,222 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24-hour period ending at 11 a.m. Monday, according to data analyzed by The Gazette — a smaller daily tally than has been seen for much of November.

But the number of tests being run also has declined recently. Three of the last four days have seen less than 5,000 test results each. Monday had 3,065 test results run in the 24-hour period.

All five Test Iowa sites and the State Hygienic Lab were closed on Thanksgiving Day.

Of the new cases, Linn County added 119 for a total of 14,376 and a seven-day average of 160 new cases a day.

Johnson County added 63 new cases for a total of 9,584 and a seven-day average of 81 cases a day.

Of the new cases reported Monday, 196 were of school-age children up to 17 years old. No new cases were reported for adults in the education occupation category.

Across the state, outbreaks were reported at 156 long-term care facilities, an increase of three in a day. In the facilities, there were 4,998 individuals with the virus as of Monday, an increase of 200 since Sunday. There was also one new death for a total of 1,063 deaths reported so far among the facilities.

Locally, Hiawatha Care Center went from 102 to 103 cases with 76 recoveries; West Ridge Care Center increased from 21 to 28 cases with no recoveries; and The Gardens of Cedar Rapids went from six to eight cases and no recoveries, according to data from the Iowa Department of Public Health.

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Lantern Park Specialty Care in Coralville was added Monday to the state’s outbreak list, with just one case reported.

The state did not explain why the facility was added to the list with just one case, but the most recent federal records show Lantern Park Specialty Care reported several cases among residents and staff to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for the week ending Nov. 15.

Comments: (319) 398-8255; gage.miskimen@thegazette.com

John McGlothlen of The Gazette contributed to this report.

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