CORONAVIRUS

Iowa passes 800 coronavirus deaths, reports new outbreaks at three long-term care facilities

Hearts and messages of encouragement are seen on the front door of the Columbus Community Senior Center in Columbus Junc
Hearts and messages of encouragement are seen on the front door of the Columbus Community Senior Center in Columbus Junction in April. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

In another grim milestone, more than 800 Iowans have died of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, Iowa officials announced Wednesday.

Nine additional deaths were confirmed, bringing the statewide death total to 808, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Deaths were reported in Cerro Gordo, Dickinson, Dubuque, Franklin, Jasper, Pottawattamie and Story counties. Grundy County reported its first virus death; 69 of Iowa’s 99 counties have now recorded at least one death.

As of Wednesday, the state reported 373 new coronavirus cases, out of 4,685 tests, for a positive rate of 7.9 percent.

Linn County reported 29 new cases, for a total of 1,642 cases since mid-March. The spike in new cases has resulted in a seven-day rolling average of 30 new cases per day, closing in on the highest rolling average of 31.

Johnson County reported 12 new virus cases, for a total of 1,651 cases since March. The seven-day rolling average is 21, the same as Tuesday.

The seven-day rolling average is the average number of coronavirus cases in a county or state over the past seven days, updated by The Gazette every day with new data.

No counties are reporting double-digit increases in the percentage of new cases.

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The top percentage increases for counties with more than 50 cases are found in Madison County, 4.1 percent; Iowa County, 3 percent; Story County, 2.4 percent; Pottawattamie County, 2.2 percent; and Dubuque County, 1.8 percent.

Statewide, the number of hospitalizations increased by one, to 224 from Tuesday’s 223.

The number of patients in intensive care continued its downward trend, to 71. The number of people on ventilators also declined, to 31.

Care facilities

The state also reported three new outbreaks at long-term care facilities. An outbreak is considered three or more virus cases among residents and staff.

The three facilities were the Rehabilitation Center of Hampton in Franklin County and Parkridge Specialty Care and the Norwalk Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, both in Polk County.

Outbreaks continue at Will Gradens Care Center in Marion, which has reported 28 cases, with 33 recovered; and Winslow House Care Center in Marion, with five cases and two recovered.

Totals

Here are the state’s top 10 counties with the most coronavirus cases since March:

• Polk — 8,572

• Woodbury — 3,493

• Black Hawk — 2,724

• Buena Vista — 1,758

• Johnson — 1,651

• Linn — 1,642

• Dallas — 1,589

• Scott — 1,337

• Dubuque — 1,239

• Marshall — 1,208

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

John McGlothlen of The Gazette contributed to this report.

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