CORONAVIRUS

Iowa reports 1,199 new COVID-19 cases and 56 confirmed deaths Wednesday

Medical assistant Alex Abodeely performs a coronavirus test April 20 at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Fam
Medical assistant Alex Abodeely performs a coronavirus test April 20 at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Family Medicine Clinic in Iowa City. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

Iowa on Wednesday reported 1,199 new COVID-19 cases and 56 confirmed deaths during the 24-hour period between 11 a.m. Tuesday and 11 a.m. Wednesday, according to data from the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Since the virus first appeared in Iowa in early March, 321,539 individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 and 4,975 people have died.

Wednesday’s additions included 202 cases among young people ages 17 or younger, bringing the total number of youths that have tested positive for the virus to 35,307. Nine new cases were reported among education workers during the 24-hour period, bringing that total to 7,715.

Only five of the state’s 99 counties reported 14-day positivity rates above 15 percent.

Linn County reported 66 new cases in the 24-hour period, bringing the county’s total number of cases since March to 18,653. The county’s seven-day average of new cases is 67.

Johnson County added 44 new cases during the 24-hour period, bringing the county’s total number of cases to 12,555. The county’s seven-day average is 29.

Vaccines

As of Monday, 275,706 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the state, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health. Of those, 137,242 were initiating vaccinations — the first of the two-dose regimen — and 69,232 were second doses.

In Linn County, 20,946 vaccinations have been administered, according to the state, and 4,943 vaccine series have been completed.

In Johnson County, 22,553 vaccinations have been administered and 7,513 vaccine series have been completed.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that as of 6 a.m. Wednesday, Iowa has received 446,825 doses of the vaccine.

Who is eligible for vaccines?

Front-line health care workers and residents and staff at long-term care facilities are able to get vaccines now.

As of this week, Iowans 65 and older are eligible to receive the vaccine. Officials warn more Iowans are eligible for the vaccine than there are doses available.

For Iowans under age 65, you may qualify for a vaccine in February if you meet criteria in the groups below. The tiers of Phase 1B are ranked in order of vaccination priority:

• Tier 1: First responders such as firefighters, police officers and child welfare social workers; school staff and early childhood education and child care workers.

• Tier 2: Food, agriculture, distribution and manufacturing workers who work or live in congregate settings that don’t allow for social distancing; people with disabilities living in home settings and their caregivers.

• Tier 3: Staff and residents in congregate living settings that include shelters, behavioral health treatment centers, sober living homes and detention centers (but not college dorms); government officials and staff working at the Iowa Capitol during the legislative session.

• Tier 4: Inspectors responsible for hospital, long-term care and child safety.

• Tier 5: Correctional facility staff and incarcerated people in state and local facilities.

Those who don’t meet these criteria will have to wait. The state will announce when other ages and occupational categories qualify.

Deaths

The 56 deaths reported Wednesday were in 36 counties.

Louisa County reported four deaths, while Mills, Polk and Pottawattamie counties reported three deaths each.

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Counties that reported two deaths each were Black Hawk, Carroll, Cerro Gordo, Clinton, Dickinson, Emmet, Grundy, Harrison, Kossuth, Montgomery and Union.

Counties that reported one death each were Allamakee, Appanoose, Audubon, Boone, Buchanan, Cass, Cherokee, Crawford, Dallas, Ida, Jackson, Johnson, Lee, Linn, Plymouth, Scott, Shelby, Story, Tama, Warren and Woodbury.

Four of those deaths were of individuals between 41 and 60; 25 deaths were among individuals between 61 and 80; and 27 were of individuals older than 80.

To date, 295 individuals have died in Linn County and 63 have died in Johnson County.

Hospitalizations

The number of patients being treated in Iowa’s hospital dropped slightly in the 24-hour period, from 390 to 382. The number of patients in intensive care units dipped from 88 to 86 and the number on ventilators ticked up from 31 to 34.

Long-term care

State data shows COVID-19 outbreaks in 48 long-term care facilities, with 1,433 residents or staff testing positive for the virus.

To date, 2,043 nursing home residents have died of the virus.

Comments: (319) 398-8238; kat.russell@thegazette.com

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