CORONAVIRUS

Iowa reports 1,317 new COVID-19 cases, 6 deaths, as global death toll exceeds 2 million

(Dreamstime/TNS)
(Dreamstime/TNS)

Iowa on Friday reported 1,317 new COVID-19 cases and six new confirmed deaths.

The additions, reported at 11 a.m. Friday, bring the state’s total number of cases to 302,788 and the number of deaths to 4,257 since March.

Linn County reported 56 new cases, bringing its total to 17,573 since March. The county’s seven-day average is 57.

Johnson County added 51 cases, bringing its total to 11,925. Its seven-day average is 55.

Included in the state’s new cases Friday were 193 new cases among young people ages 17 or younger and one new case among education workers.

The Iowa Department of Public Health recorded 4,461 coronavirus tests between 11 a.m. Thursday and 11 a.m. Friday, for a one-day positivity rate of 41.9 percent.

Deaths

Three of the deaths reported Friday involved individuals over the age of 80, two between the ages of 61 and 80 and one between the ages of 41 and 60. Deaths were reported in Linn, Polk, Dickinson, Harrison, Wapello and Webster counties.

Friday also marked a grim milestone as global death toll from the coronavirus soared past the 2 million mark, a little more than a year after the virus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

According to the New York Times, it took more than nine months for the world to pass 1 million deaths in late September, a moment that the United Nations secretary-general, António Guterres, called “mind-numbing” and “an agonizing milestone.”

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But in just a little over three months, the virus has managed to claim another million lives, and as it spreads, it continues to evolve with several variants now circulating around the world.

In the United States, the virus has killed nearly 400,000, according to a New York Times database. And with the country’s new cases still averaging about 240,000 cases per day, there are few signs of it slowing.

Vaccines

The release of the COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna and released in the United States on Dec. 11 has sparked some hope in mitigating the spread of the virus.

The vaccine arrived in Iowa three days later.

Since then, 125,776 vaccinations have been administered across the state, with 118,991 doses administered to Iowa residents. As of Friday, 11,559 individuals have completed the two-shot vaccine series.

In Linn County, 8,753 doses have been administered and 1,560 vaccine series have been completed.

In Johnson County, 11,502 individuals have been vaccinated and 1,506 vaccine series have been completed.

Hospitalizations

Iowa hospitals continue to treat hundreds of COVID-19 patients.

As of 11 a.m. Friday, 513 Iowans were hospitalized with the virus, down from 532 reported at 11 a.m. Thursday.

The number of patients being treated in intensive care units increased in the past 24 hours, from 85 to 91. The number of patients that required ventilators to help them breathe remained at 35.

Long-term care

As of Friday, 81 long-term care facilities in Iowa were reporting COVID-19 outbreaks, defined as three or more cases among residents and staff. The facilities have 1,857 individuals being treated, down 134 from Thursday.

The facilities have seen 1,729 deaths.

In Linn County, Northbrook Manor Care Center has 46 cases, with five recoveries.

In Johnson County, Briarwood Healthcare Center has 10 cases, up one from Thursday.

In Benton County, Belle Plaine Specialty Care, which was added to the state’s outbreak list Dec. 10, has been removed from that list.

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

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