CORONAVIRUS

Iowa reports 798 new COVID-19 cases, 34 confirmed deaths

Medical assistant Shannon Jensen (right) carries a swab for a coronavirus test taken from a patient in their car back to
Medical assistant Shannon Jensen (right) carries a swab for a coronavirus test taken from a patient in their car back to her colleague Katrina Rogers to be bagged and sealed at the Family Medicine Clinic of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City on Monday, April 20, 2020. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

Iowa on Friday reported 798 new COVID-19 cases and 34 new confirmed deaths during the 24-hour period ending at 11 a.m. Friday, according to data from the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Since the virus first appeared in Iowa in early March, 323,323 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and 5,067 people have died.

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

Linn County reported 64 new cases in the 24-hour period, bringing the county’s total number of cases since March to 18,793. The county’s seven-day average of new cases is 66.

Johnson County added 19 new cases during the 24-hour period, bringing the county’s total number of cases to 12,616. The county’s seven-day average is 29.

Vaccines

As of Friday, 289,737 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the state, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health. Of those, 141,541 were initiating vaccinations — the first of the two-dose regimen — and 74,098 were second doses.

In Linn County, 21,940 vaccinations have been administered, according to the state, and 5,264 vaccine series have been completed.

In Johnson County, 23,619 vaccinations have been administered and 7,838 vaccine series have been completed.

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.

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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 34 deaths reported Friday were in 27 counties.

Dubuque and Mahaska counties reported three deaths each, while Clark, Lee, and Warren counties each reported two.

Counties that reported one death each were Adair, Black Hawk, Buchanan, Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clayton, Decatur, Des Moines, Fremont, Hancock, Jasper, Louisa, Muscatine, Polk, Scott, Shelby, Sioux, Story, Wapello, Webster, Winneshiek, and Woodbury.

Twenty-two of those deaths were of people older than 80, 10 among adults between 61 and 80, one between 41 and 60 and one death between 18 and 40.

Hospitalizations

The number of patients being treated in Iowa hospitals dropped in the 24-hour period, from 360 to 348. The number of patients in intensive care units dipped from 77 to 66 and the number of patients on ventilators dropped from 54 to 31.

Long-term care

State data shows COVID-19 outbreaks in 43 long-term care facilities, with 1,326 residents or staff testing positive for the virus.

To date, 2,080 nursing home residents have died of the virus.

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

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