CORONAVIRUS

Iowa reports 39 COVID-19 deaths in 24 hours, a record

Hospitalizations also at record high

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 Wednesday reported the deaths of 39 Iowans, a record high for a 24-hour period.

The record comes on the heels of stricter COVID-19 health orders issued by Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday.

The 39 deaths — reported between 11 a.m. Tuesday and 11 a.m. Wednesday by the Iowa Department of Public Health — brings the statewide death toll to 2,064.

The number of hospitalizations — 1,527, up from Tuesday’s 1,510 — also is at a record peak.

Of those hospitalized, 283 are in intensive care units and 134 are on ventilators to help them breathe.

According to the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Iowa hospitals admitted an average of 196 patients with confirmed COVID-19 and 45 patients with suspected COVID-19 every day between Nov. 7 and Nov. 13.

New cases

The state reported 3,900 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, with a 41.48 percent positivity rate — the 16th day the rate has been above 40 percent.

The seven-day rolling average of new cases statewide is 4,068.

Of the new cases, 375 were among children up to age 18; 13 cases were among education workers.

The latest report from the White House Coronavirus Task Force, dated Nov. 15, said that 100 percent of Iowa’s 99 counties are now in the highest level “red zone” for community transmission, with Polk, Linn and Scott counties representing 26.7 percent of the new cases in the state.

“The spread in Iowa is exponential and unyielding,” the report cautioned, recommending requiring masks and strengthening COVID-19 messaging.

County totals

Linn County on Wednesday reported 336 new cases with a positivity rate of 45.22 percent. The county’s seven-day average is 317. Since March, 12,212 coronavirus cases have been reported in the county.

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Jones County reported 133 cases — its fourth highest number — with a positivity rate of 72.68 percent. Its seven-day rolling average is 68 new cases, with 2,011 cases since the pandemic began.

Johnson County added 126 cases, with a positivity rate of 25.56 percent. The seven-day rolling average is 129. Total cases since March are 8,487.

Story County added 135 cases — the fourth highest total seen in the county — with a positivity rate of 38.46 percent. The county’s seven-day average is 95. Total cases since March are 5,758.

Black Hawk County added 216 cases — its fifth highest total — with a positivity rate of 43.11 percent. Total infections since March total 9,525.

Deaths

The COVID-19 deaths reported Wednesday included four in Black Hawk County; three in Scott County; and two each in Cerro Gordo, Dubuque, O’Brien, Polk, Pottawattamie and Webster counties.

Counties reporting one death were Appanoose, Benton, Cass, Chickasaw, Clinton, Des Moines, Emmet, Hardin, Harrison, Humboldt, Ida, Jackson, Keokuk, Mills, Montgomery, Muscatine, Poweshiek, Sac, Wapello and Winnebago.

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

John McGlothlen of The Gazette contributed to this story.

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