CORONAVIRUS

Iowa reports 70 coronavirus deaths in one day

41 of Iowa's 99 counties had at least one death Thursday

Medical staff check documents Nov. 19 for a COVID-19 test at the Test Iowa site, 5755 Willow Creek Dr. SW, in Cedar Rapi
Medical staff check documents Nov. 19 for a COVID-19 test at the Test Iowa site, 5755 Willow Creek Dr. SW, in Cedar Rapids.Iowa on Thursday reported a record 70 deaths from the virus. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

It took Iowa 40 days to surpass 70 COVID-19 deaths at the start of the pandemic. On Thursday, the state reported 70 deaths in 24 hours.

The state’s previous record was 47 deaths on Nov. 25.

The record comes a few days into December, a few days after Iowa experienced its deadliest COVID-19 month in November, when 668 Iowans died due to the virus, according to data analyzed by The Gazette.

The deaths reported Thursday bring the state’s death toll to 2,519.

Of Thursday’s new deaths, 35 were of individuals over age 80, 26 were among those 61 to 80, eight were among those 41 to 60 and one was an individual between 18 and 40.

Forty-one of Iowa’s 99 counties reported at least one death Thursday.

Mitchell County, in north-central Iowa, reported four deaths. Counties reporting three deaths each were Hamilton, Louisa, Sioux, Webster and Woodbury.

Counties reporting two deaths were Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Carroll, Dallas, Emmet, Fayette, Floyd, Harrison, Jasper, Linn, Monona, Muscatine, Plymouth, Polk and Scott.

Counties reporting one death were Adair, Appanoose, Boone, Cerro Gordo, Clayton, Dubuque, Hancock, Hardin, Ida, Jackson, Kossuth, Lyon, Mahaska, Marshall, Mills, O’Brien, Story, Tama and Winnebago.

New cases

Iowa on Thursday also reported 2,877 new COVID-19 cases, with a 41.14 percent positivity rate.

Linn County added 147 new virus cases for a county total of 14,691 and a seven-day average of 121.

Johnson County saw 76 new cases, bringing its total to 9,814. The county’s seven-day average is 66.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Among Iowa’s new cases, 353 were of individuals age 17 and younger.

Hospitalizations

Hospitalizations in the state continued to drop.

As of 11 a.m. Thursday, hospitalizations declined from Wednesday’s 1,162 to Thursday’s 1,124. The number of patients in intensive care ticked down from 226 to 224, and the number of patients on ventilators remained at 131.

Long-term care

Also on Thursday, 170 of Iowa’s long-term care facilities reported virus outbreaks, an increase of seven in the 24-hour period. The new number means 39 percent of the state’s long-term care facilities are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks of three or more cases.

Within those facilities, 5,405 individuals have a COVID-19 diagnosis, an increase of 280 in 24 hours.

In total, 1,097 of Iowa’s deaths have been residents of long-term care facilities, including 22 reported Thursday.

Among the facilities reporting outbreaks are six in Linn County — the Hiawatha Care Center, West Ridge Care Center, The Gardens of Cedar Rapids, Meth-Wick Health Center, Willow Gardens Care Center and Terrace Glen Village.

Comments: (319) 398-8255; gage.miskimen@thegazette.com

John McGlothlen of The Gazette contributed to this report.

Support our coverage

Our most important Coronavirus coverage is free to the public.

If you believe local news is essential, especially during this crisis, please subscribe. Your subscription will support news resources to cover the impact of the pandemic on our local communities.

Support our coverage

Our most important Coronavirus coverage is free to the public.

If you believe local news is essential, especially during this crisis, please subscribe. Your subscription will support news resources to cover the impact of the pandemic on our local communities.