CORONAVIRUS

Iowa reports more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases and 15 deaths Wednesday

Corridor hospitals receive vaccines for health care workers

A dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in shown Tuesday at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids. (Photo courtesy of Merc
A dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in shown Tuesday at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids. (Photo courtesy of Mercy Medical Center)

Iowa on Wednesday reported 2,002 new COVID-19 cases and 15 additional, confirmed deaths.

The new cases were identified in 4,821 tests, for a positivity rate of 41.94 percent.

The numbers, collected from the 24-hour period ending at 11 a.m. Wednesday, brings Iowa’s death toll from the virus to 3,668 since March and total number of cases to 271,022.

Linn County on Wednesday reported 81 new cases for a total of 16,150 cases since March. The county also reported two deaths, bringing its death toll to 234.

Johnson County reported 55 new cases, bringing its total to 10,716 cases since March.

Hospitalizations

Hospitalizations continued to decline, falling from 651 to 644.

The number of patients in intensive care also ticked down, from 140 to 139. The number of patients on ventilators remained at 71.

Covid-19 vaccine

Shipments of the newly approved Moderna COVID-19 vaccine arrived at Corridor hospitals on Tuesday, arriving in Eastern Iowa just one week after the first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were shipped nationwide.

The new batch of vaccines is the first shipment for many hospitals statewide, including Mercy Hospital in Iowa City, making this week’s arrival a “monumental moment” in the pandemic for these facilities, hospital spokesman Aaron Scheinblum told The Gazette on Tuesday.

Two hundred doses arrived at Mercy Iowa City on Tuesday.

Iowa is expecting 19,500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 53,800 Moderna doses this week and 19,500 Pfizer doses and 19,500 Moderna doses next week, according to the state public health department.

That amounts to 138,300 doses by about the end of the month, about 20 percent fewer than what the state initially said it expected.

The state also received 26,000 doses from Pfizer last week.

Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a news conference Tuesday that more than 8,400 hospital workers in Iowa already have received the COVID-19 vaccine, and that the state will move forward with its plan to begin offering doses next week to long-term care residents and staff.

University of Iowa Health Care Chief Pharmacy Officer Mike Brownlee confirmed his campus received 1,500 doses of the Moderna vaccine and would finish using its current allotment of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine before tapping into the new shipment.

UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital and Mercy Medical Center also confirmed receiving 500 doses each of the Moderna vaccine and began administering them to front-line health care staff “within hours” of its arrival Tuesday morning.

Long-term care

As of Wednesday morning, 131 long-term care facilities in Iowa were experiencing virus outbreaks — defined as three or more cases among residents and staff. That total is down two from Tuesday.

A total of 5,336 individuals were sick with the virus in those facilities — a decrease of 388 from Monday, according to Iowa Department of Public Health data analyzed by The Gazette.

In Linn County, Northbrook Manor Care Center in Cedar Rapids added 13 new cases for a total of 37.

The numbers at West Ridge Care Center in Cedar Rapids held steady at 40 cases and Meth-Wick Health Center remained at 30 cases.

In Johnson County, Lantern Park Specialty Care reported 35 cases/

In Buchanan County, ABCM Rehabilitation Centers of Independence West campus was added to the outbreak list with 13 cases. The center’s east campus remains at 32 cases.

In Cedar County, Clarence Nursing Home was added to the list, with three cases. The home was removed from the outbreak list Nov. 18. Cresteview Specialty Care remained at 19 cases.

In Jones County, the Monticello Nursing & Rehab Center remained at 72 cases, with 64 recovered.

To date, 1,137 individuals have died of the virus in the state’s long-term care facilities.

Deaths

Of the 15 deaths reported Wednesday, eight were among people age 81 and older, and six were among people ages 61 to 80.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Counties reporting one death each were Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Buena Vista, Cedar, Floyd, Henry, Muscatine, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Warren, Webster and Wright.

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