CORONAVIRUS

Iowa reports zero COVID-19 deaths and 601 new positive cases Monday

Total cases in Linn County surpass 16,000

Hand sanitizer and masks are stationed in the entryway at First Assembly of God Pentecostal church in Cedar Rapids on Th
Hand sanitizer and masks are stationed in the entryway at First Assembly of God Pentecostal church in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, May 28, 2020. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

Iowa again reported no new confirmed COVID-19 deaths Monday, keeping the state’s death toll at 3,589 and marking the third time the state has reported zero deaths in the past five days.

According to data from the Iowa Department of Public Health, the state recorded 601 new COVID-19 cases from 11 a.m. Sunday to 11 a.m. Monday, bringing the total of cases to 267,748.

Among those additions were 116 new cases among children ages 17 and younger and one new case involving an education worker. A total of 27,725 children in Iowa have tested positive for the virus since March, and 10,623 education workers have tested positive.

Locally, Linn County added 22 cases, bringing its total 16,000. The county’s seven-day average is 73.

Johnson County added 21 cases, bringing its total to 10,623. Its seven-day average is 38.

The remaining 1,329 of the 1,930 test results came back either negative or inconclusive.

Hospitalizations rose Monday after a five-day decline, jumping from 639 to 644, while patients being treated in intensive care units dipped from 149 to 142. The number of patients on ventilators also dropped from 79 to 72.

Sixteen Linn County residents were hospitalized as of Saturday, down from 27 hospitalizations that were reported Thursday.

According to the data, Iowa reported 141 current outbreaks in long-term care facilities as of 11 a.m. Monday — down from the 142 reported the day before — with 5,724 individuals who are positive and 1,135 deaths.

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In Linn County, West Ridge Care Center reported one new recovery, bringing its total to 12. Its active COVID-19 cases remained at 40.

Positive cases at Terrace Glen Village rose from 11 to 12, while recoveries held steady at two.

In Johnson County, positive COVID-19 cases at Lantern Park Specialty Care rose from 29 to 31, while recoveries stayed at four.

In Jones County, Monticello Nursing & Rehab Center reported two new recoveries, from 55 to 57. The facility’s positive cases remained at 72.

As of Monday, 1,143 front-line UIHC employees working directly with patients — including those with COVID — had received a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, 975 of which arrived in a first shipment last week.

Those who have received vaccinations have shown no side effects, according to UIHC spokeswoman Jennifer Brown, who confirmed Pfizer vaccinations will continue this week, with scheduling beginning for workers to get the second required shot needed to assure 95 percent efficacy.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Dec. 11 approved emergency use of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine, and it granted the same approval of Moderna’s on Friday.

UIHC is receiving its vaccine allocations from Johnson County Public Health for “employees only at this time,” in alignment with guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

The Iowa Department of Public Health last week reported a “revised vaccine allocation” from the CDC. In addition to the 26,000 Pfizer doses on Dec. 13, Iowa was expecting 19,500 Pfizer doses and 53,800 Moderna doses Dec. 20, followed by 19,500 Pfizer doses and 19,500 Moderna doses Dec. 27.

That amounts to an expected 138,300 doses by the end of the month.

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But even as hospital personnel across the nation get vaccinated, nursing home administrators in Iowa say they have heard little word as to when they might receive their doses.

The majority of nursing homes in Iowa are enrolled in the Long Term Care Pharmacy Partnership Program, a federal program that has enlisted retail pharmacies — including CVS and Walgreens — to distribute and administer the COVID-19 vaccine among residents and staff.

Four hundred and thirty nursing facilities in Iowa had enrolled in this program as of Friday, according to the Iowa Health Care Association, which represents long-term care facilities in the state, and should expect the first doses to arrive as soon as Dec. 28, according to the association.

However, the association’s statement noted it could be that not every facility would see the vaccines Dec. 28, as the retail pharmacies still are working to schedule clinics to administer the first doses to more than 19,000 residents and 25,500 staff.

TOP 10 COUNTIES IN TOTAL CASES

1. Polk County: 39,388

2. Linn County: 16,000

3. Scott County: 13,517

4. Black Hawk County: 12,236

5. Woodbury County: 11,848

6. Johnson County: 10,623

7. Dubuque County: 10,251

8. Pottawattamie County: 7,815

9. Story County: 7,715

10. Dallas County: 7,499

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

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