CORONAVIRUS

Iowa reports another 17 coronavirus deaths

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 continue retreat from record high

(Dreamstime/TNS)
(Dreamstime/TNS)

Days before Gov. Kim Reynolds’ latest emergency health order is set to expire, Iowa’s COVID-19 death rate and new hospitalizations declined Sunday from recent records but still are far higher than at the peak of last summer’s surge.

According to state public health data, Iowa confirmed 17 more COVID-19 deaths Sunday morning, bringing the total number of Iowans known to have died from the disease to 2,682 in less than nine months.

While that daily toll is far less than the record highs confirmed in recent days, Iowa has added 307 virus deaths in the last seven days alone.

Most of those most recently confirmed to have died from COVID-19 — 11 of the 17 — were over 80 years old, according to the data, underscoring how older people are most vulnerable to complications from the disease. The other six deaths were of people between 60 and 80.

Eleven counties recorded deaths. Pottawattamie reported five and Black Hawk reported three. Bremer, Butler, Floyd, Johnson. Keokuk, Linn, Marion, Polk and Webster counties each added one death.

Linn County also added 77 positive cases Sunday morning, for a total of 14,994. Johnson County added 41 cases, for a total of 9,991.

In all, Iowa added 1,869 new cases in the 24-hour period ending at 11 a.m. Sunday. The state said that was based on 5,418 test results, 3,549 of which were negative or inconclusive.

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The new additions bring the state’s total number of coronavirus cases since the pandemic was confirmed in Iowa in March to 243,930.

The number of people being treated for the virus in Iowa hospitals continued several days of declines Sunday, albeit from record highs.

Hospitalizations dropped from 960 to 918 in the 24-hour period. The number of patients in intensive care dipped from 204 to 195, but those requiring ventilators to breathe rose from 117 to 122 in the period.

The latest emergency public health requirements ordered by the governor are set to expire Thursday unless changed or extended.

Among other things, the order prohibits indoor gatherings of more than 15 people for social and leisure events including weddings and funerals, and limits such gatherings held outdoors to 30 people.

The order requires that when people gather in an indoor public space and are unable to socially distance for 15 minutes or longer, masks are required. It also orders bars and restaurants to close by 10 p.m.

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