CORONAVIRUS

Iowa's COVID-19 death toll reaches 4,500 with eight new deaths reported Wednesday

Medical assistant Alex Abodeely holds a swab taken from a patient for a coronavirus test as she places it in a container
Medical assistant Alex Abodeely holds a swab taken from a patient for a coronavirus test as she places it in a container toe be transported for analysis at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Family Medicine Clinic in Iowa City on Monday, April 20, 2020. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

Since March, 4,500 Iowans have died from COVID-19, according to data from the Iowa Department of Public Health.

State data shows that Iowa added eight confirmed deaths over the past 24 hours ending at 11 a.m. Wednesday, resulting in a grim new milestone.

COVID-19 is listed as an underlying cause in 4,103 of those deaths, according to the data, while the virus is listed as a contributing factor in the remaining 397 deaths.

More than half — 59 percent — of those who have died were adults 80 years of age or older, according to the data, while individuals between the ages of 70 and 70 accounted for 21 percent of the deaths.

About 17 percent of the deaths were recorded among individuals between the ages of 30 and 60, while adult under the age of 29 and young people under the age of 17 made up less than 1 percent.

Linn County has reported a total of 280 COVID-19 deaths since the virus first appeared in Iowa more than 10 months ago, and Johnson County has recorded 54 deaths.

The new death toll comes at the same time Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Wednesday that, starting next week, the federal government will be increasing states’ vaccine allocations by 16 percent over the next three weeks.

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During a news conference Wednesday, Reynolds said the increase means Iowa will receive an additional 6,300 doses. However, the governor added that even with the additional vaccine allocation, Iowans should remain patient as supply is limited, and will remain limited for some time.

Last week, Reynolds announced that Iowans 65 and older would qualify for COVID-19 vaccinations starting Feb. 1, though some counties and health providers already are providing vaccines to that age group and others who are part of the Phase 1B priority group.

University of Iowa Health Care announced Tuesday that for some individuals who qualify for vaccines under Phase 1B, vaccinations could become available as soon as next week.

In addition to individuals ages 65 and older, Iowans who qualify under Iowa’s 1B vaccine program include people with disabilities living in home settings or with caregivers; correctional facility staff and inmates; congregate living setting staff; preK-12 schoolteachers and staff; first responders, such as firefighters and police; and food, agriculture, distribution and manufacturing workers who work or live in congregate settings.

Wednesday also brought an increase of more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases during the 24-hour period between 11 a.m. Tuesday and 11 a.m. Wednesday.

According to IDPH data analyzed by The Gazette, the state added 1,114 new positive case, bringing the total number of reported COVID-19 cases in the state to 315,180.

Of those new cases, 187 positive test results were reported among youth ages 17 and younger. No new cases were reported among education workers.

To date, the total number of young people that have tested positive for the virus is 34,165, and 7,697 education workers have tested positive since March.

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Health officials reported 3,773 test results during the 24-hour period, the remaining 2,659 of which came back negative or inconclusive.

Iowa’s seven-day average of new cases is 1,084.

On Wednesday, nine of Iowa’s 99 counties reported 14-day positivity rates above 15 percent.

Linn County reported 73 new cases Wednesday. The county’s seven-day average is 55. To date, 18,072 virus cases have been reported in the county.

Johnson County added 26 new cases. The county’s seven-day average is 33. Since March, Johnson County has reported 12,306 cases.

The number of individuals hospitalized with the virus dropped slightly during the 24-hour period, from 415 on Tuesday to 408 on Wednesday, according to state public health data.

Additionally, as of Monday, 20 Linn County residents and nine Johnson County residents were hospitalized.

The number of patients being treated in intensive care units rose slightly from 78 to 81, while the number of patients on ventilators remained at 37.

As of 6 a.m. Tuesday, 44,394,075 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been distributed in the United States, according to data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. More than half of them — 23,540,994 — have been administered.

The data shows that 19,902,237 people have received one dose, and 3,481,921 have completed the two-dose regimen.

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The CDC data also shows that 361,575 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been distributed in Iowa. Iowa public health data shows that as of Wednesday, 209,575 doses have been administered, with 198,764 doses going to Iowa residents. Of those, 128,913 individuals have received the first dose of the vaccine series, and 40,331 have received both doses.

In Linn County, 16,563 doses have been administered and 15,691 Linn County residents have received vaccinations, 3,084 of whom have completed the two-dose series.

In Johnson County, 26,092 vaccine doses have been administered and 17,772 Johnson County residents have received vaccinations, 4,765 of whom have completed the two-dose series.

As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, 62 long-term care facilities in Iowa were reporting COVID-19 outbreaks, up two from the previous 24-hour period.

According to the state data, 1,962 individuals in long-term care facilities are positive for the virus — an increase of 21 from the previous 24-hour period.

Since March, 1,873 individuals have died in long-term care facilities.

The eight deaths reported Wednesday occurred in seven counties, according to the data.

Dubuque County reported two deaths, while Boone, Cass, Johnson, Lee, Louisa and Woodbury counties reported one death each.

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

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