CORONAVIRUS

Iowa's COVID-19 hospitalizations continue rise

Number has been worsening since last month

A portable road sign reads #x201c;Thank you healthcare workers#x201d; along Hawkins Drive at the University of Iowa Hosp
A portable road sign reads “Thank you healthcare workers” along Hawkins Drive at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City on Monday, April 13, 2020. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

The number of patients in Iowa hospitals being treated for COVID-19 continued its worsening trajectory Sunday, hitting its second-highest level ever within a 24-hour period.

According to state public health data, 475 people were being treated for the virus in Iowa hospitals — up from 461 a day earlier — as of 11 a.m. Sunday. That’s the highest total since 482 were reported Oct. 14 and continues a worsening trend that began at the end of last month.

The number of patients in intensive care because of COVID-19 also increased, going from 104 to 108 people. However, the number of patients relying on ventilators to breathe inched down from 46 to 45.

Overall, Iowa added 907 new cases of COVID-19 during the 24-hour period, bringing the total number of people in the state who have had confirmed cases of the infection to 107,057.

Of the 4,782 test results reported in the period, 3,875 of them were negative or inconclusive. That put the state’s positivity rate at 18.97 percent — far higher than the 10 percent level federal health officials have said is cause for concern.

According to the state’s calculations, 15 of Iowa’s 99 counties have 14-day average positivity rates of 15 percent or more — the worst being western Iowa’s Harrison County at 24.8 percent.

Linn County added 57 cases in the period, for a total so far of 4,993. Johnson County added 22 cases, for a total of 5,615.

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Statewide, 85 cases were added to the category that includes school-age children of up to 17, bringing the total to 9,304. In the category of those in the education occupation, the state added 56 cases in the period for a total of 5,191.

Iowa public health officials also added four long-term care facilities — one each in Black Hawk, Cedar, Mitchell and Polk counties — as sites of new outbreaks. It removed one long-term care facility in Polk County from the list.

The 10 Iowa counties recording the highest number of cases so far:

• Polk: 17,873

• Woodbury: 6,747

• Johnson: 5,615

• Black Hawk: 5,168

• Linn: 4,993

• Dubuque: 4,631

• Scott: 3,988

• Story: 3,830

• Dallas: 3,284

• Pottawattamie: 2,935

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