CORONAVIRUS

Johnson County sees 188 more coronavirus cases

Seventeen COVID-19-related deaths recorded in Iowa

A bar employee sanitizes his hands after handling customer IDs at DC's in Iowa City on the night of Saturday, August 22,
A bar employee sanitizes his hands after handling customer IDs at DC's in Iowa City on the night of Saturday, August 22, 2020. Bars in Iowa remain open as students return to Iowa City for the fall semester. (Nick Rohlman/freelance for The Gazette)

Johnson County on Saturday continued to rack up large numbers for new positive cases of COVID-19 — at 188 — as the University of Iowa resumes fall classes.

Statewide, the Iowa Department of Public Health, for the 24-hour period ending at 11 a.m. Saturday, reported 1,037 new cases testing positive and 17 confirmed deaths related to the novel coronavirus.

The figures bring the total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Iowa to 1,108. The first case of COVID-19 was recorded in Iowa on March 8.

Also in the top three counties that registered double-digit increases for positive cases on Saturday were Polk, the state’s most-populous county, with 184, and Story, site of Iowa State University in Ames, with 127.

Linn County added 20 more positive cases, for a total of 2,910, in the 24-hour period counted by The Gazette.

Overall for the time period, 6,575 results were recorded in Iowa by the Department of Public Health, with 1,037 positive and 5,538 negative outcomes.

“The high numbers are due, in part, to more testing coming online such as antigen testing, but they are also due to the young adult population and seeing a higher number of cases in younger people,” Amy McCoy, state Department of Public Health policy adviser, said in an email to The Gazette on Saturday.

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“This week, (Gov. Kim Reynolds) put in place new mitigation strategies in areas of Iowa with dense populations of young adults to help slow the spread of the virus.”

On Thursday, Reynolds ordered bars, nightclubs and breweries in six counties closed until at least Sept. 20.

Statewide numbers reported for Friday had showed a significant spike — 2,579 positive cases recorded — due to the addition of quicker-result antigen tests in that day’s total.

Antigen results had been marked as “inclusive,” but were recategorized as positive or negative with Friday’s totals — thus boosting the numbers — said Pat Garrett, Governor’s Office spokesman.

“We want to remind everyone,” McCoy said Saturday, “to follow public health guidance that includes staying home when sick, social distancing and wearing face coverings.”

Top 10 counties in total cases:

1. Polk — 13,069

2. Woodbury — 4,081

3. Black Hawk — 3,710

4. Johnson — 3,530

5. Linn — 2,910

6. Dallas — 2,343

7. Story — 2,263

8. Scott — 2,159

9. Dubuque — 1,993

10. Buena Vista — 1,825

Counties with double-digit increases or higher:

1. Johnson — 188

2. Polk — 184

3. Story — 127

4. Woodbury — 44

5. Black Hawk — 43

6. Dallas — 26

7. Plymouth — 24

8. Des Moines — 23

9. Linn — 20

10. Scott — 20

11. Henry — 16

12. Dubuque — 15

13. Pottawattamie — 13

14. Wapello — 12

15. Sioux — 11

16. Warren — 11

The Gazette’s Stephen Colbert contributed to this report.

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Our most important Coronavirus coverage is free to the public.

If you believe local news is essential, especially during this crisis, please donate. Your contribution will support news resources to cover the impact of the pandemic on our local communities.

All donations are tax-deductible.