CORONAVIRUS

Iowa steps back from recent coronavirus spikes

Still, state ranks poorly when weighed by population

This transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19. Research into the link be
This transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19. Research into the link between high blood pressure and COVID-19 is ongoing. (NIAID/TNS)

Iowa continued Sunday to step down from the spikes in new COVID-19 cases reported at the end of last week.

The state reported 834 new cases in a 24-hour period ending at 11 a.m. Sunday. That’s less than the 988 new cases added in a similar period the day before, and much less than the new cases added Thursday and Friday that each topped 1,000 new positives a day.

Still, despite the decline, Iowa was ranked as having the sixth-worst rate in the nation when measured per 100,000 residents, according to a database maintained by the New York Times.

When a seven-day average of new cases is weighed against population, Iowa ranks fifth-worst in the nation, according to a Washington Post database.

The new cases bring Iowa’s total number of COVID-19 cases since March to 86,259.

The state also reported four deaths in the 24-hour period as a result of the virus. One death each in Monroe, Muscatine, Plymouth and Pottawattamie counties bring Iowa’s total to 1,315 so far, state data shows.

Johnson and Story counties — where Gov. Kim Reynolds ordered bars to remain closed to help slow a surge of new infections — added a handful of new cases in the period. Johnson County added 26 cases with a positivity rate of 10.04 percent. Story County added nine cases with a positivity rate of 7.83 percent — the lowest in at least a month.

Hospitalizations because of the virus rose from 334 to 343 — the highest in four months. Virus patients in intensive care increased from 84 to 89 and those on ventilators to help breathe rose from 23 to 34.

Iowa reports current coronavirus outbreaks are affecting 50 long-term care facilities.

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Outbreaks — defined by the state as three or more infections at a facility — have claimed 685 lives so far.

Of the nine long-term care facilities most recently added to the state list, six are in western Iowa. In the Corridor, Solon Nursing Care has been removed from the state’s outbreak list.

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