CORONAVIRUS

Iowa COVID-19 hospitalizations decline but remain high

State confirms another 15 deaths caused by the virus

Medical staff talk to people lined up Nov. 19 for a COVID-19 test at the Test Iowa site in Cedar Rapids at 5755 Willow C
Medical staff talk to people lined up Nov. 19 for a COVID-19 test at the Test Iowa site in Cedar Rapids at 5755 Willow Creek Dr. SW. People wanting to get tested must first take an assessment at testiowa.com and schedule an appointment. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

The number of patients being treated for COVID-19 in Iowa hospitals continued declining Sunday morning for the fifth day in a row, though that still is almost triple the number of people hospitalized in the previous spike last summer.

While current hospitalizations in a 24-hour period ending at 11 a.m. Sunday declined from 1,221 to 1,175, those in intensive care inched up from 224 to 235 and those placed on ventilators rose from 146 to 151.

As of Saturday afternoon, there were 60 Linn County residents hospitalized with COVID-19, down from 86 on Nov. 23. Sixteen Johnson County residents were hospitalized with the virus, barely down from the 17 reported Nov. 23, the latest state data shows.

Over the summer, during the first surge of COVID-19, hospitalizations peaked May 7 at 417 — just about 35 percent of the current level.

The state confirmed another 15 COVID-19 deaths Sunday morning, bringing the total so far to 2,375. Of the newest deaths, Pocahontas County reported two. Benton, Cass, Crawford, Davis, Des Moines, Lee, Marion, Marshall, Plymouth, Polk, Pottawattamie, Sac and Scott counties each reported one.

Iowa reported 2,001 new cases during the 24-hour period, for a total of 227,797 so far. The new cases were based on 4,547 test results obtained during the period, representing a daily positivity rate of 44 percent.

According to state calculations, 87 of Iowa’s 99 counties have 14-day average positivity rates of 15 percent or more. Linn County (16.8 percent) is included in that group but Johnson County (11.9 percent) is not.

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Linn County added 205 cases in the period for a total of 14,257 and a seven-day average of 161 new cases a day.

Johnson County added 79 cases in the period for a total of 9,521 and a seven-day average of 78 new cases a day.

John McGlothlen contributed to this report.

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