COVID-19 update: 15 Iowa counties see infections rise, while 15 see them drop

By: - June 9, 2020 2:59 pm

A doctor takes a swab sample. (Stock photo by Mladen Sladojevic/Getty Images)

COVID-19 infection rates are continuing to climb in 15 of Iowa’s 99 counties, but are falling in 15 others, according to the latest data from state and national health officials.

In the 69 remaining counties, there have been few infections reported over the past two weeks.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported 92 new COVID-19 cases for Tuesday, June 9, as of 2 p.m. For Monday, June 8, IDPH reported 273 new cases.

The New York Times reported 317 cases for Monday in Iowa. Some of the difference in the two counts could be attributable to the way each source defines a new case. In both its infection and death counts, the New York Times includes those cases identified by public health officials as “probable” coronavirus patients, as opposed to limiting the tally to cases confirmed through testing. The probable cases are based on criteria developed by national and local governments.

Only 10 other states currently have fewer COVID-19 restrictions in place than Iowa, according to a new study by Wallet Hub.

The financial-services website places Iowa among the states with relatively few restrictions in place and a relatively high death rate. The states with fewest restrictions in place are, in order: South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Idaho, Utah, Missouri, Alaska, Montana, Wyoming and Tennessee. All but two of the 10 states — Wisconsin and Montana — have a Republican governor.

Here’s a look at the latest COVID-19 numbers for Iowa:

Overall statewide trend: Infection rates are falling in 15 of Iowa’s 99 counties, are remaining flat in three counties, and are increasing in 15 counties. In the 66 remaining Iowa’s counties, there have been few infections reported over the past two weeks.

Additional cases: The Iowa Department of Public Health was reporting 92 new cases for Tuesday, June 9,  as of 2 p.m.

Total cases: IDPH and the New York Times are reporting roughly the same number of total COVID-19 infections to date in Iowa: about 22,200.

Additional deaths: IDPH was reporting one new death for Tuesday, June 9, as of 2 p.m., and four new deaths for Monday, June 8. However, the New York Times was reporting 17 new deaths for Monday in Iowa. (For the previous three days, the IDPH and New York Times each reported a combined total of 16 deaths.)

Total deaths: IDPH and the New York Times are reporting roughly the same number of COVID-19 deaths in Iowa to date: 622 or 623, respectively.

County spikes: Both IDPH and the New York Times indicate the counties where infection rates are currently on the rise include:

  • Dickinson County: The rate of cases per 100,000 people has risen from 1.7 two weeks ago to 31.8.
  • Hardin County: The rate of cases per 100,000 people has risen from 16.5 two weeks ago to 44.5.
  • Buena Vista County: The rate of cases per 100,000 people has risen from 267.2 two weeks ago to 287.
  • O’Brien County: The rate of cases per 100,000 people has risen from 6.2 two weeks ago to 22.6.
  • Emmet County: The rate of cases per 100,000 people has risen from 7.5 two weeks ago to 25.4.
  • Webster County: The rate of cases per 100,000 people has risen from 5.8 two weeks ago to 16.7.
  • Pottawattamie County: The rate of cases per 100,000 people has risen from 7 two weeks ago to 17.1.

Hot spots: The hardest hit counties in the state, to date, in terms of the per capita infection rates are, in order: Buena Vista County, Crawford, Louisa, Woodbury, Tama, Marshall, Wright and Wapello — each of which has reported at least 1,800 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents.

Nursing homes: According to IDPH, a total of 309 Iowans in nursing homes have died of COVDI-19, and there have been 39 outbreaks in Iowa nursing homes to date. Of the 1,561 confirmed cases in nursing homes, 200 have been in Black Hawk County facilities, and 410 in Polk County facilities. The homes hit hardest have been the Bishop Drumm Retirement Center in Polk County with 102 cases; Trinity Center Luther Park in Polk County, with 97 cases; and Harmony House Health Care Center in Black Hawk County with 92 cases.

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Clark Kauffman
Clark Kauffman

Deputy Editor Clark Kauffman has worked during the past 30 years as both an investigative reporter and editorial writer at two of Iowa’s largest newspapers, the Des Moines Register and the Quad-City Times. He has won numerous state and national awards for reporting and editorial writing. His 2004 series on prosecutorial misconduct in Iowa was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. From October 2018 through November 2019, Kauffman was an assistant ombudsman for the Iowa Office of Ombudsman, an agency that investigates citizens’ complaints of wrongdoing within state and local government agencies.

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