Eleven more Iowans die of COVID-19, with another 662 infected

Doctor takes a swab sample. (Photo by Mladen Sladojevic/Getty Images)

Another 662 Iowans were infected with coronavirus on Thursday, and 11 Iowans were reported as having died of the virus.

Over the past seven days, there has been an average of 498 new cases per day in Iowa, a decrease of 15% from the average two weeks ago, according to the New York Times’ database.

As of Friday afternoon, there have been at least 44,522 infections in Iowa and 866 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the Times.

As usual, the New York Times’ data indicates a significantly higher daily count of infections and deaths in Iowa than the data reported by the Iowa Department of Public Health. IDPH has not responded to several questions from the Iowa Capital Dispatch about its data collection and reporting.

On Friday afternoon, IDPH was reporting 452 new infections on Thursday — 46 fewer than what was reported by the Times. On Friday, IDPH was reporting two deaths for Thursday, rather than the 11 reported by the Times.

The Times counts infections and deaths that have been identified by public health officials as “probable” coronavirus patients. Some states report only those coronavirus infections that have been confirmed through testing. The probable cases have been evaluated using criteria developed by the states and the federal government.

The number of active outbreaks in Iowa nursing homes remained at 22 on Friday,  while the number of infections associated with active outbreaks stood at 746 — representing 101 additional nursing home infections since Monday.

Between Thursday afternoon and Friday afternoon, three Iowa nursing home residents died of the virus, according to Iowa Department of Public Health data. That brings Iowa’s total number of nursing home residents who have died from COVID-19 to 468.

The three additional nursing home deaths is greater than the total statewide number of COVID-19 deaths reported by IDPH for the same time period — which could be attributable to delays in either confirming or reporting one of the two sets of data.

The number of Iowans hospitalized with COVID-19 has continued to dip, dropping from 253 on Tuesday, to 246 on Wednesday, to 237 on Thursday, and to 225 on Friday.  The number of infected Iowans admitted to a hospital during the previous 24 hours dropped slightly from 33 on Thursday to 31 on Friday.

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.