430 more Iowans infected with COVID-19, with hospitalizations inching upward

COVID-19 cells (Photo via Ohio.gov)

Another 430 Iowans were reported to be infected with coronavirus on Sunday, and four Iowans were reported as having died of the virus.

As of Monday morning, there have been at least 45,781 cases and 878 deaths in Iowa since the beginning of the pandemic, according to a New York Times database.

Over the past seven days, there has been an average of 481 cases per day, a decrease of 1% from the average two weeks earlier.

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 Monday afternoon, IDPH was reporting there had been 290 new infections on Sunday — 140 fewer than what was reported by the Times. On Friday, IDPH was reporting there had been one death Sunday, rather than the four 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 Monday, while the number of infections associated with active outbreaks stood at 764 — representing 18 additional nursing home infections since Friday.

Between Friday afternoon and Monday afternoon, afternoon, five 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 473.

The 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, after dropping all of last week, increased over the weekend. On Friday, 225 Iowans were hospitalized with the virus, and by Monday that number had increased to 241. The number of infected Iowans admitted to a hospital during the previous 24 hours dropped slightly from 31 on Friday to 27 on Monday.

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.