COVID-19 spreads at Woodward home as Iowa tops 100,000 infections to date

By: - October 12, 2020 1:27 pm

Drawing of coronavirus cells. (Image via National Foundation for Infectious Diseases)

COVID-19 is continuing to spread at the state-run Woodward Resource Center for people with disabilities, while the statewide count of total infections to date passed the 100,000 mark.

Iowa reported two new coronavirus deaths and 842 new infections on Sunday. Over the past week, there has been an average of 1,028 new infections per day, an increase of 16% from the average two weeks earlier, according to the New York Times’ COVID-19 tracker.

As of Monday morning, Iowa had confirmed at least 100,058 infections and 1,467 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the Times’ database. Almost 2,800 of the infections in Iowa have been tied to five Tyson Foods plants in Iowa.

In recent days, the number of infections at two state-run care facilities for the disabled — western Iowa’s Glenwood Resource Center and central Iowa’s Woodward Resource Center — has increased sharply.

On Oct. 7, Woodward reported a total of 13 staff members who were positive for COVID-19, and 11 residents who were positive. Just 48 hours later, on Oct. 9, Woodward was reporting 20 positive staff members and 15 positive residents.

At Glenwood, there are 25 workers and 15 residents who are positive. The total number of staff and resident active infections at Glenwood has quadrupled from 10 to 40 since Sept. 30.

Glenwood and Woodward are run by the Iowa Department of Human Services. Department spokesman Matt Highland said last week that while there have been no confirmed COVID-19 deaths at any of Iowa’s six DHS-run facilities, one asymptomatic resident of Glenwood recently died. The death was still being investigated to determine whether COVID-19 was a factor.

State records show that the cumulative total of infections at the six DHS-run facilities in Iowa stood at 216 at noon on Friday, with 83 of those individuals not yet recovered.

As part of its effort to track the spread of COVID-19 in Iowa and other states, the New York Times has catalogued the businesses, schools and corrections facilities that have generated the highest number of known infections.

Among the biggest clusters of infections in Iowa:


Tyson Foods processing plant, Waterloo: 1,031 cases

Tyson Foods processing plant, Perry: 730 cases

Tyson Foods processing plant, Storm Lake: 591 cases

Tyson Foods processing plant, Council Bluffs: 224 cases

Tyson Foods processing plant, Columbus Junction: 221 cases

Seaboard Triumph processing plant, Sioux City: 176 cases

West Liberty Foods processing plant: 136 cases

TPI Composites wind turbine plant, Newton: 131 cases


Heritage Specialty Care, Cedar Rapids: 115 cases

Bishop Drumm, Johnston: 102 cases

Trinity Center at Luther Park, Des Moines: 97 cases

Harmony House, Waterloo: 92 cases

Pearl Valley Rehabilitation, Muscatine: 84 cases


University of Iowa, Iowa City: 2,109 cases

Iowa State University, Ames: 1,340 cases

University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls: 178 cases

Iowa Wesleyan University, Mount Pleasant: 103

Northwestern College, Orange City: 78 cases


Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility, Mount Pleasant: 456 cases

Fort Dodge Correctional Facility, Fort Dodge: 408 cases

Iowa Medical and Classification Center, Coralville: 402 cases

Polk County Jail, Des Moines: 261 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.