Iowa sets new records for hospitalizations as COVID-19 deaths increase

Nurses' station in a busy hospital.
Iowa has set a new record for hospitalizations of people with COVID-19. (Photo by FS Productions/Getty Images)

As Iowa enters its third week of record COVID-19 hospitalizations, the state is seeing an increase in the number of deaths attributed to the virus.

Nineteen new coronavirus deaths and 510 new infections were reported in Iowa on Monday. Over the past seven days, Iowa has averaged 12 deaths per day, the highest weekly average since the first week of June, according to the New York Times.

On Tuesday, the Iowa Department of Public Health reported the state had set a new record for the number of Iowans hospitalized with the virus: 493, which beat the old record of 461 set on Oct. 8.

The rolling 14-day total of hospitalized COVID-19 patients also reached a new high, at 5,853. The rolling 14-day total of new hospital admissions for COVID-19 also set a record, at 886.

IDPH also reported that 114 of Iowa’s COVID-19 patients were in intensive care Tuesday — a slight increase from the previous day’s total of 109.

Over the past week, there has been an average of 1,027 new infections per day, an increase of 15% from the average two weeks earlier, according to the New York Times’ coronavirus tracker.

According to IDPH, there are now 59 active COVID-19 outbreaks in Iowa nursing homes with 1,339 infections associated with those outbreaks. Currently, the homes dealing with the most infections associated with an active outbreak are the Hiawatha Care Center in Linn County and the Rose Vista Home in Harrison County. Both facilities are reporting 79 infections of staff and residents in connection with the current outbreaks.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Iowa had reported at least 100,896 infections and 1,485 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the Times.

Also on Tuesday, the increasing number of infections at two state-run care facilities for people with disabilities — western Iowa’s Glenwood Resource Center and central Iowa’s Woodward Resource Center — appeared to shows signs of slowing down.

Woodward was reporting 19 positive staff members and 15 positive residents on Tuesday, roughly the same numbers reported on Monday. The same is true at Glenwood, where there were 25 workers and 15 residents reported as positive on Tuesday.

State records show that the cumulative total of infections at Iowa’s six state-run care facilities stood at 216 last Friday, with 83 of those individuals not yet recovered. Currently, the cumulative total of infections at those same facilities is 229, with all but 81 recovered.