More than 500 people were hospitalized in Iowa Tuesday morning due to COVID-19 complications, the highest number of patients since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the state’s COVID-19 website.
Since the end of September, hospitalizations have steadily risen in Iowa, with Gov. Kim Reynolds acknowledging there is community spread in the state.
The last hospitalization peak occurred May 6 when 417 patients were admitted, according to the state’s COVID-19 website.
As of 10 a.m. Tuesday, 501 patients were hospitalized — a jump from the previous day’s record of 480 patients. There were 122 COVID-19 patients in intensive care units and 71 people were admitted in the past 24 hours.
In total, 38% of inpatient beds and 398 intensive care unit beds are available, according to the state.
At least 16 people were reported to have died Monday due to COVID-19 related complications and 780 new positive cases were reported in Iowa on Monday, according to the New York Times’ COVID-19 tracker.
This past week, there have been an average of 1,095 cases per day, an increase of 28% from two weeks earlier, according to the New York Times.
New data from John Hopkins and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services show that a national increase in COVID-19 cases are correlating with an uptick in nursing home cases during the week of Sept. 27, according to a report by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living.
In the U.S., COVID-19 cases rose by 62,139 cases per week, according to data by John Hopkins. An increase in community spread may subsequently result in outbreaks at nursing homes, said Mark Parkinson, president of AHCA and NCAL in a statement.
“The number one factor in keeping COVID out of our nursing homes, so we can protect our vulnerable population is reducing the level of the virus in the surrounding community,” Parkinson said. “While the support we have received from Congress, the Administration and other public health agencies have helped our facilities fight this battle, we could still see another wave of COVID cases caused by the sheer volume of rising cases in communities across the U.S. given the asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread of this virus.”
Residents in long-term care facilities in Iowa remain the most at risk of severe illness or death due to the virus. The White House Coronavirus Task Force has continuously recommended Iowa adopt a statewide mask mandate to protect vulnerable populations.
According to IDPH, there are now 65 active COVID-19 outbreaks in Iowa nursing homes with 1,647 infections associated with those outbreaks. Currently, the homes dealing with the most infections associated with an active outbreak are the Good Samaritan Society in Wapello County and the Rose Vista Home in Harrison County.