Iowa COVID-19 hospitalizations fall slightly; deaths up 46%

Iowa's COVID-related hospitalizations have risen sharply in recent weeks. (Photo by Mladen Sladojevic/Getty Images)

The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Iowa fell slightly Thursday, but remained in record territory. 

The 530 patients with the coronavirus in Iowa hospitals Thursday was down from 535, the record set Wednesday. That came after 501 were in the hospital on Tuesday, a record at the time.

The number patients with COVID-19 admitted to hospitals in the previous 24 hours stood at 85 Thursday afternoon, down from 90 the day before, the state reported.

Intensive care units had 135 COVID patients Thursday afternoon, up one from the day before.

With rising hospitalizations, Iowa has seen more deaths from COVID. The New York Times reported Thursday that Iowa has seen a 46% spike in deaths over the past 14 days, with 18 on Wednesday. 

By the Times’ count, Iowa through Thursday afternoon had 1,599 COVID-related deaths since the pandemic started. 

The average daily number of COVID cases in Iowa rose 27% over the past 14 days, the Times reported. The state has had 111,166 cases since the pandemic began, including 1,234 cases Wednesday, according to the Times’ database.

The Iowa Department of Public Health on Thursday reported there were 70 outbreaks at long-term care centers, up from 65 two days earlier. Since the pandemic started, 794 people have died of COVID at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, the state reported.

Iowa health officials reported that the Test Iowa operation at Merle Hay Mall in Des Moines will close Friday and move to 4475 N.E. Third St. for the winter. That is near the Bridgestone Firestone tire plant. Those being tested will still remain in their cars. 

The new site will open at 8 a.m. Monday.  A second testing site at Polk County River Place, 2309 Euclid Ave., will close Nov. 6.