41 more Iowans die as COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to climb

By: - November 18, 2020 4:57 pm

An attack that left two dead at the Anamosa State Penitentiary has heightened debate over prison funding. (Photo courtesy of Iowa Department of Corrections)

With hospitalizations continuing to soar in Iowa, 41 additional Iowans were reported to have died of COVID-19 on Tuesday, and 3,599 Iowans were reported to be newly infected with the virus.

Iowa’s prison system, meanwhile, continues to see an increase in infections. Close to 3,000 inmates and workers have been infected in the Iowa prisons since the beginning of the pandemic.

Over the past week, Iowa has averaged 4,196 new cases of COVID-19 per day, an increase of 87% from the average two weeks earlier, according to the New York Times’ COVID-19 tracker.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Iowa had recorded 195,513 cases and a total 2,064 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, 1,527 Iowans are now hospitalized with the virus. That number represents another record high in a long string of record-breaking highs that began in early October.

There are 283 Iowans in intensive care units, a slight decrease from the previous day’s total of 288. According to the public health department, 353 ICU beds remain available across the state.

In the past 24 hours, 234 Iowans were admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 symptoms. The rate of new admissions is double the level recorded just 19 days ago, on Oct. 31.

There are now 94 current, active COVID-19 outbreaks in Iowa nursing homes, with 2,806 infections of residents and workers associated with those outbreaks.

According to the New York Times database, colleges and universities in Iowa account for at least 5,522 cases of COVID-19. The biggest clusters of infections are the University of Iowa in Iowa City, with 2,330 cases; Iowa State University in Ames, with 1,518 cases; and the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls with 261 cases.

Other top clusters of infections: Anamosa State Penitentiary, with 862 cases; the Clarinda Correctional Facility, with 593 cases; the Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility, with 550 cases; Fort Dodge Correctional Facility, with 435 cases, and the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville with 426 cases. The Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison accounts for 84 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.