A record 49 additional COVID-19 deaths reported in Iowa
COVID-19 cells (Photo via Ohio.gov)
A record 49 Iowans with COVID-19 lost their lives on Tuesday, bringing the total number of coronavirus-related deaths to 2,271 during the pandemic to date, according to New York Times data.
The average number of COVID-related deaths per day has increased 75% from the average two weeks ago, the Times reported.
The state’s data for COVID-19 related deaths is far different. The Iowa Department of Public Health reported only one death for Tuesday, although the pandemic’s cumulative total of 2,271 is the same as the New York Times’ report.
Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday said Iowa’s data on COVID-related deaths is based on whether the state has a positive PCR test. “And that’s what we’ve done from the very beginning, of COVID-19,” she said. “There’s not one standard nationally, but we align with what the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state epidemiologists) consider a positive case and that’s through case investigation confirmed with a PCR.”
Reynolds said some states “look at it differently” and death certificates may be delayed, which affects data reporting. “So we’re reviewing that, and continue to review that and see how we should continue to address and list the number of deaths in Iowa.”
PCR tests are the more common in Iowa and the kind of test conducted by Test Iowa. However, the state began counting positive antigen tests as part of its new case data in late August. So far, the state has recorded 25,215 positive antigen tests out of 134,683 tests conducted. That compares to 194,396 positive PCR tests to date out of more than 1 million tests.
Iowa has seen a decrease in the average number of new COVID-19 cases this week. The state has averaged 3,513 new cases per day over the past week. That’s a decrease of 16% from the average two weeks earlier, according to the Times.
Hospitalizations continue to rise, but at a slower rate than in previous weeks. The Times data shows a seven-day average of 3,513 people with COVID-19 in hospitals, a 51% increase from 14 days ago. That’s down from last week; Reynolds said the state saw hospitalization peak on Nov. 17 at 1,527 people hospitalized. There were 1,333 Iowans hospitalized as of Tuesday, the Times reported.
Reynolds said Tuesday it was too soon to consider the decreases a trend and warned that Iowa “cannot risk” a new spike in cases after the holidays because of the strain on hospital capacity.
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