Infections continue their upward trend in Iowa while vaccinations lag

By: - January 15, 2021 3:28 pm

Drawing of coronavirus cells. (Image via National Foundation for Infectious Diseases)

Iowa reported an additional 19 coronavirus deaths and 1,398 new infections Thursday, as the state’s rate of infection continued to climb.

Over the past week, Iowa has recorded an average of 1,339 new cases of COVID-19 each day, an increase of 16% from the average two weeks ago, according to the New York Times’ coronavirus tracker.

As of Friday afternoon, Iowa had recorded at least 303,097 cases of COVID-19, along with 4,257 deaths, since the beginning of the pandemic.

Iowa currently ranks seventh among the states with the highest rates of infection — behind North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Tennessee, Rhode Island and Wisconsin. For every 100,000 residents, Iowa has recorded 9,666 infections.

Only 10 other states have a lower rate of COVID-19 vaccination than Iowa, which currently has provided vaccines to 0.4 percent of the state’s total population, according to the Washington Post.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported Friday that there were 81 active outbreaks at Iowa nursing homes tied to 1,857 infections of both residents and staff.

The agency says there are 513 Iowans hospitalized with the virus, and 91 of them are in intensive care. A total of 88 Iowans with the virus were admitted to Iowa hospitals during the previous 24 hours.

Nationally, cases have risen 34% and deaths 45% in the past two weeks. Since the pandemic started last spring, more than 23 million people have tested positive for the virus in the United States.

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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.