Iowa’s rate of new COVID-19 cases falls but state ranks last in testing

A coronavirus test kit. (Photo courtesy of Centers for Disease Control)

Iowa has seen a significant drop in new COVID-19 cases and related hospitalizations and deaths, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

In the past two weeks, the number of new daily cases has fallen by 14%. Hospitalizations are down 13% and deaths, 25%, the Times reported. 

Only seven states had fewer deaths per capita than Iowa in the past seven days, the Washington Post reported.

Iowa reported one coronavirus-related death and 931 new cases on Monday, the newspaper reported. Over the past week, the state averaged 1,187 new cases per day. 

Sometimes a drop in tests brings lower case totals.

Iowa has the lowest test rate among the states with 596 tests per 100,000 residents in the past week, well below the next-lowest, South Dakota. Among all U.S. states and territories, only Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana islands and American Samoa ran fewer tests, the Post’s database shows.

In that same period, Iowa ranked fourth in the percentage of tests that were positive, with exactly a third of the tests confirming COVID-19. 

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported that 306,667 Iowans have tested positive since the pandemic began last spring. A total of 4,332 have died. 

The state on Tuesday reported 73 current COVID-19 outbreaks at nursing homes, with 1,881 residents and staff testing positive at those facilities. Since the pandemic began, 1,782 nursing home residents have died of COVID-19.