COVID-19 cases fall, but hospitalizations and deaths remain elevated

Iowa has seen a slight increase in COVID-19 cases. (Parker Michels-Boyce/ For the Virginia Mercury)

Iowa’s new COVID-19 cases fell from a spike last week, but hospitalizations and deaths remain high.

Iowa’s COVID-19 cases were down 6% over the last seven days, the Washington Post reported Monday. The decrease follows a sharp increase last week, when cases were up 33.7% compared to the week before.

Hospitalizations and deaths, however, have increased over the last week. Hospitalizations increased by 9% and deaths were up 100% from the last week, according to the Post database. The jump may be partially due to a Sunday addition of 68 deaths to state data, some of which were catching up from previous weeks according to the Des Moines Register. 

Iowa’s test-positivity rate over the past seven days is 7%, close to the national average of 6%. 

In Polk County, the 14-day positivity rate is 8%, according to the New York Times. The Times classifies Polk County citizens as “at a very high risk” of exposure to COVID-19.

Monday marked the first day of general eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine in Iowa. All Iowans age 16 or older may sign up for a vaccine appointment. 

So far, about 21% of Iowans have received both doses of the vaccine, according to the Washington Post and the New York Times. One-third of Iowans have had at least one dose.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported Monday that 292,641 individuals had tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, and 5,822 had died.

Katie Akin
Reporter Katie Akin began her career as an intern at PolitiFact, debunking viral fake news and fact-checking state and national politicians. She moved to Iowa in 2019 for a politics internship at the Des Moines Register, where she assisted with Iowa Caucus coverage, multimedia projects and the Register’s Iowa Poll. She became the Register’s retail reporter in early 2020, chronicling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Central Iowa’s restaurants and retailers.