Iowa’s surge in COVID cases strengthens

By: - September 13, 2021 2:58 pm

The uptick in Iowa’s COVID-19 cases gained steam over the weekend, the New York Times reported. 

Iowa’s daily average of new cases was up 27% over the two weeks that ended Sunday, the Times reported. The comparable two-week figure reported Friday was 23%. 

However, the gain in hospitalizations slowed a bit. As of Sunday, hospitalizations were up 3% in two weeks. Friday’s figure was 3.8%.

The Washington Post reported Iowa’s cases rose 8% in the past week. The state ranked 27th in per-capita average new daily cases of COVID-19.

Hospitalizations rose 1.6% in the past week, the Post reported. 

The state’s test positivity rate was 12.2%. The number of tests fell sharply, 32.1%, from the previous week, the Post’s database showed.

As of Monday, 52.6% of Iowans were fully vaccinated for COVID, the Post reported.

Iowa continues to struggle with the rapidly spreading delta variant of COVID. Children are back in schools run by elected boards that have been banned by state lawmakers and the governor from setting local mask mandates. A Polk County judge on Friday declined to temporarily block that law in connection with a lawsuit filed by a Council Bluffs mother. A separate federal lawsuit is pending.

Most businesses have not forced customers to wear masks. Few have limited customers or brought back required social distancing. 

But many businesses have signs recommending that unvaccinated customers wear a mask. On Monday, 801 Grand, the state’s tallest building, had signs telling all visitors they had to wear a mask.

Many Des Moines area churches are recommending that everyone attending a service in person wear a mask. 

As of 2:30 p.m. Monday, the Iowa Department of Public Health had not updated the dashboard on its COVID-19 website, which is updated on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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Perry Beeman
Perry Beeman

Perry Beeman has nearly 40 years of experience in Iowa journalism and has won national awards for environmental and business writing. He has written for The Des Moines Register and the Business Record, where he also served as managing editor. He also is former editorial director of Grinnell College. He co-authored the recently published book, "The $80 Billion Gamble," which details the lottery-rigging case of Eddie Tipton.