COVID-19 outbreaks in Iowa care facilities are up 50% in two weeks

By: - January 3, 2022 2:30 pm

The number of COVID-19 outbreaks in Iowa nursing homes rose almost 50% over the past two weeks, according to the state. (Image by National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

The number of COVID-19 outbreaks in Iowa nursing homes rose almost 50% over the past two weeks, according to newly released data from state health officials.

There were 23 outbreaks in Iowa care facilities last week, compared to 16 two weeks ago, the Iowa Department of Public Health reported. The upward spike follows a more recent, but short-lived, trend that was marked by a declining number of care facility outbreaks.

The state agency defines a nursing home outbreak as a facility with three or more active infections among the staffers and/or residents.

Two weeks ago, there were 142 infections associated with the 16 then-active nursing home outbreaks. Currently, there are 185 infections associated with the 23 active outbreaks in Iowa nursing homes.

The biggest current outbreaks are at Wapello County’s Ridgewood Specialty Care, where there are 22 infections, twice the number reported two weeks ago; and at Johnson County’s Iowa City Rehab & Health Care Center, where there are 14 infections, up from seven reported two weeks ago. (Due to an error, IDPH incorrectly reported two weeks ago that the infection count at the Iowa City home was five.)

The site of the biggest outbreak two weeks ago — Clinton County’s Wheatland Manor, where there was a reported total of 36 infections – does not appear on the most recent list of outbreaks, indicating there are now two or fewer active infections in the home.

The biggest trouble spot for care facility infections now appears to be Linn County. Two weeks ago, there were no outbreaks reported in any Linn County facilities. The newest list shows three outbreaks there, totaling 23 infections.

Here’s a look at each of the 23 Iowa care facilities where an active outbreak was reported last week:

Appanoose County — Golden Age Care Center: 10 infections. This is a new outbreak occurring within the past two weeks.

Black Hawk County — Manorcare Health Services of Waterloo: 10 infections, the same number as two weeks ago.

Black Hawk County — Newaldaya Lifescapes: 12 infections, up from 11 infections two weeks ago.

Boone County — Madrid Home for the Aging: Seven infections. This is a new outbreak occurring within the past two weeks.

Buchanan County — ABCM Rehabilitation Centers of Independence-East Campus: Four infections, the same number as two weeks ago.

Franklin County — Rehabilitation Center of Hampton: Six infections, the same number as two weeks ago.

Grundy County — Grundy Care Center: Five infections. This is a new outbreak occurring within the past two weeks.

Henry County — New London Specialty Care: Four infections. This is a new outbreak occurring within the past two weeks.

Jackson County — Mill Valley Care Center: Four infections. This is a new outbreak occurring within the past two weeks.

Jefferson County — Sunny Brook Living Care Center: Six infections. This is a new outbreak occurring within the past two weeks.

Johnson County — Iowa City Rehab & Health Care Center: 14 infections, up from five infections two weeks ago.

Linn County — Heritage Specialty Care: Six infections. This is a new outbreak occurring within the past two weeks.

Linn County — Hiawatha Care Center: 12 infections. This is a new outbreak occurring within the past two weeks.

Linn County — West Ridge Care Center: Five infections. This is a new outbreak occurring within the past two weeks.

Madison County – QHC Winterset North: 12 infections. This is a new outbreak occurring within the past two weeks.

Mahaska County — Northern Mahaska Specialty Care: Three infections. This is a new outbreak occurring within the past two weeks.

Marshall County — Iowa Veterans Home: Five infections, the same number as reported two weeks ago.

Mills County — On With Life at Glenwood: Seven infections, up from four reported two weeks ago.

Poweshiek County — Brooklyn Community Estates: Four infections. This is a new outbreak occurring within the past two weeks.

Scott County — Davenport Lutheran Home: 11 infections. This is a new outbreak occurring within the past two weeks.

Scott County — Kahl Home for the Aged & Infirm: Nine infections, up from eight reported two weeks ago.

Wapello County — Ridgewood Specialty Care: 22 infections, up from 11 infections reported two weeks ago.

Wapello County — Vista Woods Care Center: Seven infections, up from six reported two weeks ago.

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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.

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