Iowa surpasses 9,000 COVID deaths

By: - February 23, 2022 4:39 pm

COVID-19 cell graphic. (Image via National Foundation for Infectious Diseases)

More than 9,000 people in Iowa have died after being infected by the coronavirus, according to Iowa Department of Public Health data.

The state surpassed that mark when it reported 137 new deaths associated with COVID-19 on Wednesday. The death toll now stands at 9,085.

Death reports are often delayed by more than a month, so they might remain high for a period of time in the wake of the state’s peak infection rate for the pandemic last month. However, the number of new confirmed cases each week since has plummeted.

Most recently, the state has been averaging about 600 new confirmed cases per day, whereas the average was more than 5,000 per day in mid January. The current infection rate is the lowest it’s been since August 2021, before the arrival of the omicron variant.

Nearly all COVID-19 infections are now caused by that variant, according to genetic sequencing conducted by the State Hygienic Laboratory.

The number of infected people who are receiving inpatient treatment at Iowa hospitals also continues to fall. On Wednesday, there were 345 people hospitalized for COVID-19, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That number was a decrease of about 23% from last week, when 446 people were hospitalized. The number peaked at slightly more than 1,000 in January.

There were 38 people receiving intensive care for COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, which accounted for about 10% of all intensive-care patients.

Statewide, nearly 72% of adults are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those who are eligible to be vaccinated — which includes people ages 5 and older — about 65% are fully vaccinated.

About half of those who are fully vaccinated have also received a booster dose.

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Jared Strong
Jared Strong

Senior reporter Jared Strong has written about Iowans and the important issues that affect them for more than 15 years, previously for the Carroll Times Herald and the Des Moines Register.