New COVID-19 cases are being detected at a higher rate, and a judge nixed federal mask requirements for planes. (Image by Fotograzia/Getty Images)
There were 1,063 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Iowa in the past week — the largest weekly total in more than a month, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health’s update on Wednesday.
The number is still only about 20% of the infection rate in January, when the omicron variant surge led to more than 5,000 new confirmed cases each day. The state’s infection rate trended downward until late March, when the state reported 478 cases in one week. The rate has more than doubled in April.
The number of infected people receiving inpatient treatment at Iowa hospitals decreased slightly from last week to 63, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data. There were two people under intensive care on Wednesday, down from seven the week before.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had extended a mask mandate for planes and other public transportation until early May due to rising infection rates in northeastern states and in smaller geographic hot spots elsewhere in the country, but a federal judge on Monday nixed the mandate and said the CDC had exceeded its authority. The Des Moines International Airport lifted its mask requirement, according to its website.
The CDC reported “medium” community transmission of the coronavirus for three western Iowa counties in its latest report on Thursday. They included Calhoun, Carroll and Sac counties. The low, medium and high rankings the CDC uses to describe that community spread is based on infection and hospitalization rates. The rest of Iowa’s counties had low transmission.
The state also reported 35 new deaths among those who had been infected by the coronavirus. It’s unclear when those deaths occurred. A total of 9,510 infected people have died.
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