COVID-19 infection rates are increasing thanks to highly contagious omicron subvariants. (Courtesy of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rocky Mountain Lab)
State health officials identified an average of 245 new COVID-19 infections per day in Iowa in the past week, which is almost double the rate of two weeks ago, according to new data released Wednesday by the Iowa Department of Public Health.
The state reported 1,716 new confirmed cases for the past week, up from 900 two weeks ago. After the state’s pandemic peak in January, the infection rate bottomed out in late March at 478 for a single week.
The number of infected people receiving inpatient treatment at Iowa hospitals also increased to 84 this week, a 33% jump from the week before, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data. Six people were under intensive care.
The increase in Iowa’s infection rate is roughly on par with national trends. Public health officials in New York have said two highly contagious omicron subvariants are likely to blame.
The number of new cases in Iowa is still significantly smaller than the January peak, when the state was confirming more than 5,000 per day. At one point, there were slightly more than 1,000 infected people receiving inpatient hospital treatment.
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Despite the rising case numbers, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent report about the level of community spread said it was low in all Iowa counties. That report is set to be updated Thursday. The CDC ranks community spread in each county based on infection and hospitalization rates.
IDPH also reported 19 new deaths among infected people, but it’s unclear when they occurred. That number is about half of what the state reported last week.
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