Iowa COVID cases jump 12% in past week
The omicron subvariant BA.5 is estimated to be the dominant source of COVID-19 infections in the United States. (Courtesy of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rocky Mountain Lab)
Nearly 850 people were infected per day by the coronavirus in Iowa in the past week, according to Iowa Department of Public Health data that was released Wednesday.
That’s a 12% increase from a week ago and is again the highest recorded infection rate since the lull in late March, when there were about half that number of cases for an entire week.
The state reported 5,924 new cases on Wednesday and 23 new deaths. A total of 9,782 people have died in Iowa after being infected by the virus.
A single-day snapshot of hospitalizations among those infected showed a decrease from last week. On Wednesday, there were 249 infected people receiving inpatient treatment, down from 256 a week ago, according the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
However, data collected by the New York Times shows there had been an average of 295 hospitalized people per day in the past week in Iowa.
About half of Iowa now has a moderate or high threat of infection based on per-capita infections and hospitalizations, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week. Those counties are mostly in southwest Iowa, far northern Iowa and eastern Iowa. The Des Moines metro area is not included.
The counties with the highest threats include: Buchanan, Clinton, Des Moines, Emmet, Johnson, Jones, Linn, Mills, Montgomery, Pocahontas and Shelby.
The official counts of new infections are likely large undercounts because of at-home testing that’s not reported to the state and infected people who aren’t tested at all. That notion is backed by wastewater sampling for virus concentrations in major cities, including Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. Those tests show rapid increases in virus loads without a corresponding rise in cases.
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