Most of Iowa now has ‘low’ COVID infection risk

By: - October 5, 2022 12:11 pm

The nation's COVID-19 infection rate has been declining since late July. (Image by Fotograzia/Getty Images)

About two-thirds of Iowa has a low risk of infection by the coronavirus as newly reported cases in the state — and nationwide — continue to decline, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The state’s infection rate declined at least 11% this past week, state health officials reported Wednesday. But the number of infected people receiving inpatient treatment at Iowa hospitals is higher than a week ago.

There were 196 people with COVID-19 hospitalized on Wednesday, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That’s an increase from 179 a week ago. Of those currently hospitalized, 16 are under intensive care.

The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,853 new infections among those not previously infected on Wednesday.

The total possible new infections might have been 2,312, based on state testing data. In its reports, the state does not include reinfections of previously infected people in the case counts it reports to the CDC. Still, there was a 15% decline in total positive tests from last week.

The state also reported 20 new deaths among those infected, for a total of 10,097 since the start of the pandemic.

For the first time in months, none of the state’s counties has a high risk of infection, according to the CDC, which analyzes infection and hospitalization data to guide residents about what precautions to take against infection. Counties are rated low, medium and high. On Wednesday, there were 32 counties of medium risk of infection, mainly in north-central Iowa and eastern Iowa.

The current rate of infection in Iowa is about one-fifth of what it was last year at this time, according to the New York Times. The nation’s infection rate has been declining since late July.

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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. His investigative work exposing police misconduct has notched several state and national awards. He is a longtime trustee of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, which fights for open records and open government. He is a lifelong Iowan and has lived mostly in rural western parts of the state.