Iowa COVID hospitalizations decline significantly along with infections

By: - January 18, 2023 3:37 pm

The XBB.1.5 coronavirus subvariant has yet to emerge as a leading cause of infections in the Midwest. (Image by Fotograzia/Getty Images)

The number of people who have COVID-19 and are receiving inpatient treatment at Iowa hospitals declined 20% in the past week, with a similar decrease in the state’s documented infection rate.

There were 1,690 new infections confirmed in the past week among people who were not previously infected, according to a Wednesday report by the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services. There were a total of 2,356 positive tests, which includes reinfections that are not reported by the state to federal health officials.

Those are 23% and 15% declines in reported cases and positive tests — the most significant decreases in weeks.

The state’s documented infection rate does not include results from widely available at-home, rapid tests.

There were 177 people infected by the coronavirus hospitalized in Iowa on Wednesday, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That’s comparable to the hospitalization rates in late November that preceded a surge in early December.

Of those currently hospitalized, 17 were under intensive care.

The state also reported on Wednesday 30 new deaths among infected people for a total of 10,538 since the start of the pandemic.

About two-thirds of the state had a low risk of infection late last week, based on a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and prevention analysis of infection and hospitalization rates. Counties with higher risk were mostly in northwest, north-central and east-central Iowa.

The omicron XBB.1.5 subvariant of the coronavirus has yet to emerge as the leading source of COVID-19 infections in the Midwest, according to CDC data. It accounts for about 82% in the Northeast but only 9% in a region of four states that includes Iowa.

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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.