Iowa COVID-19 infection rate increases at least 5%
The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday reported a 7% increase in new infections in the past week among people who were not previously infected. (Image via National Foundation for Infectious Diseases)
The number of weekly reported COVID-19 infections in the state increased for the second straight week, continuing the reversal of a downward trend in cases that had marked the start of the year, according to state data.
The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday reported 1,626 new infections in the past week among people who were not previously infected. That is a 7% increase from last week’s report.
The state also noted 2,255 total positive tests, a 5% increase. Those tests include reinfections of people who were previously infected, which the state does not report to federal health officials.
State data does not include the results of at-home, rapid tests, which HHS doesn’t track.
The omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 is now the likely source of most coronavirus infections in the Midwest, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It accounts for an estimated 53% of infections in a four-state region that includes Iowa.
Despite the increase of documented infections, hospitalizations are still decreasing. There was an average of 114 infected people receiving inpatient treatment at Iowa hospitals last week. That is down from 121 for the previous reporting week.
The threat of infection is low in the vast majority of Iowa, according to a CDC analysis of infection and hospitalization data.
On Wednesday, the state also reported 28 new deaths among infected people, for a total of 10,653 since the start of the pandemic.
HHS reports that at least 189 infected people died in December, the highest number in a month since February 2022, when Iowa’s infection rate was waning from its pandemic peak.
The state has so far reported 102 deaths in January, a number that will likely be revised. Deaths can be tallied weeks or months after they happen.
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