Iowa COVID cases and hospitalizations continue slow rise

By: - March 8, 2023 3:21 pm

The total number of new weekly Iowa infections reported to federal health officials is up 26% in the past month. (Image via National Foundation for Infectious Diseases)

The state’s COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates have been slowly increasing for the past month.

On Wednesday, the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services reported at least a 7% increase in documented infections for the past week, and federal health officials reported an 11% increase in hospitalizations.

There were an average of 160 people infected by the coronavirus receiving inpatient treatment at Iowa hospitals each day last week, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That was up from 142 the week prior.

The state reported 1,916 new infections in the past week among people who were not previous infected. That is a 10% increase from the previous week and a 26% increase from a month ago.

The total number of individual people who have tested positive for the disease and have been recorded by the state now total nearly 904,000. That is more than 28% of the state’s population, although the figure is likely higher due to deficiencies in testing and reporting.

State health officials do not track the results of widely available rapid, at-home tests and recently acknowledged the relative lack of accuracy of its infection reporting when it announced it would scale back that reporting next month.

The state documented 2,473 total positive tests in the past week, a 7% increase from the previous week. That includes infected people who were previously infected. The state does not report such reinfections to federal health officials.

The state also reported 25 new deaths associated with COVID-19 infections, for a total of 10,725 since the start of the pandemic.

The omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 is the leading cause of infections in a four-state region monitored by the CDC that includes Iowa. It accounts for more than 87% of infections in that region. In the Northeast, it is responsible for about 98% of infections.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

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.