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Iowa COVID cases plateau and hospitalizations drop

By: - November 16, 2022 12:53 pm

(Courtesy of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rocky Mountain Lab)

The state’s COVID-19 infection rate held roughly steady this past week, but hospitalizations among those infected declined about 24%, according to state and federal health data.

The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday reported 1,980 infections among those who were not previously infected, a 6% increase from the week prior.

The total number of positive tests recorded by the state — which includes reinfections — totaled 2,547, about a 1% increase.

The state does not include infections of those who were previously infected in the total cases it reports to federal health officials. The state data also does not include infections that were confirmed with at-home, rapid tests, which it doesn’t track.

The number of infected people receiving inpatient treatment at Iowa hospitals totaled 137 on Wednesday, a decline from 180 the week prior. Of those hospitalized, 16 were under intensive care.

The state also reported 24 new deaths associated with the virus, for a total of 10,253 since the start of the pandemic.

The state’s relatively stagnant infection rate mirrors that of the United States as a whole, according to data collected by the New York Times. Globally, infection rates are highest in several European countries, Australia, Chile, Japan, South Korea and others.

Most of Iowa has a low risk of infection, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analysis of infection and hospitalization rates. Counties with elevated risks are primarily in the far north.

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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.

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