Capital Clicks

Iowa COVID hospitalizations decline after a monthlong upward trend

By: - March 15, 2023 1:28 pm

Restaurants and bars in Iowa closed three years ago this week as the pandemic began. (Photo illustration via Canva)

Those who are infected by the coronavirus and are receiving inpatient treatment at Iowa hospitals declined about 7% last week as similar decreases in infections were noted by state health officials.

That is a retreat from a modest, monthlong upward trend of reported infections and hospitalizations.

About 149 infected people were hospitalized on any given day last week, down from 160 the week before, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The number of new reported infections in the past week among people who weren’t previously infected totaled 1,753 — a 9% decrease from the week prior.

The total number of tests that identified active infections was 2,442 for the past week. That’s a 1% decrease. It includes reinfections of people who were previously infected by the virus, which the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services does not report to federal health officials.

The state also reported 17 new deaths among infected people, although it’s unclear when those deaths occurred. A total of 10,742 have died since the start of the pandemic.

The state plans to again scale back its COVID-19 reporting next month and has noted that its data is not an accurate portrayal of total infections. That is due in part to the widespread use of at-home rapid tests that are not recorded and reported along with infections that are confirmed by lab tests.

Sampling of wastewater in the Des Moines metro area suggests that infections are significantly undercounted by the state reporting program, but it also shows that virus loads are lower than they were during a recent peak of reported infections in December.

Friday is the three-year anniversary of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ issuance of a public health emergency declaration that first closed restaurants and bars at the beginning of the pandemic.

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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.