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No Iowa counties have ‘high’ COVID risk as spread continues to wane

By: - October 19, 2022 1:38 pm

The spread of the coronavirus has slowed worldwide, but Europe is bracing for a winter surge. (Image via National Foundation for Infectious Diseases)

Iowa’s COVID-19 infection rate is about half what it was a month ago as the number of documented cases continues to wane, according to state data.

On Wednesday, the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,508 new, confirmed cases in the past week among those with no known previous infection. That’s a 12% decrease from the report a week ago and a 48% decrease from a month ago.

The actual number of coronavirus infections in Iowa might have been 2,040 in the past week based on state testing data. State officials do not count reinfections — a new, confirmed infection that occurs more than 90 days after a previous infection — as part of the new cases they report to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Those who are infected and receiving inpatient treatment at Iowa hospitals also declined in the past week from 174 to 144, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data. Of those, 12 were under intensive care on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the state also reported 27 new deaths among infected people for a total of 10,152 since the start of the pandemic. It’s unclear when those deaths occurred.

No Iowa county has a high risk of infection, the CDC reported late last week. The agency rates counties low, medium or high based on per-capita infection and hospitalization rates. Those who live in “high” counties are encouraged to wear masks in public, indoor places.

The vast majority of the state’s counties are designated “low.” There are 17 counties considered “medium,” mostly in far northwest and northeast Iowa.

The United States is among the majority of countries of the world that have relatively low infection rates right now, according to the New York Times. European countries have the highest, and health officials there have warned of a potential winter surge in cases.

Last week, federal regulators approved a new COVID-19 vaccine booster for children ages 5 to 11 that is believed to be more effective against currently circulating coronavirus variants.

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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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