COVID-19 outbreaks shoot up in long term care facilities

Travis Fischer

Governor Kim Reynolds extended the Public Health Emergency Declaration for another 30 days on Friday, October 16.

This extension, which is anticipated to be continually renewed through at least the end of the year, keeps in place the public health measures that have been enacted to slow the spread of COVID-19.

This includes bars and restaurants ensuring six feet of physical distance between each group or individual and similar requirements for gyms, casinos, salons, theaters, and virtually any other public space where people might gather.

Likewise, any public gatherings of more than ten people must similarly ensure that six feet of physical distance is maintained between groups and individuals.

As of Sunday, October 18, there have been 107,118 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, increasing the 99,687 total from the week prior by 7,431 cases, another increase in new cases from the previous week.

In total, approximately 4,285 elderly adults (age 80+); 14,997 older adults (61-80); 28,922 middle aged adults (41-60); 49,275 young adults (18-40); and 9,641 children have tested positive for the disease. These estimates are based on a percentage-based breakdown of the state’s reported positive cases.

With 81,806 cases considered recovered, that leaves roughly 23,784 Iowans currently known to be fighting the disease, an increase of 1,815 from the previous week.

899,289 individuals have been tested since the start of the pandemic, including 834,151 PCR tests and 65,138 by antigen tests. An average of 1,800 PCR tests per day were counted over the last week along with a total of 23,908 new antigen tests.

Current testing shows that roughly 61% of positive cases result in symptoms while 12% have been asymptomatic, with the remaining cases pending or unknown.

In addition, 64,094 Iowans have undergone serology testing for coronavirus antibodies, which would indicate that they have had the virus. Of that number, 3,667, about 6%, have tested positive for antibodies.

Cases requiring hospitalization continue to rise, with four consecutive weeks of increases. 475 Iowans were hospitalized with the disease as of Sunday, with 108 in an ICU.

COVID-19 deaths saw a slight decrease last week, with 68 dying from the disease, bringing the total death count of the disease in Iowa to 1,528.

In total, approximately 749 elderly (49%), 611 older adults (40%), 138 middle aged adults (9%), 31 young adults (2%), and one child (.1%) have died from the virus since the pandemic began.

Of the new deaths, 29 have been attributed to outbreaks in long term care facilities, bringing the number of deaths in long term care facilities to 739.

The number of long term care facilities reporting outbreaks saw another large spike this week, increasing by ten with 64 now reporting outbreaks consisting of 1,566 positive individuals with 630 considered recovered.



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