Iowa reaches new record in long term care COVID-19 outbreaks

Travis Fischer

Governor Kim Reynolds extended the bar closures in Johnson and Story counties another week as cases of COVID-19 continue to surge in the state.

Bars, taverns, wineries, breweries, distilleries, and night clubs in Johnson and Story counties will remain closed for in-person business through Oct. 4, and restaurants in these counties must continue to stop the sale of alcohol after 10 p.m.

Meanwhile, the number of reported outbreaks of COVID-19 in Iowa’s long term care facilities reached a new record this week, surging to 50 facilities across the state as they discover staff or patients infected with the disease thanks to an increase of testing requirements.

As of Sunday, Sept. 27 there have been 86,540 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, increasing the 80,047 total from the week prior by 6,493 cases, a moderate increase from the previous week.

In long term care facilities, the state reports 1,065 individuals testing positive and 651 considered recovered.

In total, approximately 3,461 elderly adults (age 80+); 11,250 older adults (61-80); 23,366 middle aged adults (41-60); 41,539 young adults (18-40); and 6,923 children have tested positive for the disease. These estimates are based on a percentage-based breakdown of the state’s reported positive cases.

With 65,878 cases considered recovered, that leaves roughly 19,347 Iowans currently known to be fighting the disease, a decrease of 1,911 from the previous week.

784,058 individuals have been tested since the start of the pandemic, including 756,070 PCR tests and 27,988 by antigen tests. An average of 5,100 PCR tests per day were counted over the last week along with a total of 9,317 new antigen tests. Over the weekend, the state added nearly 27,000 antigen test results from long-term care facilities, likely accounting for the spike in reported cases among the elderly population.

Current testing shows that roughly 61% of positive cases result in symptoms while 13% have been asymptomatic, with the remaining cases pending or unknown.

In addition, 58,299 Iowans have undergone serology testing for coronavirus antibodies, which would indicate that they have had the virus. Of that number, 3,396, about 6%, have tested positive for antibodies.

After two weeks on the decline, the number of hospitalized Iowans increased last week to 353, with 96 patients in an ICU.

Another 50 deaths attributed to COVID-19 were reported last week, bringing the total death count of the disease in Iowa to 1,315. Of the deaths reported last week, 21 have been attributed to outbreaks in long term facilities, bringing the total deaths in long term care facilities to 685.

In total, approximately 631 elderly (48%), 539 older adults (41%), 118 middle aged adults (9%), 26 young adults (2%), and one child (.1%) have died from the virus since the pandemic began.



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