COVID infections and hospitalizations in Iowa peak since 2020
COVID-19 continues to spread in Iowa, with the average number of new infections and hospitalizations reaching an all-time high in 2021.
Only 13 other states have a higher per capita infection rate, according to the Washington Post. The newspaper’s COVID-19 tracker says Iowa records an average of 55 new cases every day per 100,000 residents. Alaska has the highest daily average in the country, with 117 new cases per 100,000 population, while Connecticut has the lowest daily average with just 19 new cases per 100,000 population.
The Iowa Department of Public Health reported Wednesday that there are 29 nursing homes in Iowa that have a current active outbreak involving at least three staff and / or residents. The agency’s website no longer identifies nursing homes where outbreaks are active and no longer provides infection counts at each facility. IDPH officials did not respond to a written request for this information on Tuesday.
Per capita infection calculations aside, Iowa’s daily average of new reported COVID-19 cases was 1,811 on Tuesday, according to New York Times data. That number represents an average of the total number of new cases reported each day in Iowa over the past week.
Tuesday’s average was down slightly from Sunday, in part because the state periodically does not report any new cases one day, with more than 1,000 new cases reported the next day.
At the height of an increase in January, Iowa was averaging 1,754 cases per day. The last time the daily average exceeded 1,800 was in December 2020.
As of Tuesday, 682 Iowans were hospitalized with the virus, according to the Times. This represents the highest number of hospitalizations since December 22, 2020.
Over the past week in Iowa, the number of new cases reported daily increased 3.8% and the number of new deaths reported daily increased 33%, according to the Post.
With COVID vaccines resulting in fewer deaths and hospitalizations, the number of Iowans hospitalized with the virus has increased, but at a much slower rate than infections. In the past 14 days, hospitalizations from the virus have increased 6%, according to the Times.
Of all COVID-19 patients in Iowa hospitals, 78% are unvaccinated. In the intensive care unit, 90% of all COVID-19 patients are not vaccinated.
Despite this, the number of Iowans vaccinated against COVID-19 has stalled at around 53%, roughly the same percentage as a month ago. A recent Des Moines Register / Mediacom survey found that federal initiatives to require vaccinations are unpopular among most Iowans, especially among Republicans.
The counties in Iowa with the highest infection rate are Washington County with 122 cases per 100,000 population; Pocahontas County, with 106 cases; and Hardin County, with 103 cases.