COVID-19 outbreaks spike in long term care facilities

Travis Fischer

Governor Kim Reynolds extended the State Public Health Emergency declaration for another 30 day period on Friday, July 24.

The extension was expected as Reynolds has previously stated anticipating continuing the public health emergency through at least the remainder of the year.

The new proclamation extends most of the currently existing public health measures, such as distance requirements for public facing businesses, which have been in place since the state re-opened.

One provision that is expiring is the suspension of bottle and can redemption. As of July 26, the requirement for retailers to accept bottles and cans has been resumed.

As of Sunday, July 26, there have been 42,165 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iowa, increasing the 38,707 total from the week prior by 3,458 cases.

In total, approximately 1,687 elderly adults (age 80+); 5,060 older adults (61-80); 12,649 middle aged adults (41-60); 20,239 young adults (18-40); and 2,530 children have tested positive for the disease. These estimates are based on a percentage-based breakdown of the state’s reported positive cases. As the total number of cases increase, the less accurate these estimates will become. A single percentage point difference can change an estimate by more than 420 cases.

With 29,624 cases considered recovered, that leaves roughly 11,700 Iowans currently known to be fighting the disease.

In testing, 452,273 Iowans have been tested since the start of the pandemic, with more than 5,000 tests on average per day over the last week.

Current testing shows that roughly 63% of positive cases result in symptoms while 13% have been asymptomatic, with the remaining cases pending or unknown.

In addition, 38,438 Iowans have undergone serology testing for coronavirus antibodies, which would indicate that they have had the virus. Of that number, 2,700, about 7%, have tested positive for antibodies.

The number of severe cases of COVID-19 continues to climb, with 226 currently hospitalized and 77 patients in an ICU, a slight increase from the previous week.

Meanwhile, 33 new deaths were reported last week, bringing the total to 827. Approximately 497 elderly, 331 older adults, 83 middle aged adults, and 17 young adults have died from the virus since the pandemic began.

Of the deaths, 447 have been attributed to long term care facilities, which have seen a large spike in outbreaks since last week. In Iowa, 22 long term care facilities are currently reporting outbreaks, up from 16 the week prior. Likewise, the number of cases in these facilities spiked from 415 to 616 in that same time.


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