At 10 a.m. Wednesday, Iowa reported another 1,114 cases of COVID-19 and eight additional COVID-19-related deaths — including another in Johnson County — since the state’s tally at 10 a.m. Tuesday, according to Coronavirus.Iowa.gov.
Officials report a total of 4,500 people with COVID-19 have died from the disease across the state, including 54 in Johnson County. The death reported Tuesday was the second reported here this week and the seventh this month. The first death here was reported April 4.
Officials reported 103 influenza-related deaths across the entire state of Iowa in the 2019-20 flu season. The novel coronavirus is expected to be the third-leading cause of death in Iowa in 2020, behind just heart disease and cancer, according to 2017 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
A total of 1,455,757 Iowans have been tested for the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus, which causes the disease, including 69,778 in Johnson County. A total of 315,180 have tested positive in Iowa. The state has reported a total of 12,354 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Johnson County, an increase of 26 since 10 a.m. Tuesday.
How many people are in hospitals?
At 10 a.m. Wednesday, the state reported 97 people with the virus were being hospitalized in the state’s fifth RMCC, which includes Clinton, Des Moines, Henry, Iowa, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Keokuk, Lee, Muscatine, Scott, Van Buren, Wapello and Washington counties, as well as 28 patients in the region’s intensive care units. The region last peaked at 371 hospitalized patients on Nov. 18 and 19, and 102 in its ICUs on Nov. 19.
Officials reported 408 COVID-19 patients hospitalized across the state Wednesday morning, including 81 in ICUs; the previous highs were 1,527, reported Nov. 18, and 288, reported Nov. 17. Nine of Iowa’s 99 counties were reporting 14-day positivity rate averages of at or higher than 15%. Fifty-three counties — including Johnson, at 8.9% — were reporting 14-day positivity rate averages of less than 10%.
COVID in Iowa City schools
In a “decision matrix” agreed to by the Iowa City school board in early September, Iowa City district officials committed to requesting a waiver if the county’s 14-day positivity rate average rose to more than 10% for a three- to five-day period — which has been the case since Jan. 1 — the district absence rate for students or faculty reaches 10% for two consecutive days, or both.
A law passed last year by the Iowa Legislature laid out guidelines for schools offering remote learning in response to the pandemic, and Gov. Kim Reynolds’ administration has generally interpreted the law to mean that schools should hold half of their classes in-person unless the county’s COVID-19 positivity rate reaches 15% for a two-week period and absenteeism reaches 10%, but the state’s Department of Education has made clear that districts can ask for permission to move fully online before meeting those thresholds.
The state rejected a waiver request by the district on Jan. 8 after rejecting a request by Des Moines Public Schools, the largest district in the state, just before the new year. The rejections were the state’s first in months and came after Reynolds stressed in early December that she believes parents should have the option to send their children to attend classes in person five days a week, an option Iowa City families haven’t had since early in 2020.
Reynolds has said that the law passed in June, Senate File 2310, doesn’t grant her the authority to mandate schools provide more than 50% of their instruction in person and urged the legislature to immediately pass a bill requiring schools to offer 100% in-person classes for students in her annual Condition of the State address on Jan. 12.
The World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said in-person learning is only safe when communities’ positivity rates are under 5%. Iowa City schools have mostly learned in a hybrid model of in-person and online learning this year; 47 students and 15 staff in the district are currently positive for the disease, according to the district’s COVID-19 Dashboard, and 89 students and 215 staff have tested positive since Aug. 15. The district has closed five classrooms as a result of potential exposure to students and staff, and 176 students and 26 staff members are currently being asked to quarantine.
How many people have been vaccinated in Johnson County?
More than 195,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered so far in Iowa, and more than 32,000 Iowans have been fully vaccinated with two doses of the vaccine, officials announced Monday.
Nearly 25,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been administered in Johnson County so far, including nearly 17,000 doses to residents of Johnson County. More than 4,000 Johnson County residents have received both doses of a vaccine.
COVID-19 at the University of Iowa
On Monday, University of Iowa officials said another eight cases of COVID-19 had been self-reported by students since Monday, totaling 2,905 cases since Aug. 18. Officials also reported three new cases, totaling 407 since Aug. 18, among the university’s faculty and staff.
The university also reported one student living in its residence halls who is currently being asked to quarantine or self-isolate.
COVID cases in Iowa prisons
The state reports 19 incarcerated individuals and eight staff members at Coralville’s Iowa Medical and Classification Center are positive for the disease. Another 473 inmates and 99 employees have tested positive and since recovered.
A spike in cases at the Coralville facility was reported on Aug. 18. One of the inmates at the facility, Richard Leroy Peters, 77, died Sept. 6. Peters was the fourth of 15 people under Iowa Department of Corrections supervision to die from complications related to COVID-19, but just the first at the Coralville facility. Among the department’s staff, an Iowa Correctional Institution for Women staff member with COVID-19 died Nov. 16 and a Clarinda Correctional Facility staff member with COVID-19 died Nov. 28.
► The Iowans we’ve lost to COVID-19: Join us in remembering the Iowans we’ve lost to COVID-19. Together, let’s carry their stories with us.
COVID cases in Iowa’s long-term care facilities
Officials continue to report outbreaks at 62 of Iowa’s 436 long-term care facilities, including at Iowa City’s Briarwood Healthcare Center and the Coralville Lantern Park Specialty Care facility.
Of the Iowans who’ve died from COVID-19, 1,873 were residents of long-term care facilities.
An outbreak at Solon’s Nursing Care Center earlier this year was responsible for the deaths of 12 residents and staff, according to a ProPublica report. An outbreak at the Colonial Manor of Amana was responsible for the deaths of nine residents and staff. An outbreak at the Iowa City Rehab & Health Care center was responsible for the deaths of three residents and staff.
► Coronavirus cases are increasing in Iowa: Here’s how to track COVID-19 in Johnson County
Coronavirus in Iowa, by the numbers
Numbers reported by the state for Johnson County and all of Iowa, respectively, as of 10 a.m. Wednesday. Numbers in parentheses represent change over the previous 24 hours.
- Total tested: 69,778 (+136); 1,455,757 (+3,773)
- Total confirmed: 12,354 (+26); 315,180 (+1,114)
- Johnson County’s 14-day average positivity rate: 8.9%
- Hospitalized in RMCC Region 5: 97 (-2)
- Receiving ICU care in RMCC Region 5: 28 (+4)
- Total deaths: 54 (+1); 4,500 (+8)
- Total vaccine doses administered: 16,874; 195,260*
- Total vaccinated (second dose): 4,032; 32,564*
RMCC Region 5 includes Clinton, Des Moines, Henry, Iowa, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Keokuk, Lee, Muscatine, Scott, Van Buren, Wapello and Washington counties.
*The state’s vaccination data is updated on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Source: Iowa Department of Public Health