Nearly half of Iowa's counties reporting 14-day COVID-19 positivity rate above 15%

Staff reports

Nearly half of the counties in Iowa — 46 as of about 10 a.m. Monday — are reporting 14-day coronavirus positivity rates at 15% or higher.

Eleven counties are above 20%, according to the state's website. Of Iowa's 99 counties, only 13 are reporting rates below 10%. The two mostly populous counties — Polk and Linn — are below the 15% benchmark. On Monday, Polk County's 14-day positivity rate was 11.9% while Linn County was at 14.5%.

Meanwhile, another 17 people with COVID-19 have died in Iowa and there have been an additional 1,469 confirmed cases, the state reported Monday. 

At 10 a.m. Monday, the state was reporting 1,733 COVID-19-related deaths, an increase of 17 deaths since the state's tally at 10 a.m. Sunday, according to the state's website

COVID-19 is the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The state was reporting at 10 a.m. Monday that there are 131,713 confirmed cases of coronavirus, an increase of 1,469 since 10 a.m. Sunday. According to the state's website, there were 254 confirmed cases Sunday and have been eight additional cases Monday, as of 10 a.m. 

Of the people who have tested positive, 93,813 have recovered, according to the state. The total number of people tested is 984,539. 

On Monday, the state was reporting 718 hospitalizations, up from 676 on Sunday. In the past 24 hours, 108 patients have been admitted. Also, there are 156 patients in the ICU, down from 164 on Sunday.

Monday marked the first time the state was reporting more than 700 hospitalizations. Statewide, there were more than 3,000 inpatient hospital beds available. The state was reporting that there are 375 ICU beds available.

More: COVID-19 maps and charts track cases and data in Iowa and across the U.S.

The state has been changing how it reports testing data, which has caused spikes in the rate of positive data. Before the changes, the state was consistently reporting a positivity rate, that is, the percentage of tests that were positive, below 10%. Iowa also is now counting the results of antigen tests, a relatively rapid type of coronavirus tests, that will increase the reported rates of infection in some counties.

On Monday, the state was reporting 13.4% positive since the pandemic started. Iowa's 14-day average was 14.4% positive, according to the state.

These were the Iowa counties that had 14-day averages above 15%:

  • O'Brien (25.7%);
  • Jackson (25.2%);
  • Delaware (24.2%);
  • Sioux (23.4%);
  • Plymouth (23.3%)
  • Clayton (23.0%);
  • Cass (22.0%);
  • Osceola (21.9%);
  • Harrison (21.5%);
  • Wayne (20.5%);
  • Taylor (20.1%);
  • Dubuque (19.3%);
  • Fremont (19.0%);
  • Hancock (19.0%);
  • Humboldt (18.7%);
  • Carroll (18.7%);
  • Lyon (18.7%);
  • Black Hawk (18.5%);
  • Woodbury (18.5%);
  • Ida (18.5%);
  • Jasper (18.4%);
  • Grundy (18.4%);
  • Bremer (18.2%);
  • Wright (18.1%);
  • Dickinson (18.1%);
  • Winnebago (18.0%);
  • Tama (17.7%);
  • Jones (17.2%);
  • Webster (17.0%);
  • Mahaska (17.0%);
  • Henry (17.0%);
  • Adair (16.9%);
  • Buchanan (16.6%);
  • Des Moines (16.1%);
  • Muscatine (16.0%);
  • Marion (16.0%);
  • Chickasaw (16.0%);
  • Page (15.9%);
  • Wapello (15.6%); 
  • Benton (15.4%);
  • Cherokee (15.4%);
  • Audubon (15.3%);
  • Scott (15.1%);
  • Pocahontas (15.1%);
  • Allamakee (15.1%);
  • Keokuk (15.0%).

Gov. Kim Reynolds has ordered that at least 50% of instruction at Iowa schools must be held in person. For K-12 schools to be considered for a state waiver allowing for online-only instruction, districts must have an 10% absentee rate and the county they are located in must have a 14-day coronavirus average of at least 15%.

The Des Moines Register uses data from the Iowa Department of Public Health to report daily totals of Iowans tested for the coronavirus and Iowans who have tested positive for the virus, as of 10 a.m. each day. Since the pandemic began in spring, the state has made changes and corrections to how it reports that data and the data does not always agree with numbers reported from other sources.

Iowa Mourns:Does anybody care about Iowa's COVID-19 dead? We do, and we're telling their stories.

Iowa Mourns:The Iowans we've lost to COVID-19

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