New reported COVID-19 deaths in Iowa increase, but new cases drop for third straight week

Tim Webber
Des Moines Register

The COVID-19 surge in Iowa appears to be on the decline, as the number of new cases reported in the state’s weekly data update decreased for the third week in a row.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported 8,167 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, or an average of 1,167 per day. It’s a drop of about 17% compared to last week, but the state continued to average more than 1,000 cases per day for the eighth consecutive week — a streak only surpassed by last fall’s surge.

Children under 18 again made up the largest share of new cases — 22% — but not by as much as previous weeks. Just under 2,000 of the new cases were reported in children, and 12 are currently hospitalized.

The past three weeks have established a clear trend of declining case counts in Iowa after a spike in August and September. It’s similar to the general trend of new cases in the United States as a whole, but experts continue to urge caution rather than complacency as the winter months approach.

And while the raw number of new COVID-19 cases may be decreasing, the bad news from the recent wave isn’t over. The state reported 97 more COVID-19 deaths this week, the most in a week since a large number of deaths were publicly reported on the same day in early April. COVID-19 deaths are often reported publicly weeks after they occur; most of the deaths reported this week occurred between late August and early October.

More:Better or worse? How the COVID pandemic in Iowa today compares to 2020

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Iowa dipped this week, from 626 to 598. But the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care (150) and on ventilators (78) increased. Of the patients requiring intensive care, 84% are not fully vaccinated.

Vaccination progress appeared slower this week, as the number of Iowans fully vaccinated increased by just three-tenths of a percentage point. There are now 1,637,184 Iowans fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or 51.9% of the state’s population.

Read more on COVID-19 in Iowa:

The latest COVID-19 numbers in Iowa

The latest data, as of 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, compared to the previous Wednesday.

  • Confirmed cases: 469,519, an increase of 8,167
  • Deaths: 6,748, an increase of 97
  • Total tested: 2,067,504
  • Total recovered: 423,885
  • Statewide 14-day positivity rate: 9.2%

How many Iowans are hospitalized with COVID-19?

  • Hospitalizations: 598, down from 626 one week ago
  • Patients in ICU: 150, up from 141
  • Patients on ventilators: 78, up from 66

How many people in Polk and Dallas counties are vaccinated?

In Polk County, 282,324 (58%) of residents are fully vaccinated, an increase of 1,847 (0.4 percentage points) since last week.

In Dallas County, 53,679 (57%) of residents are fully vaccinated, an increase of 287 (0.3 percentage points).

The five counties in Iowa with the highest percentage of their population fully vaccinated as of Oct. 13 are Johnson (62%), Buena Vista (59%), Linn (58%), Polk (58%) and Dallas (57%) counties.

For a county-by-county look at the vaccination rollout, see our COVID-19 vaccine tracker, which is updated weekly.

Tim Webber is a data visualization specialist for the Register. Reach him at twebber@registermedia.com, 515-284-8532, and on Twitter at @HelloTimWebber.