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Iowa sees highest number yet for coronavirus hospitalizations

The Gazette

It was another day for records in Iowa’s fight with COVID-19 infections, but not the kind to be celebrated.

The state reported 545 hospitalized novel coronavirus patients for the 24-hour time period of as 11 a.m. Saturday, according to numbers from the Iowa Department of Public Health and analyzed by The Gazette.

The previous statewide high was the day before, at 536.

The day also saw 1,849 new positive cases — the second-highest tally in a 24-hour period. The only day with a larger total, Aug. 27 with 2,579, was when the state said antigen test results had been included.

As a result, Iowa’s seven-day average was the highest ever, at 1,189, a figure that’s been climbing for six days. Moreover, the number of added cases has been above 1,000 since Oct. 10.

Linn County, too, hit a record for new positive cases on Saturday — at 99, it was the fifth day in a row of increases.

Children up through the age of 17 also may have seen a record of positive cases, at 174 — the most since The Gazette began tracking such cases in mid-September.

Eighty-two more positive cases were identified for residents in education-related occupations.

Twelve additional coronavirus-connected deaths were reported, across 10 Iowa counties. The statewide confirmed total now stands at 1,629.

None of those deaths reported Saturday were in the Corridor.

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In university counties, Black Hawk, home to the University of Northern Iowa, recorded 87 new positive cases.

Johnson County, the site of the University of Iowa, had 49 new cases, while Story County, where Iowa State University is located, saw 39 new positive cases.

The most recent White House Coronavirus Task Force report counts 49 Iowa counties in the so-called red zone — an uptick of 11 counties over the previous week — putting them in the worst classification. Another 19 counties were listed in the lower orange zone, with an addition of four counties.

Twenty-one counties, including Linn, were in the more moderate yellow zone. Only 10 Iowa counties were not in any hot zone.

The Oct. 18 report was made available Friday by the state in response to an inquiry.

Nationwide, the United States hit a daily record Friday of coronavirus cases, with more than 83,000 reported infections — thousands more than the previous U.S. peak on July 16 — the Associated Press reported.

The U.S. death toll has grown to nearly 224,000, according to the tally published by Johns Hopkins University, the AP said.

Top 10 Iowa counties in total positive cases:

1. Polk — 18,736

2. Woodbury — 7,084

3. Johnson — 5,798

4. Black Hawk — 5,498

5. Linn — 5,402

6. Dubuque — 5,076

7. Scott — 4,410

8. Story — 3,965

9. Dallas — 3,414

10. Pottawattamie — 3,193.

The Gazette’s Stephen Colbert and Kat Russell contributed to this report.

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