Despite Early Hopes, Iowa Coronavirus Cases Keep Rising

Iowa’s coronavirus case numbers continue to rise.

On Friday, 191 new cases were reported from Thursday for a total of 2,332. That is now the biggest single-day jump in new cases.

The number of positive cases in Iowa have increased by over 600 this week, with the lowest single-day increase being 96 cases. Deaths have increased, too;  21 Iowans died this week.

The state has seen a significant overall percentage increase as well.

Northeast Iowa, Region Six according to the state’s system for measuring the severity of cases in Iowa, was recently rated as a 10 on the 12-point scale. This caused Gov. Kim Reynolds to put increased restrictions on social activity in the region.

Yesterday, 183 more people were hospitalized, and outbreaks in long-term care facilities and meatpacking plants have also increased throughout the week.

Today, Reynolds said, “We still haven’t actually peaked at this point.”

These numbers come after a more positive tone struck earlier this week and at the start of the month.

On Monday, Reynolds said the number of Iowans who recover from COVID-19 is continuing to increase. Over the course of the week it did so by 266.

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During her Monday press conference she said, “These signs are encouraging but they are not a reason enough for us to let up on our mitigation efforts at this time.”

Reynolds also acknowledged other numbers will increase.

“As we’ve been saying, we project that Iowa’s peak will occur later this month and until then we anticipate our number of positive cases and, unfortunately, our deaths will continue to rise as well,” she said.

On Wedneday, Sarah Reisetter, the deputy director of the Iowa Public Health Department, said cases are leveling off. On April 9, she said the curve was flattening.

“I can tell you that when we look at our epidemiological curve, it is starting to flatten, which is where we want to be,” Reisetter said then.

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The curve represents the number of positive cases and deaths in the state.

“When we think about wanting to flatten the curve it has to do with the idea of too many people wanting to get on a train at the same time,” said Caitlin Pedati, Iowa’s medical director and epidemiologist, on Tuesday, the day the state reported a 189-case increase.

“If we try to put too many people into the same train car, we overwhelm that system. But if we can stagger the use of that train car and avoid rush hours then we can manage that in a better way and optimize care for those who really need it,” she said.


by Nikoel Hytrek
Posted 4/17/20

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