COVID-19 activity continues to slow as vaccine draws near

by Travis Fischer

COVID-19 activity continues to slow down in Iowa as public health officials cross their fingers that Thanksgiving gatherings may not have had the impact anticipated.

As of Sunday, Dec. 14, there have been 256,727 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, increasing the 244,689 total from the week prior by 12,038 cases. This reduction in new cases from the previous week continues in a positive trend, indicating that the spread of the virus is slowing.

Now two weeks out from Thanksgiving, it appears that the holiday did not result in a second surge following November’s record setting outbreak.

“However, it’s critical that these trends continue throughout this month and we continue to reduce the number even further,” said Reynolds on Wednesday, Dec. 9. “Our ultimate goal is to get virus activity to a level we can manage over the next few months.”

The state no longer reports the total number of cases by age groups, but does break down the positive cases over the last seven and 14 days. In the last two weeks, 6 percent of the new cases have been among the elderly (age 80+), 17 percent among older adults (60-79); 28 percent among middle aged adults (40-59); 26 percent among young adults (18-39); and 13 percent among children.

With 160,836 cases considered recovered, that leaves roughly 66,296 Iowans currently known to be fighting the disease. With a reduction of roughly 15,000 active cases over the last week, this also shows a welcome trend of slowing virus activity in the state.

Cases requiring hospitalization also continue to drop, with 756 patients hospitalized as of Sunday, including 160 in an ICU. As the numbers continue to go down, the state is approaching hospitalization levels that haven’t been seen since early November.

COVID-19 testing continues to roll-on across the state. In total, 2,731,840 tests have been taken on 1,284,330 individuals since the pandemic began, including 2,055,041 PCR tests and 676,799 antigen tests. In the last week the state has processed 

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