BREAKING: Covid-19 is raging through Iowa and Illinois, with Iowa in the midst of a “severe outbreak” and Illinois surging upward into the “extreme” danger category, according to the latest statistics.

Iowa covid-19 cases and deaths are continuing to triple the number in Illinois, which continues to experience a rise in cases of its own, despite Illinois’ much larger population.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, there were 30,328 new confirmed and probable cases of covid-19 in Iowa on Dec. 3, with 258 deaths reported; and even more cases and deaths Dec. 4, with 30, 629 cases and 340 deaths.

The numbers dwarf those in the larger neighboring state of Illinois. The Illinois Department of Public Health  reported 10,959 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 192 additional deaths for Dec. 3; and 9,367 cases and 158 deaths for Dec. 4.

In total, Iowa Department of Public Health reports 237, 507 cases as of Dec. 3, and 2,522 deaths.

Illinois Department of Public Health reports 759, 562 cases statewide, including 12,830 deaths as of Dec. 3.

For perspective, Iowa’s population, according to 2019 count, is 3.155 million, as opposed to the much larger Illinois population of 12.67 million as of 2019.

On a local level, the Quad-Cities has reached the “severe” covid outbreak level, according to the latest statistics from the Illinois and Iowa Departments of Health and Covid Act Now, a not-for-profit national data aggregation website affiliated with the medical departments of Stanford, Harvard and Georgetown Universities.

Both Scott and Rock Island Counties have spiked up to the “severe outbreak” level, counting cases over the past few days.

With covid-19 cases spiking throughout the state, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker put in place the new restrictions on Nov. 20, mentioning not just the rapid spread in terms of covid infections but their impact upon hospitals and people who may need the hospitals for other health emergencies.

The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from November 26 – December 2, 2020 is 10.4% for Illinois. It is 17.6% for Iowa, according to Covid Act Now, a non-profit aggregate site affiliated with the medical programs of Harvard, Stanford and Georgetown Universities.

All data are provisional and will change. In order to rapidly report COVID-19 information to the public, data are being reported in real-time. Information is constantly being entered into an electronic system and the number of cases and deaths can change as additional information is gathered.  Information for deaths previously reported has changed, therefore, today’s numbers have been adjusted.

For health questions about COVID-19, call the hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email dph.sick@illinois.gov.

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Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.