UPDATED: Iowa covid-19 numbers are soaring to record rates, on pace for a “100 percent infection rate” for the state, according to numbers from the Iowa Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Covid Act Now, a not-for-profit data aggregation center affiliated with the medical departments of Harvard, Stanford and Georgetown Universities.
“COVID cases are exponentially growing and/or Iowa’s COVID preparedness is significantly below international standards,” according to Covid Act Now. “Over the last week, Iowa has averaged 3,599 new confirmed cases per day (114.1 for every 100,000 residents). Over the next year, this translates to around 1,300,000 cases and an estimated 6,600,000 infections (100.0% of the population).”
According to IDPH numbers, today Iowa reported record high numbers for active cases (93, 673), deaths reported in one month (509; November being the highest month yet), long-term care outbreaks (143), and patients on ventilators (155).
There were 1,860 new cases reported today, adding to the 3,599 reported yesterday, 3,621 reported the day before, and 3,178 reported Nov. 21. Iowa has among the highest rates of covid-19 infection in the world among countries and states combined, according to CDC numbers.
As of today, the Quad-Cities metro and outlying area (Scott, Rock Island and Henry counties) have 21,053 cases.
Local hospitals are being inundated with cases and feeling the strain, causing them to send out requests that people not use the ER and emergency services for covid-related cases unless they are of an emergency variety.
Kurt Andersen, M.D., Senior Vice President of Physician Operations and Chief Medical Officer, Genesis Health System said, “The emergency department is not the appropriate site for COVID testing. It should not be your first step if you have mild COVID symptoms, as do about 80 percent of patients with COVID. We would refer you to a testing site, to one of the convenient care centers or your primary care doctor if you need testing for mild symptoms of COVID-19.”

On Nov. 17, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds implemented new rules to mitigate the spread of covid-19 in Iowa. The rules impacted all state bars and gathering places, eliminated all sporting events under high school age, and severely limited the number of people able to gather together.

The rules included:

When in an indoor public space and unable to socially distance, masks are required to be worn by all, and masks will be required to be worn by everyone in state and government buildings throughout Iowa.

Indoor social, community, business and leisure gatherings will be limited to 15 people. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 30. That includes family gatherings, weddings, conventions and other similar activities. It does not restrict workplace gatherings within workplace buildings during business hours (i.e. inside factories, hospitals, etc.)

With the exception of high school, collegiate and professional sports, all organized youth and adult sports activities of any size are suspended. While high school sports and extracurricular activities are not prohibited, spectators at games and events are limited to two people per student and required to wear masks.

Restaurants and bars are required to close at 10 p.m., and cannot host private gatherings of more than 15 people. Masks must be worn by all staff, and customers must wear masks when not seated at tables.

(Graphic courtesy of Covid Act Now.)

“These measures are targeted toward activities and environments where they have the potential to make significant impact in a relatively short amount of time,” Reynolds said. “This doesn’t mean changes will be easy or popular but they’re necessary if we want to keep businesses open, our kids in school and our healthcare system stable.”

Illinois moved to tier 3 mitigations last Friday, putting the entirety of the Quad-Cities area under some form of mitigation. Last week, the Quad-Cities exploded into the top 10 worst covid outbreak spots in the nation, according to data from the CDC, the New York Times reported. According to the data, the Illinois/Iowa Quad-Cities movedinside the top ten most rapidly spiking hot spots nationwide for the second consecutive week, roaring from number 13 to number 7 to number 6 in just two weeks.

For more information on the covid outbreak, continue to watch your free public media QuadCities.com. We’re providing this fact-based service to keep you informed during the pandemic through a free and easily accessible media source online.

Advertisement

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.