Further UPDATES Oct. 31, 2020: Iowa has set additional records, with 630 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, and 81 nursing home outbreaks, up from 76 outbreaks on Oct. 30, both surpassing previous highs. The 2,834 new confirmed cases bring Iowa’s total to 127,445 positive cases as of 11 a.m. and represent another record for the state.
Additional UPDATE Oct. 29, 2020: Iowa set another record in hospitalizations, with 605 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, and again surpassed its nursing home outbreaks, with 75 now reported. Also, the 2,469 new confirmed COVID-19 cases sets a daily record, bringing the total number of positive cases statewide to 121,913.
UPDATE Oct. 28, 2020: Iowa set new coronavirus records, with 596 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and 113 Iowans admitted to the hospital in the past 24 hours. Additionally, the state reported a new high for nursing home outbreaks, with 71. Of the 1,680 Iowans confirmed to have died of COVID-19, up 22 deaths from Oct. 27, nearly half — 828 — have been tied to long-term care facilities.
While some Iowa cities are curbing traditional trick-or-treating during the coronavirus pandemic, places such as Cedar Rapids take a hands-off approach.
The Cedar Rapids City Clerk’s office notes that the tradition of costumed children receiving candy door-to-door on Halloween is not a city sanctioned event, so it is up to individuals whether or not to proceed, though Linn County Public Health is encouraging alternative activities.
Waterloo is among Iowa cities that ask residents to not trick-or-treat this Halloween, which falls on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, while neighboring Cedar Falls set trick-or-treat hours from 6-8 p.m. on Halloween.
The start of the fall and winter holiday season begins as Iowa and other states experience unprecedented hospitalizations and escalating deaths from COVID-19.
As of 10:30 a.m. Oct. 27, Iowa reported 117,630 confirmed COVID-19 cases, up 1,178 from the previous day, and 1,658 deaths, including 21 deaths in the past 24 hours.
The state set another record with 564 hospitalizations, a number that has been on the rise for most of the month. Of those, 128 patients were in intensive care units, with 46 Iowans on ventilators.
Nursing home outbreaks — which the White House Coronavirus Task Force has warned Gov. Kim Reynolds are directly connected to community transmission of the virus — increased from 66 outbreaks Oct. 26 to 69 on Oct. 27. At the same time, 12 residents died during the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 820 deaths tied to Iowa long-term care facilities.
Reynolds still has not ordered a statewide mask mandate, which public health experts say could reduce transmission of the virus and deaths, and has been seen at campaign events without a mask.
For Halloween, Linn County Public Health advises providing wrapped candy to trick-or-treaters in individual bags or candy spaced out on a table, rather than offering candy from bowls, and setting up a table at the end of the driveway or front yard to avoid crowding in doorways and on porches.
Czech Village held its annual “Spooky Saturday” on Oct. 24, offering daytime trick-or-treating, while the popular Czech Village/New Bohemia Halloween Parade was canceled this year. Instead, a Halloween drive-in movie night was held at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids, also on Oct. 24.
More: See photos from last year’s Czech Village/New Bohemia Halloween Parade.