UPDATE Nov. 10, 2020: Iowa again surpassed its record of COVID-19 hospitalizations, with 1,135 patients hospitalized in the past 24 hours. In the same period, the state hit a new record of 102 nursing home outbreaks. As of Nov. 10, 90 of Iowa’s 99 counties have 14-day positivity rates of 15 percent or more, with coronavirus outbreaks at prisons in Anamosa, Clarinda and Rockwell City. Gov. Kim Reynolds today responded with a proclamation limiting social and other indoor gatherings to 25 people or fewer and outdoors to 100 people or fewer, unless they are socially distanced and wearing masks.
Iowa continues to break coronavirus records on a daily basis, as the state does little to change the trajectory of skyrocketing COVID-19 cases.
As of 10:30 a.m. Nov. 9, the state reported 156,816 positive COVID-19 test results, an increase of 4,212 new cases in 24 hours. At the same time, Iowa reported 1,845 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, and 92 nursing home outbreaks.
The outbreaks at long-term care facilities represent the third day in a row Iowa has hit that record number, with outbreaks at more than one-fifth of the state’s 432 nursing homes listed by Medicare.
Related: COVID-19 rampant in Iowa
As of the past 24 hours, Iowa also reported a record 1,034 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, up from 718 just one week ago. Two days ago, on Nov. 7, Iowa hit another record with 181 new patients admitted to hospitals in one day alone.
Dr. Hijinio Carreon, chief medical officer at MercyOne Central Iowa, noted during Gov. Kim Reynolds’ press conference last week that hospitals in Iowa have experienced a significant surge in coronavirus patients.
“We are at a critical point in our state’s fight against COVID-19,” Carreon said during the Nov. 5 press conference. “Unfortunately, it’s more severe and more critical than it was in the onset.”
At the same press conference, Dr. David Williams, chief clinical officer for UnityPoint Health, echoed Carreon’s message.
“This is a time as a state and as a community… to take care of our health care workers,” Williams said, noting that heart attacks, strokes and other medical emergencies continue as hospitals cope with the surge in coronavirus cases. “Health care workers are exceptional and at this point, they’re exhausted. They’re exhausted mentally; they’re exhausted physically.”
As of Nov. 9, 82 of Iowa’s 99 counties reported a 14-day positivity rate of 15 percent or more, with Jones County, in east-central Iowa, reporting an unprecedented 42.7 percent.
Gov. Reynolds has yet to implement a face mask mandate, even as other Republican, and Democratic, governors have done so in an effort to curb the pandemic.
Rather than implementing mitigation efforts, Reynolds announced an ad campaign during her press conference, to encourage Iowans to do their part to contain the virus.
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