Iowa is reporting a record number of COVID-19 deaths. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

UPDATE: As of Nov. 3, 2021, Iowa has surpassed 7,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, with 7,069 deaths reported since the beginning of the pandemic, an increase of 104 in the past week alone. Late last week, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law a bill that allows workers to skirt a federal vaccine mandate by claiming religious or medical exemptions.

Iowa has reported its highest number of weekly COVID-19 deaths since moving to a different reporting system in July.

As of Oct. 27, 2021, the state reported a total of 6,965 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began; an increase of 117 over last week.

The deaths occurred between Sept. 7 and Oct. 20, as the state typically sees a lag in reporting that data. The previous high under the new reporting system was one week ago, with 100 deaths reported that week. Those deaths occurred between Aug. 17 and Oct. 13.

Even as recently as August, weekly death toll increases numbered in the teens, and nursing home outbreaks numbered in the single digits.

As of Oct. 27, Iowa reported 30 COVID-19 outbreaks at long-term care centers.

More: COVID-19 hospitalizations spike as Iowa State Fair returns

The state reported a total of 522,421 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic; an increase of 6,340 over the previous week. As of Oct. 27, 531 Iowans were hospitalized, with 129 of those in intensive care units and 76 newly admitted in the past 24 hours.

The unvaccinated, or those not fully vaccinated, accounted for 81.4 percent of patients in the ICU and 65.5 percent of those hospitalized.

Iowa reported 67.6 percent of adults are fully vaccinated, lagging behind the 69.1 percent reported nationally by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Nationwide, the CDC reported 737,990 Americans have died since the start of the pandemic.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has never imposed a mask mandate to try to curtail COVID-19 cases and deaths.

In May, Reynolds signed Republican legislation into law that blocked mask mandates from being implemented in K-12 schools, and prohibited cities and counties from requiring facial coverings in businesses.

Vaccine for children ages 5-11 could become available as soon as next week.