NEWS 10.6.21: C19 Updates for Iowa/Woodbury County, and Test Iowa

Oct 6, 2021

Credit testiowa.com

The Iowa Department of Public Health released new COVID-19 data Wednesday showing an additional 91 deaths due to complications of COVID-19.

That brings the statewide total to 6,654 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

There were almost 9,200 positive tests in the last seven days, down about 650.

The state’s 14-day positivity rate dropped from 9.6% to 9.5% since Monday with about a quarter age 18 and under.

The number of Iowans hospitalized with COVID-19 also declined slightly from 629 to 626.

IDPH reports virus outbreaks in 31 long-term care facilities, up from 29 at last report Monday.

Woodbury County’s weekly trend report added two additional deaths for 241 in all. Cases were down 16% with 442 new cases. The positivity rate is down slightly at 15.7%. That number is higher than the state’s 9.5%.

Hospitalizations at Sioux City’s two medical facilities is down from 42 last week to 33 this week.  That’s down 25%. Twenty-five are battling COVID-19 only.

The percentage of the full population of Woodbury County that is vaccinated is 45.4%, up 400 people from the week before.

Credit Siouxland District Health

The state of Iowa recently launched a testing locator map on the state’s coronavirus website coronavirus.iowa.gov to help Iowans find testing opportunities.

The Iowa Department of Public Health says increased demand for COVID-19 testing is putting additional strain on health care clinics and emergency rooms.

The state recently set up seven Test Iowa pick-up sites that can give people results in 24 hours.

People can also request mail-in tests.

The Siouxland District Health Department in Sioux City is the only Test Iowa pick-up and drop-off sites.

Deputy Director of Siouxland District Health Tyler Brock tells Siouxland Public Media people can pick up the kits from the health department, follow instructions for collecting a sample, and bring it back, or drop it off at UPS.

Any samples dropped off by 1 p.m. to the health department should have results the next day. Since results are done electronically, computer access is needed.

Iowa state health officials say between 75%-80% of Iowans recently hospitalized due to COVID-19 were unvaccinated when they became infected, and 80-90% of those admitted to an intensive care unit were unvaccinated.

According to the CDC, 71% of Iowans over the age of 18 have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and nearly 69% of Iowa’s total vaccine eligible population, which includes those 12 years of age and older, have received at least one dose. Iowans age 65 and older have achieved the highest vaccination rate at 92%.

A news release sent by the health department says it is essential for all Iowans eligible to get vaccinated. Also, as the flu season approached all Iowans should get immunized against the flue to prevent avoid preventable hospitalizations.

News release from the Iowa Department of Public Health:

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD) and the State Hygienic Lab (SHL) are adjusting the state’s approach to provide Iowans convenient access to free COVID-19 testing statewide. 

The recently launched testing locator map at coronavirus.iowa.gov helps Iowans find testing near them by entering a city or zip code. The map includes all Test Iowa test kit pick-up sites, and locations across the state where in-person testing is available. The tool also includes an overview of the types of tests offered and associated costs. The testing locator will be updated regularly as more locations are submitted by providers.

To provide more timely results to symptomatic Iowans, seven Test Iowa pick-up sites will also provide same day delivery to SHL. This change is being made to expedite test processing. Samples dropped off Monday-Friday at the seven sites listed below will be collected and delivered daily to the SHL by a contracted courier service.

Test Iowa pick-up and drop-off sites with same day delivery to SHL are:

  • Black Hawk County: Peoples Community Health Clinic, 905 Franklin Street, Waterloo
  • Linn County Public Health: 1020 6th Street Southeast, Cedar Rapids
  • Johnson County Public Health: 855 South Dubuque Street, Iowa City
  • Polk County Public Health: 1907 Carpenter, Des Moines
  • Pottawattamie County Public Health: 600 South 4th Street, Council Bluffs
  • Scott County Public Health: 600 W 4th Street, Davenport
  • Woodbury County, Siouxland District Health Department: 1014 Nebraska Street, Sioux City

Please visit testiowa.com for details. Test results will be sent by email and should be available within 24 hours of the lab receiving an activated test kit. Hours and drop-off times vary by site. Review sites drop off hours on the Test Iowa website to ensure same day delivery to SHL.

Increased demand for testing is putting additional strain on health care clinics and emergency rooms. To ensure that Iowa’s health care resources are available for those who need care, IDPH recommends that Iowans consider the following testing options based on their circumstances:

  • Iowans with mild symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or those who have been exposed to a COVID positive individual should seek testing in a health care setting or use Test Iowa at home.
  • Iowans seeking testing for travel or other proactive purposes should purchase a home test kit from a retailer or pharmacy, or schedule an appointment at a local pharmacy.
  • Individuals experiencing severe symptoms or those who are at high risk of serious illness should seek should seek medical care.

Consistently, between 75%-80% of Iowans recently hospitalized due to COVID-19 were unvaccinated when they became infected, and 80-90% of those admitted to an intensive care unit were unvaccinated.

The number of vaccinated Iowans continues to grow. According to the CDC, 71% of Iowans over the age of 18 have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and nearly 69% of Iowa’s total vaccine eligible population, which includes those 12 years of age and older, have received at least one dose. Iowans age 65 and older have achieved the highest vaccination rate at 92%.

These figures underscore how essential it is for all Iowans who are eligible to get vaccinated for COVID-19. The vaccine is best tool we have to keep ourselves and our families healthy and to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death from the COVID-19 virus.

Finally, as flu season approaches, IDPH urges all Iowans to get the flu vaccine. By getting vaccinated for both influenza and COVID-19, we can prevent avoidable hospitalizations and help preserve health care resources for other needs, including illnesses, injuries and emergencies. Anyone with questions about either vaccine should reach out to their health care provider.