The Iowa Department of Public Health reported five more COVID-19-related deaths and almost 1,500 additional coronavirus cases in the state in a 24-hour period that ended on Christmas morning.
There have been 3,744 deaths and almost 274,000 positive cases since the state of the pandemic.
Siouxland District Health released a weekly COVID-19 report for the week that ended on December 20th. It showed a 2nd straight week of decreases in new cases and positive test results. The last time the percentage of positive tests was below 10% was during the end of August. Local health officials say more people are wearing masks and smaller gatherings are reducing the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The 14-day test positivity rate for Woodbury County is 13.8%, Buena Vista has the highest rate in northwest Iowa and 6th in the state at 21.2%. Monroe County in south central Iowa is number one on the list at 25.5%.
A reprieve from a devastating surge of the coronavirus across the Upper Midwest has given cautious relief to health officials, though they worry that infections remain rampant and holiday gatherings could reignite the worst outbreaks of the pandemic.
Johns Hopkins researchers say states in the northern stretches of the Midwest and Great Plains have seen average daily cases drop in the past two weeks, with decreases ranging from 20% in Iowa to 66% in North Dakota.
Some epidemiologists believe the most compelling factor for many people who redoubled efforts to prevent infections may be that they experienced the virus on a personal level.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — U.S. factories have been cranking out goods at a rate that is remarkably close to normal, despite the ongoing spread of the coronavirus. Yet with cases rising in many states, people who run factories are wondering if production can keep up until most of the country gets vaccinated. For the most part, safeguards put in place after the initial wave of the virus appear to have prevented the kinds of large outbreaks that sickened hundreds of workers and forced automakers, meat processors and other businesses to halt production last spring. But industry and union officials say workers live in communities where the virus is surging, making it difficult to stop infections inside the factories.