An Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) report showed that 19 more people have died from the COVID-19 while 3,860 more people were infected with the disease. This brings the total number of people that have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic started to 215,582. A total of 2,224 people have also died from the virus, KCCI reports.
On Tuesday, about 143 nursing homes reported outbreaks in their facilities. About 4,500 residents of these facilities tested positive for the coronavirus. Statistics showed that 1,008 residents of these facilities have died in the last eight months.
The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in the state has surged in the past two weeks. According to information from Johns Hopkins University, deaths rose from 15 per day on November 9 to more than 30 deaths on November 23.
As of Tuesday, there were no new guidelines from Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds to stop the rising spate of infections in the state that have claimed thousands of lives, especially in nursing homes where the cases are rising.
The governor acknowledged that cases in the state were spiraling out of control. She said the state has been trying hard to curb the rate of infections, but with widespread community transmission, infections have proved difficult to stop in their track, KCRG writes.
During the early phase of the pandemic, Reynolds initiated lockdown measures that saw the closure of restaurants, bars, and other nonessential businesses to flatten the curve of the infection. However, the governor has refused to toe that path again, citing the economic hardship it brought to citizens of the state. She said we must balance the fight against the disease with the economic means of survival for the citizens.
There were no mask mandates in the state for several months. She only agreed to a limited mask mandate in the state last week. Reynolds said the media should have promoted the voluntary and widespread use of masks and the observance of social distancing instead of leaving that duty to health officials only.
The White House Coronavirus Task Force released its report on the infections in the state on November 22. It said the residents should wear masks at all times in public. The task force recommended that the indoor capacity of restaurants should be reduced to less than 25 percent. Bars, the report said, should close very early. Schools were also advised to adopt strict mask-wearing and that extracurricular activities be halted for the time being.