The Iowa Department of Public Health reported another 35 deaths from COVID-19 during the 24-hour period that ended at 10 a.m. Among the deceased was the first COVID-19 fatality from Decatur County, which had been the sole remaining county with no COVID-19 deaths.
Now, all 99 counties in Iowa have reported at least one death from the virus.
The 35 deaths reported between 10 a.m. on Sunday and 10 a.m. on Monday, along with the 79 deaths IDPH reported over the weekend, pushed the state’s COVID-19 death toll to 2,717.
The total number of Iowans who have tested positive for the virus was 244,844, IDPH reported at 10 a.m. on Monday. That was an increase of 5,151 confirmed cases since 10 a.m. on Friday. Those cases included 138 residents of Johnson County and 250 residents of Linn County.
On Friday night, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients dropped to 960, according IDPH. That was the first time since Nov. 4 the department reported fewer than 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iowa hospitals. As of Monday morning, IDPH was reporting 898 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, 200 of whom were being treated in intensive care units.
IDPH reported on Monday that 137 long-term care facilities are experiencing ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks. According to plans announced last week by the department, long-term care residents and facility staff members providing direct care for them will be, along with frontline medical personnel, the first ones to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, during Phase 1-A of the state’s vaccination program. On Friday, IDPH released a report on vaccination plans that listed who will be prioritized for vaccination following those initial groups.
Iowans living in residential care facility, assisted living program, elder group home, and independent living facility residents and people 65 years of age or older. People who play a key role in keeping essential functions of society running and cannot socially distance in the workplace (e.g., emergency and law enforcement personnel not included in Phase 1-A, food packaging and distribution workers, teachers/school staff, childcare providers), and adults with high-risk medical conditions who possess risk factors for severe COVID-19 illness such as:
• Chronic kidney disease
• COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
• Immunocompromised state from solid organ transplant
• Obesity (Body Mass Index of 30 or higher)
• Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
• Sickle cell disease
• Type 2 diabetes mellitus
If, as expected, the FDA approves the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use on Thursday and grants the same approval for the Moderna vaccine on Dec. 17, Iowa should receive 172,000 doses of those vaccines before the end of the month, Gov. Kim Reynolds said during a news conference on Thursday.
The first allotment from Pfizer is expected to be delivered during the week of Dec. 13. The first shipment of the Moderna vaccine is expected the following week.