COVID-19: Johnson County surpasses 1,500 confirmed cases as more young people test positive

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An aerial view of downtown Iowa City. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

It’s almost been a month of consecutive double-digit increases of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Johnson County since the current surge began on June 17.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported another 15 Johnson County residents tested positive during the 24-hour period ending at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, bringing the county to 29 days of double-digit increases.

The positivity rate — the percentage of people tested who were confirmed as having COVID-19 — from 10 a.m. on Tuesday to 10 a.m. on Wednesday for the county was 6.6 percent. In total, 1,507 Johnson County residents have tested positive for the virus, according to IDPH.

IDPH reported that 15 Linn County residents tested positive during the same time period, bringing the county’s total to 1,433. For the last three days, the county’s daily numbers have been increasing by double digits.

Linn County’s positivity rate was 4.6 percent as of 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

Statewide, IDPH reported an increase of 206 cases during the 24-hour time period ending at 10 a.m. on Monday. The positivity rate was 5.9 percent.

Gov. Kim Reynolds said on Tuesday that most of the new positive cases are among younger Iowans. The average age is about 21 or 22. Public health departments in Johnson and Linn counties are seeing a similar trend in their positive cases.

“COVID-19 is still here, and it’s still spreading within our community,” Heather Meador of Linn County Public Health said during a county press conference earlier this month. “The increase in cases that have been reported are linked to community spread, which means the person cannot identify where exposure occurred. We are seeing an increase in cases among people aged 18 to 25.”

A total of 36,036 Iowans have now tested positive for COVID-19, according to IDPH. IDPH also reported another four Iowans have died, increasing the state’s COVID-19 death toll to 759. One of the deaths was a Linn County resident.

There are 190 patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 in the state, according to IDPH. This is the highest number of hospitalizations in about a month. There were 197 people hospitalized on June 18.

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