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Iowa sees 1,217 virus cases as spread continues

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DES MOINES (AP) — Iowa continued to experience widespread coronavirus spread Wednesday with public health data showing 1,217 new confirmed cases in the past 24 hours and 11 deaths.

The state has had 1,492 deaths and 101,812 confirmed positive cases since the pandemic began.

The number of people being treated in hospitals for COVID-19 also reached a new high Wednesday of 473 people, and there’s no sign of slowing as the number of people admitted in the past 24 hours was third highest. A region of southeast Iowa had only 18% of total inpatient beds available, the state data indicated.

Iowa’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate has risen over the past two weeks from 16.78% on Sept. 29 to 18.82% on Oct. 13, according to an Associated Press analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. Iowa’s rate was fifth in the nation.

Only five of Iowa’s 99 counties had a positivity rate below 5%, the level at which many public health expert say measures should be taken to slow virus spread, including mask wearing and limits on the size of gatherings.

The state reported outbreaks in 61 long-term care facilities.

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