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Iowa daily virus cases soar above 4,500; 20 more deaths

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DES MOINES (AP) — The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Iowa skyrocketed to more than 4,500 on Thursday as the number of people being treated in hospitals also continued to climb.

There were 4,562 new confirmed cases in the past 24 hours and 20 more deaths, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

The seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate in Iowa has risen over the past two weeks from 26% on Oct. 21 to over 39% on Nov. 4, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Iowa’s rate is second in the nation behind South Dakota.

State data shows 839 people were being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals, a new high that is expected to increase in the coming days given the surge in new infections. Hospital officials said they are preparing plans for a big increase in patients and pleaded for people to change behavior or risk overwhelming the health care system.

In the past four days, 85 deaths were reported in Iowa with coronavirus. In the past 30 days, 379 deaths were reported.

All 99 counties in Iowa have a positivity rate of 8% or more and 72 counties are above 15%, a clear signal that virus infections are widespread.

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