The state’s coronavirus website shows 444 patients were being treated for Covid-19 in an Iowa hospital on Tuesday, a one-day record number for the state.
Governor Kim Reynolds indicates hospitals in northwest Iowa are seeing the largest increases in admissions. “This is disappointing news and sadly it’s what can happen when we are experiencing community spread,” Reynolds said late this morning during a news conference.
The governor said those who are “most vulnerable” are the most seriously ill.
“In the last 14 days, 72% of all those hospitalized are over the age of 60,” she said, “and 68% have preexisting health conditions.”
Seven months into the pandemic, Reynolds said medical professionals have more experience dealing with the virus and there are new medications.
“Even though the number of Iowans hospitalized is the highest it’s been, we have not approached the peak of hospital capacity,” Reynolds said.
The governor’s staff spoke with hospital administrators Tuesday to discuss the spike in Covid-related admissions.
“They assured us that they’re able to manage the capacity,” Reynolds said, “and they have the resources they need and, most importantly, that they’re prepared.”
Ninety-seven Covid patients were admitted to Iowa hospitals on Tuesday and the state’s coronavirus website indicates 104 patients were being treated in an intensive care unit. Forty-two of them are on a ventilator.
Reynolds said the previous spike in Covid hospitalizations this spring was linked to outbreaks at nursing homes and meat packing plants, but this month’s surge is related to the spread of Covid through Iowa’s rural counties. The governor said she and other state officials have reached out to pastors and superintendents in northwest Iowa to talk about how to curb the spread of the virus.
President Trump’s Covid diagnosis is a good reminder that “none of us live in a bubble,” Reynolds said. “Covid 19 has the ability to reach all of us, which is why we have taken this virus seriously the first day it came to Iowa, but the president is also right. We can’t let Covid 19 dominate our lives and that’s exactly why we have taken the steps we have these last seven months to balance both the lives and livelihoods of Iowans.”
Sixteen counties, all outside the state’s major metros, have testing rates showing 15 to more than 31 percent of residents tested in the past two weeks had the virus. In neighboring Wisconsin, a field hospital is opening at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds, in a Milwaukee suburb. Officials in Wisconsin there say a surge in Covid cases there threatens to overwhelm that state’s health care system.