The state website tracking deaths during the pandemic shows more than a quarter of the Iowans who’ve died after testing positive for Covid died in the month of November. Governor Kim Reynolds said the record number of deaths last month is connected to the high numbers of Iowans who’ve recently tested positive for the virus.

“You’ll see an uptick in positive cases and if you look at the numbers on the website about two weeks later you’re going to see an increase in the hospitalizations,” Reynolds said yesterday, “and then about two weeks after that is what you start to see some of the deaths occur.”

This afternoon, a record 165 Iowa nursing homes have Covid outbreaks, with 5218 residents and staff infected with the virus — also a record. Reynolds said the state agencies that oversee the nursing home industry are reviewing infection control measures at facilities with outbreaks.

“Now that Thanksgiving has passed, we’re also going to be closely monitoring case counts, positivity rate and hospitalizations over the next two weeks for any significant increase,” Reynolds said. “…We are cautiously optimistic that the mitigation efforts currently in place are achieving what they are intended to do and get it into a more manageable level.”

The governor said the state made “slow, steady progress” after November 17 when hospitalizations peaked. The Covid patient count has declined every day but one since then.