The weekly report from the Iowa Department of Public Health shows the number of Covid cases statewide has increased nearly 170% in the past week. The number of Covid patients in Iowa hospitals has increased significantly this summer, from a low of 46 on June 24 to 355 yesterday.
Megan Schaeffer, an epidemiologist who works with the Polk County Health Department, is urging people to get vaccinated and wear masks in public indoor settings. She estimates as many as 600 people with active infections a day, on average, may be at the State Fair this year.
“If you consider each of those people will spread to two to four individuals, whether that’s their family, their household or even at the Fair, that’s a pretty big exponential spread,” she says.
Polk County officials say 95% of admitted Covid patients in the Des Moines metro area are unvaccinated.
(Reporting by Iowa Public Radio’s Natalie Krebs)