County’s 14-day COVID-19 positivity rate goes over 19 percent

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By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

Clayton County saw an increase of 68 new COVID-19 cases over the past week—the largest one-week jump in a month. According to data from the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), the county’s total grew from 1,410 on Jan. 4 to 1,478 as of Jan. 11.

Over two weeks, the total has risen by 132 cases. 

Of Clayton County’s 1,478 confirmed cases, 176 are currently active. 

The county’s 14-day positivity rate, which measures the percentage of positive tests in that span, also continues to rise. It currently sits at 19.3 percent, up a point from last week. Over seven days, the positivity rate is 13 percent.

Overall, Iowa has a 14-day positivity rate of 14.7 percent, up a point from a week ago, and a seven-day positivity rate of 12 percent. As of Monday, 58 Iowa counties were reporting 14-day positivity rates over 15 percent.

IDPH said Iowa added 425 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, taking the state’s total to 297,295. That’s an increase of 12,422 confirmed cases from a week ago. 

As of Monday, 555 people around the state were hospitalized, down 16 people from last week. Of those hospitalized, 96 were in the ICU. 

Since last week, one more COVID-19 related death has been reported in Clayton County, with the total rising from 46 on Jan. 4 to 47 as of Jan. 11, according to IDPH.

In the past two weeks, the county has recorded eight deaths.

There have been 4,139 total deaths in Iowa, including one reported on Monday. Per IDPH, 147 Iowans have died as a result of COVID-19 in the past week.

Public health measures modified

On Jan. 7, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a new Public Health Disaster proclamation that modified existing public health measures designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

The proclamation continues to require that, when people are in an indoor public space and unable to social distance for 15 minutes or longer, masks are required to be worn.  

Spectator limits for sporting and recreational gatherings, including for high school-sponsored events, were lifted on Jan. 8.  

Other public health measures have been extended until Feb. 6.

IDPH share statewide vaccine administration data

On Jan. 11, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) began sharing data on statewide COVID-19 vaccine administration. The state said these updates will be published each week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Reports will initially be static visualizations, including high-level information on vaccine administration totals, as well as county-level information. The current update and future dashboard will be housed on the existing website.

“We are working to bring a more robust and dynamic dashboard of our vaccine progress online in the coming weeks. Iowans can expect to see additional data points that will clearly illustrate the progress we are making in vaccinating Iowans,” said Kelly Garcia, IDPH interim director.

Vaccines are currently being administered to populations in the Phase 1A category, which includes health care personnel and residents and staff in long-term care facilities. In the coming weeks, this will expand to further reach Iowans in the next priority groups. 

“We know Iowans are eager to learn of the progress we are making in the vaccine effort, and we are committed to sharing information as we work through the stage of vaccinating this initial priority population. Stabilizing our health care system is paramount in our fight against COVID-19,” added Garcia.

To date, 96,686 vaccines have been administered in the state. IDPH said Iowa is currently performing among the highest in the nation for vaccine administration, when comparing the number of vaccines allocated to vaccines administered. The CDC is tracking state vaccine information.

According to IDPH, 365 doses have been administered to residents of Clayton County.

Until more vaccines, which are currently a scarce resource, are widely available to all, it is critical that Iowans continue to practice the mitigation measures that can slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. That includes wearing a mask or face covering, practicing social distancing with those outside your household, cleaning your hands frequently with soap and water and staying home if you feel sick.

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