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Virus deaths, hospitalizations hit new highs in Iowa

October 21, 2020 GMT

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The number of Iowa residents dying from the coronavirus is quickly rising again after weeks of increasing hospitalizations and outbreaks at nursing homes, state data showed Wednesday.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported 31 new deaths from the virus Wednesday, the most confirmed in a 24-hour period since the beginning of the pandemic.

That does not mean that 31 people died in one day. Instead, it means that the state received 31 new reports of confirmed COVID—19 deaths through medical examiners and death certificates. Many of the deaths happened a few or several days ago.

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At the state’s peak for deaths in May, an average of about 14 people were dying daily from coronavirus.

A month ago, Iowa was averaging about six deaths per day. That rate has climbed to about nine deaths per day over the last two weeks and will go up further as more are reported in that timeframe. In all, 1,582 people have died since March.

The increase in deaths is likely to continue. State data updated Tuesday evening showed a record 534 people are hospitalized with the virus. That included 90 admitted in the previous 24 hours, the second highest one-day total of new patients to date.

In addition, 68 long-term care facilities are experiencing outbreaks.