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Three additional COVID-19 related deaths in Marshall County

Forty-seven people have died from COVID-19 in Marshall County, including three this week.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported a record 70 new deaths Thursday, bringing the total life loss to 2,519.

There were 2,926 new cases in the state reported Thursday. There are 1,036 active cases in Marshall County.

The rate of hospitalizations in the state has slowed. There are 1,124 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 infection and 795 — 71 percent — list COVID-19 as the primary diagnosis. There are 224 intensive care patients and 131 people on ventilators. In the last 24 hours, 136 people were hospitalized.

Hospitalizations are higher among people 60 years old and older, but younger populations are not being spared. Three percent are younger than 18 years old, 3 percent are 18-29, 6 percent are 30-39, 6 percent are 40-49 and 12 percent are 50-59.

There are 169 reported long-term care facility outbreaks active, including two in Marshall County. The Iowa Veterans Home is listed with 10 positive cases and four recoveries. Southridge Specialty Care has 27 positive cases and 22 recoveries. But Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said during a Thursday press conference, 30 outbreaks will be removed from the state’s data as they have not had a new positive case in 28 days.

Reynolds gave an update on vaccines during her press conference. She said 26,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine which is awaiting approval for use in the United States, will tentatively arrive on around Dec. 13. The following week another 31 doses will arrive, along with 54,000 doses of Moderna’s vaccine which is also awaiting approval. In the last week of December, 95,000 Pfizer and 77 Moderna vaccine doses are expected to arrive. The dates are based on planning numbers and may be subject to change.

Reynolds noted health care workers, long term care facility residents and staff will be the first to receive vaccinations.

Kelly Garcia, director of the Iowa Department of Human Services, gave more details on the distribution of both vaccines. According to Garcia, the Pfizer vaccine requires two doses given 21 days apart. The Moderna vaccine requires two doses given 28 days apart.

Thirty-nine locations across Iowa will store Pfizer vaccines which require ultra-cold storage.

DHS is working on a plan with pharmacy chains CVS, Walgreens and Community Pharmacy to assist nursing homes in vaccinating residents. These chains are able to serve a 75-mile radius from their location, ensuring the vaccine reaches rural parts of the state.

“While life will not return to normal immediately with this, we do have a sense of a light at the end of the tunnel,” Garcia said. “Please continue all of the necessary mitigation efforts. We have winter months ahead and need to ensure our health care workers remain able to provide the highest level of care to Iowans.”

A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center in September showed about 51 percent of adults would definitely or probably get a COVID-19 vaccine if it were available right away. This is a significant decrease from a poll in May where 72 percent they would take the vaccine. Those who chose ‘definitely’ getting the virus fell to 21 percent. It was 42 percent in May.

Brooks Jackson, a pathologist at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, said he is confident in the vaccines being presented to the public. He said the UI hospitals took part in clinical trials for the Pfizer vaccine and he was among the 270 volunteers who were part of the clinical study.

“As an investigator of a number of vaccines and drug trials for infectious diseases, I believe Iowans should feel confident the COVID-19 vaccines that will become available shortly are effective and safe given the efficacy and safety data we have seen to date,” Jackson said. “The weeks and months ahead look indeed very promising, but we can’t let our guard down just yet. Let’s be cautiously optimistic. If we stay vigilant and work together, I think we will likely be able to look forward to life returning to normal sometime in 2021.”

USAfacts.org reports 13.539 million known cases and 266,769 deaths in the U.S. The site’s data differs from what is reported by IDPH. It lists Iowa with 230,902 cases and 2,427 deaths. Marshall County has 3,512 cases and 8,920.7 per 100,000 population.

The site also reports there were nearly as many cases in October — 1.86 million — as there were in July — 1.9 million. But cases were occurring at a higher rate in counties with a less dense population. In July, counties with populations of 125 people per sq. mile or less had an average 525 cases per 100,000. In October the rate rose to 775 cases per 100,000.

Marshall County has the 14th highest number of total COVID-19 cases in Iowa

The counties with highest numbers include:

CUMULATIVE CASES. ACTIVE CASES

Polk — 34,671 11,792

Linn — 14,693 6,542

Scott — 11,690 5,430

Black Hawk — 11,221. 3,750

Woodbury — 10,638. 2,326

Johnson — 9,816 2,846

Dubuque — 9,435 2,846

Story — 6,984 2,232

Pottawattamie — 6,984 2,704

Dallas — 6,595 2,343

ACCORDING TO IDPH DATA:

Race:

• Caucasian: 63 percent

• Hispanic or Latino: 7 percent

• African American: 3 percent

• Asian: 2 percent

Sex:

• Female: 51 percent

• Male: 47 percent

Age:

• 0-17: 10 percent

• 18-29: 24 percent

• 30-39: 16 percent

• 40-49: 14 percent

• 50-59: 14 percent

• 60-69: 11 percent

• 70-79: 6 percent

• 80 or older: 5 percent

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Contact Joe Fisher at 641-753-6611 or jfisher@timesrepublican.com

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