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COVID-19 cases in Iowa continue to fall

As international health officials worry about India’s spike in COVID-19, Iowa continues to see a drop in cases.

The tragedy in India, where cases are soaring, was part of a global trend that saw more cases in the past two weeks than occurred in the first six weeks of the pandemic last year. Some states in India are locking down after a huge outbreak that has required 24-hour operation of crematoria, CNN reported.

In Iowa, where demand for vaccines has fallen off in places, the number of new COVID-19 cases fell 13 percent over the past two weeks, the New York Times reported. Hospitalizations were down 17 percent in the same period. The average number of daily deaths fell below five.

More than a third of Iowans, 35 percent, are fully vaccinated, the Times reported. Overall, 44 percent of Iowans have received at least one dose of vaccine.

All but 11 of Iowa’s 99 counties turned down at least part the most recent state allocations of vaccines, the Des Moines Register reported. Shortly after Gov. Kim Reynolds heralded a record number of vaccines in one day earlier this month, the daily injections fell by half.

Reynolds continues to recommend, but not require, that residents wear masks and observe social distancing when they are close to unvaccinated people for long periods or in large crowds.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention loosened guidelines for vaccinated people having small outside gatherings in the United States, but many businesses, churches, and bars still require masks and social distancing.

Since the pandemic began, Iowa has recorded 5,959 deaths related to the coronavirus, and 395,478 cases, the Iowa Department of Public Health reported.

There were no outbreaks at nursing homes as of Monday afternoon, the state reported. Nursing home residents were among the first to receive vaccines. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 2,321 residents of Iowa nursing homes have died of the coronavirus.

Nationally, 576,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the United States, which has recorded 32.4 million cases.

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