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Iowa’s surge in COVID cases strengthens

The uptick in Iowa’s COVID-19 cases gained steam over the weekend, the New York Times reported.

Iowa’s daily average of new cases was up 27 percent over the two weeks that ended Sunday, the Times reported. The comparable two-week figure reported Friday was 23 percent.

However, the gain in hospitalizations slowed a bit. As of Sunday, hospitalizations were up 3 percent in two weeks. Friday’s figure was 3.8 percent.

The Washington Post reported Iowa’s cases rose 8 percent in the past week. The state ranked 27th in per-capita average new daily cases of COVID-19.

Hospitalizations rose 1.6 percent in the past week, the Post reported.

The state’s test positivity rate was 12.2 percent. The number of tests fell sharply, 32.1 percent, from the previous week, the Post’s database showed.

As of Monday, 52.6 percent of Iowans were fully vaccinated for COVID, the Post reported.

Iowa continues to struggle with the rapidly spreading delta variant of COVID. Children are back in schools run by elected boards that have been banned by state lawmakers and the governor from setting local mask mandates. A Polk County judge on Friday declined to temporarily block that law in connection with a lawsuit filed by a Council Bluffs mother. A separate federal lawsuit is pending.

Most businesses have not forced customers to wear masks. Few have limited customers or brought back required social distancing.

But many businesses have signs recommending that unvaccinated customers wear a mask. On Monday, 801 Grand, the state’s tallest building, had signs telling all visitors they had to wear a mask.

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