Virus cases continue to rise in Iowa’s college towns
By DAVID PITT
Confirmed cases of the coronavirus continued to climb in counties that are home to Iowa’s largest public universities, according to statistics released Monday.
State public health data showed Johnson County, home to the University of Iowa, had 1,096 known positive cases as of Monday, a 38% increase in a week. The number of cases began spiking around June 15, with 40 to 50 new confirmed positive cases on most days.
In Story County, home to Iowa State University, known positive cases reached 677, a 44% increase since June 22.
Johnson and Story counties were among the 136 counties the White House included in a list last week showing counties with rising case numbers.
The increased cases has led some owners of bars and restaurants near the universities in Iowa City and Ames to close only weeks after Gov. Kim Reynolds allowed them to reopen.
Iowa posted nearly 300 new known cases on Monday for a total of 28,728 known positive cases and three additional deaths for a total of 707.
Iowa health officials and business leaders have urged young people to wear masks and observe social distancing to combat a rise in cases among young adults in college towns.