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Iowa coronavirus trajectory echoes national upward trend

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa coronavirus data continued to suggest Friday that virus activity is increasing in the state, with virus infections and deaths continuing to rise. Similar trends were noted Friday by the White House COVID-19 Response Team members who expressed concerns about rising cases.

“We have seen cases and hospital admission move from historic decline to stagnation to increases, and we know from prior surges that if we don’t control things now there is a real potential for the epidemic curve to soar again,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Please take this moment very seriously.”

She said cases in the U.S in the most recent seven-day period increased about 7% from the previous comparable period and hospitalizations also climbed slightly.

Deaths remain at about 1,000 per day, she said.

Iowa reported 979 new cases on Friday and 19 additional deaths increasing the state death total to 5,708. The seven-day positivity rate increased to 4.8%. The state has 207 people hospitalized after having dropped below 200 in late February. There were 46 COVID-19 patients in intensive care.

Walensky advised people to continue wearing masks and continue to practice safety measures to reduce virus transmission.

Iowa has delivered nearly 1.37 million doses of vaccine and nearly 525,000 people, or 16.8% of the population, have been fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.