DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus continues to rise in Iowa, with more than 2,800 additional cases reported Saturday.
The Des Moines Register reported that in addition to the 2,823 new cases of COVID-19, the state reported 10 more deaths. All told, Iowa has reported 127,357 confirmed cases and 1,715 deaths since the pandemic began in late winter.
The state also reported alarmingly high positivity rates in dozens of counties.
The statewide 14-day positivity rate of 13.4% is nearly three times higher than the World Health Organization recommends as a benchmark for reopening. Nine counties have 14-day positivity rates higher than 20%, and more than two dozen others have positivity rates above 15%.
Gov. Kim Reynolds has ordered that at least 50% of instruction at Iowa schools must be held in person. For K-12 schools to be considered for a waiver for online-only instruction, districts must have an 10% absentee rate and the county they are located in must have a 14-day average positivity rate of at least 15%.
The number of people requiring hospital care also is on the upswing. The state reported 630 hospitalizations on Saturday, up from 606 on Friday.
The surge in Iowa is in line with similar increases in cases, hospitalizations and positivity rates in several Midwestern states.