The New York Times is stating that Iowa has one of the worst outbreaks in COVID-19 than any other state. They also state that it is spreading fastest in university towns like Ames and Iowa City. Daniel Diekema heads the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
While the surge in Iowa City is tied to Iowa University students returning to campus, Diekema points to university leaders and state officials for reopening schools and businesses too soon.
While state universities are undergoing this problem, local schools are not seeing the same degree of the issue. According to the Iowa Coronavirus Dashboard as of Monday evening, Winnebago County is standing at 6.5% of those testing positive, Hancock County stands at 5.8%, Worth County at 3.1%, Kossuth at 3.4%, Humboldt at 5.9%, Wright at 4.2%, and Cerro Gordo County at 7.6%, Franklin County is the only county in the immediate county area that is experiencing anything above 8% as they currently see 8.7% of their students testing positive.
In contrast across the state, five counties such as Plymouth have 22.1%, Sioux County at 22.3%, Story County at 22.5%, Howard at 20.3%, and Johnson County at 23.8% are the only counties presently above the 20% threshold testing positive. There are seven counties currently above the 15% threshold. This makes 12 out of 99 counties where percentages of positive tested cases exceed the 15% level set forth by Governor Kim Reynolds for schools to consider hybrid learning or online studies. Parents and school boards make the ultimate decision on attendance and how it is handled. In the Belmond-Klemme Community Schools in Wright County, students are kept in home rooms all day and study online.
In contrast, long term care facilities are seeing issues in two area counties. Winnebago County is dealing with an outbreak on the Good Samaritan Care Center in Forest City. Currently 50 cases have been diagnosed with one confirmed recovery. Meanwhile in Franklin County, 56 positive cases have been diagnosed in the Rehabilitation Center of Hampton. Of those, 48 have recovered. The worst outbreak is in Jasper County where the Newton Health Care Center has had 65 diagnosed cases and 54 have recovered. In total across the state, there have been 842 individual positive cases in long term care facilities and 406 have recovered.