Sep. 15—OTTUMWA — A growing number of children are contracting the coronavirus, new state data showed Wednesday.
Of Iowa's 11,723 new positive cases over the last week, 29% are age 17 and under. Another 17 percent were young adults, aged 18-29.
The rate of new positive cases each day is continuing to increase. Last week, Iowa reported 8,404 new cases over a seven-day period and 8,308 the week before.
The Iowa Department of Public Health reported data on Wednesday for the period of Wednesday, Sept. 8, through Tuesday, Sept. 14.
Wapello County has added more than 21 new cases per day in that period, for a total of 149. Jefferson County saw 77 new cases in the last week, while there were 76 in Appanoose, 39 in Monroe, 33 in Van Buren and 30 in Davis.
The new data includes 64 new deaths in the state, pushing the total death toll in Iowa to 6,401 since the pandemic began. Included were one death each in Jefferson, Van Buren and Wapello counties.
There were 578 Iowans in the hospital with COVID-19, including 157 in an intensive care unit. The unvaccinated account for most hospitalizations. Iowa reported 78.3% in the hospital are unvaccinated, and 87.3% in the ICU are not vaccinated.
Long-term care outbreaks were up to 23 statewide. The state no longer reports data for individual outbreaks.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Iowa has vaccinated 62.3% of its population that's currently eligible (those age 12 and above). That ranks the state 24th in the country.
While the seven-day trends for vaccinations had shown more were getting vaccinated in late August, that trend has now slowed again, returning to levels seen in early August. The CDC reports that as of Tuesday about 1,500 people became fully vaccinated per day in the last seven days.
Wapello County ranks 85th in the state for its vaccination rate, with 49.5% of its eligible population considered fully vaccinated by the CDC. Across the region Appanoose ranks 88th at 47.3%, Monroe ranks 90th at 47.1%, Jefferson ranks 92nd at 46.8%, Van Buren ranks 97th at 42.4% and Davis County is 99th at 39.7%.
All 99 of Iowa's counties are currently experiencing a high level of community transmission of the virus, according to the CDC, meaning masks are recommended to be worn when inside and in large groups.
The Iowa Department of Public Health releases top-level data on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at coronavirus.iowa.gov, and each Wednesday releases an in-depth data update.
Individuals interested in receiving the vaccine can contact their health care providers, pharmacies or local public health offices. Or, they can also consult with state and federal resources. Iowa offers a COVID-19 hotline that can help schedule appointments at 211, providers can be found at vaccinate.iowa.gov/providers.
Texting your ZIP code to 438829 (or 822862 for Spanish) is a federal service that will reply with three locations with vaccines in stock. The Department of Health and Human Services also has established a website for vaccine information at wecandothis.hhs.gov.
Those needing testing resources should call their local doctor's office or pharmacy, or can visit testiowa.com for information on receiving free at-home saliva test kits.
Kyle Ocker is the editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.