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COVID-19: Report says all counties in Iowa are in ‘red-zone’ amid ‘unyielding’ spread

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) - The White House Coronavirus Task Force in its report this week said Iowa has the highest rate in the country for the spread of the virus and new COVID-19 cases with describing the spread as "exponential and unyielding."

The rate of new case sin Iowa places the state in the "red zone," this is according to the White House Task Force, which is defined of at least 101 per 100,000 population during the week. Iowa's rate was the hird-highest in the country at 991 new cases per 100,000 population, showing an increase of 370 from the previous week’s rate. The national average was 294 per 100,000.

"There is now aggressive, unrelenting, expanding broad community spread across the country, reaching most counties, without evidence of improvement," the document says.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health on Tuesday afternoon, the 14-day average positivity rate is 22.8% and one in 16 Iowans tested for the virus have tested positive. All counties in Iowa are currently listed in the red zone, indicating high levels of community transmission.

The mask mandate put in place by Gov. Kim Reynolds issued last week requiring face masks in doors in groups of more than 25 people and outdoors for groups of more than 100, was touched on in the report calling it a "good start" but needed to include all public settings.

The recommendations also included mask usage for students and teachers in K-12 schools and temporarily canceling extracurricular activities, which the governor’s office said was not part of Monday’s proclamation.

The document says the spread is unrelenting throughout the state, and recommends, "limiting restaurant indoor capacity to less than 25% and limiting bar hours until cases and test positivity decrease to the yellow zone."

From November 2 to November 8, the report shows 54% of nursing homes had at least one new COVID-19 case among staff. Among nursing homes, 20% had at least one new resident test positive for COVID-19 and 8% had at least one new resident death.

On Monday, the governor did not decrease capacity at bars and restaurants, instead opting to change hours from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Data over the last three weeks shows Polk, Linn and Scott counties with the highest rate of new cases in Iowa.

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Vinny Lowerre

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