Iowa and COVID-19 – Is This the Best News Since the Pandemic Began?
The COVID-19 pandemic was in full force one year ago, though the worst was yet to come. There were no vaccines, cases were rising, and it was becoming clear summer wasn't going to kill the virus, or end the pandemic. But fast forward a year to the summer of 2021, and it feels more like 2019 than 2020. Everything in Iowa is re-opened, fans are at sporting events locally and nationwide, and patio dining is the only answer for those nervous about COVID. It feels good to be able to say: this COVID-19 report is largely positive.
COVID-19 is still an Iowa news story, but it's not a headline anymore
Iowa was ravaged by COVID-19 in 2020. From the Tyson plant in Waterloo making national news outlets like CNN and Fox News to the state's third highest-in-the-nation case totals around the holidays, things looked drab for Iowans looking for good news. But today, as I write this, Iowa has a positivity rate of only 1.8% according to the state's dashboard. The 14-day positivity rate is 2.2%. There are also over 1,300,000 fully vaccinated individuals in the state.
There are also several counties in Iowa that have had zero positive tests in the past 7-days, including Iowa, Keokuk, Tama, Howard, and Chickasaw counties to name a few. Linn County is at 3%, Jones 5%, and Black Hawk 3%. All have had fewer than 50 positive cases in the past 7-days. More good news: the state has its fewest COVID hospitalizations since April 2020.
Iowa stacks up well compared to other states in the nation
The White House set a goal: have 70% of Americans vaccinated by Independence Day. While Iowa is still not on course to quite hit 70% by July, the state should be at 65% by then, putting us close according to a report from the New York Times. If you're looking for a positive metric for the U.S. as a whole, almost every Major League ballpark has either announced a date that they will allow full fan capacity or have already begun to allow full capacity.
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