JOHNSTON, Iowa — For the sixth consecutive day, more than 4,000 Iowans tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday and there were 30 more deaths.
As the virus continued its rapid spread, the Iowa Department of Public Health reported the number of people being treated in hospitals increased to 1,208 patients.
The seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate in Iowa has risen over the past two weeks from nearly 29% on Oct. 28 to 50% on Nov. 11, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Iowa’s rate is second in the nation to South Dakota, which is at 54.5%.
With the additional deaths, the virus has now killed 1,928 Iowa residents.
The White House Coronavirus Task Force warned Iowa in its report released Sunday that action is needed now to control the “unmitigated community spread.” The task force recommended limits on restaurant indoor capacity to less than 50% and restricted hours until cases and test positivity decrease.
Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday required restaurants and bars to limit unrelated groups to eight and separate groups by at least 6 feet. She declined to limit capacity or hours. She also initiated a limited mask requirement for indoor events of 25 or more and outdoor groups of 100 or more.
Of Iowa's 99 counties, 93 have a positivity rate above 15%. State Education Department data shows 22 schools or school districts have been allowed to shift to online learning this month, with 12 requests approved on Tuesday alone.
State public health data shows 15,927 children under age 17 and 7,262 educators in Iowa have tested positive for the virus.
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