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COVID-19 hospitalizations show decrease as testing exhibits holiday decline – KCRG

DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) – The number of people tested for the novel coronavirus in Iowa showed a sharp drop as state-run facilities paused for Christmas, according to new data on Saturday.

As of 10:30 a.m., the Iowa Department of Public Health said that 299 additional people had tested positive for COVID-19 since the same time on Friday, putting the state’s total at 274,313. 277,670 people are considered recovered from the disease.

TestIowa, the state-run testing program, closed early on Thursday, December 24, and stayed closed on Friday for the Christmas holiday. This likely was a contributing factor in the reduced number of people testing positive and smaller number of tests overall. A similar drop in testing, compared to other days, was observed near the Thanksgiving holiday in late November.

No additional people who have died from COVID-19 were added to the state’s total in the last 24 hours. The total number of people who have died from the disease during the pandemic is 3,744.

The total number of people in Iowa hospitals due to COVID-19 was 558, a net decrease of 42 people. This is the lowest total number of people hospitalized due to the virus since October 25. 114 of those people are in intensive care units, a net decrease of seven. 63 of those patients require the use of a ventilator, a net decrease of six. 76 people were newly-admitted to Iowa hospitals due to the disease, less than the three previous reporting days.

An additional 1,247 people had test results reported by public and private labs over the last 24 hours, a significantly lower number than most recent days. The positivity rate for this batch of tests was 24.0%, the second day in a row of a rate of less than 30% using this calculation. This is the first time there were two days in a row of a positivity rate lower than 30% since late October. The positivity rate computed using this method may differ from the number on the state’s coronavirus dashboard, due to the fact that it uses the number of people tested, not the overall number of tests including people who have been repeatedly tested.

A total of 1,339,501 people in Iowa have been tested since the start of the pandemic.

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