Twenty-seven Hardin County residents tested positive for COVID-19 over the last week, a decrease from the 37 new cases that were reported the week before, but the total number of active infections remained the same at 118.
On Monday this week, the Iowa Department of Public Health was reporting a total of 1,606 COVID-19 cases in Hardin County since testing began last year. That’s 27 more than last week’s total of 1,579.
On Sunday, the state updated the number of COVID-19 deaths on its website, adding 250 – the most deaths added on any one day. That does not mean 250 people died in one 24-hour span. In December, the state altered the way it’s classifying COVID-19 deaths, and it can now take a week or more to classify a death as being from COVID-19 and add it to the state website. Hardin County has added two deaths since last Monday, totaling 33 since the first local death was reported last August.
Of the 1,606 Hardin County residents who’ve tested positive for the disease, 1,455 are classified as having recovered, and 33 have died, leaving 118 active cases of the disease. Last Monday, the county also had 118 active cases of the disease.
The number of COVID-19 tests being administered across the state has remained low. According to the Washington Post's coronavirus tracker, Iowa ranks last among U.S. states for the number of new tests reported in the last seven days, per 100,000 population. Hardin County's testing also remains low. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, a total of 961 tests were administered to Hardin County residents Jan. 23-29. At the peak of testing - during a surge in cases the week of Nov. 7-13 - a total of 1,608 COVID-19 tests were administered to Hardin County residents.
As of Monday morning, Hardin County did not have any active outbreaks of COVID-19 in long term care facilities, according to the state’s coronavirus website. Heritage Care Center had been listed since Jan. 11, after an outbreak was first detected in December, according to the facility’s administrator, John Freeman. When it last appeared on the website, the state was reporting that Heritage Care Center had had a total of nine positive cases of the disease.
As of Saturday, no Hardin County residents were hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19.
Schools report new cases
Hardin County’s public school district superintendents issued reports Friday about virus activity in the schools last week. The reports showed the following for new cases:
- Iowa Falls-Alden: 6
- South Hardin: 1
- AGWSR: 0
- Ellsworth Community College: 0
ZIP code map updated
On Friday, Hardin County Public Health released data showing total COVID-19 infections by ZIP code. The change from the previous week’s data shows 36 new cases. Most of those new cases – 23 – were added to the Iowa Falls ZIP code. Only three other ZIP codes in the county added cases: Radcliffe with seven, and Eldora and Hubbard with three each.
Despite the Iowa Falls ZIP code’s jump in new cases, its share of the total case count is still less than its share of the total population – 35 percent of case versus 36.2 percent of population – but it is increasing.
Eldora and Hubbard continue to have a greater share of the county’s total cases then they have population. The Eldora ZIP code, which is home to 17 percent of the county’s population, has had 19.3 percent of the COVID cases. The Hubbard ZIP code is home to 7.3 percent of the total population, but it has had 10.4 percent of the total COVID cases. Both communities have seen outbreaks of the disease at long term care facilities and at Eldora’s State Training School, both of which would have affected the communities’ infection totals.