Updated website shows COVID-19 trends, county numbers

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

DES MOINES — Iowa's COVID-19 numbers are now appearing in real time on the updated coronavirus.iowa.gov website, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Tuesday morning.

"The latest update allows you to see case counts for the current day and look back at the numbers for any day since we began testing in early March," Reynolds said. "You can see trends for the state as a whole and for individual counties. You can review data on specific demographics, recovered cases and reported deaths and results from serology testing.”

The latest information for Plymouth County shows there have been 89 individuals test positive for COVID-19, with the first two positives identified April 2.

Nine cases, the highest daily totals for Plymouth County, were confirmed positive on May 6 and May 9. Two cases were confirmed positive on May 18.

A total of 713 Plymouth County residents have been tested with 623 of those negative, for a total of 12.5 percent positive.

“Each bar graph provides numbers of each individual day and includes a rolling 14-day trend line indicating what's happening over time. You can clearly see that the trend line for individuals tested has risen dramatically over the few weeks, reflecting our expanded testing capabilities across the state,” Reynolds said.

“You can also see the number of positive cases is trending down. Total recovered continues to trend up, and we are closely monitoring trends in deaths,” she said.

All reports of positive and recovered cases by age group, by sex, by race and by ethnicity are reported at the state level only. The same is true for deaths. No totals for those categories are reported at county levels.

More information on long term care facilities is now included on the website as well.

In northwest Iowa, only one facility in Woodbury County has reported COVID-19 numbers. Holy Spirit Retirement Home in Sioux City reports 18 positive cases with six cases recovered. Other long term care facility outbreaks have been located in the east and central part of the state.

Also new on the website is a section on serology testing.

The data shows more than 12,000 Iowans have had the serology test which detects COVID-19 antibodies and indicates a person has had and recovered from the virus. There is no data available for Plymouth County.

According to Dr. Caitlin Pedati, the state’s public health director and epidemiologist, a serology test is different from when administering a test to see if someone is positive for COVID-19.

"Serology uses a sample from blood looking for proteins called antibodies. These antibodies are things that our white blood cells form as part of a response to a variety of bacteria and viruses, so when the body is exposed to something new, our white blood cells will start to make some of these antibodies in a general way. But then we learn how to make more specific antibodies that are specific to the parts of the bacteria or virus itself," Pedati said.

"Those will help us learn how to fight something again if we happen to see it again. And that's precisely how our vaccines work, by showing our bodies a small piece of something so if we have to see it we're able to fight it. Which is why it's so important for people to continue to stay up to date on those routine vaccines," she continued.

Kelly Garcia, director of Iowa department of Human Services, reported her department is working with the more than 10,400 child care facilities in the state to continue to make sure safe, quality child care is available across the state.

DHS has provided facilities with sanitizing supplies and thermometers, "not something we normally do," she said.

Reynolds also said she will make an announcement on Wednesday about some of the rules of a proclamation which are set to expire May 27.

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