Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds holds a press conference on COVID-19 at the State Emergency Operations Center in Johnston, Iowa, on Friday, May 15, 2020. (Photo Credit: Olivia Sun/The Des Moines Register)

DES MOINES, Iowa – Data provided by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) shows that Iowa hospitalizations for COVID-19 are flattening.

Gov. Kim Reynolds, during Friday’s press conference, remarked on the statewide data.

“We’re seeing the positivity rates go down, which is very good. We’re seeing the hospitalization numbers continue to stabilize. We’re seeing the days to double increase to I think it’s 18 days now. So we’ve seen some really good results with that as well. And so we’re going to continue to look at the data we’re going to continue to assess, and we’re going to continue to test. Hopefully, we can not only protect the health of Iowans, but also the livelihood and the health of our economy as we move through and really work to contain and manage COVID-19 in the state of Iowa,” she said.

Statewide Hospitalizations as of May 15, 2020. (Source: Iowa’s COVID-19 Dashboard)
Statewide ICU patients as of May 15, 2020. (Source: Iowa’s COVID-19 Dashboard)

Iowa saw a significant drop in hospitalizations since Thursday. IDPH reported 405 hospitalizations on Thursday; on Friday, they reported 387 hospitalizations statewide. There are 130 COVID-19 patients in ICU, a metric that has steadily declined since its peak of 164 patients on May 7. The number of patients on ventilators have also begun to decline, with 87 patients on ventilators statewide. The most patients Iowa saw on ventilators in one day is 109, also on May 7.

Statewide new admissions as of May 15, 2020. (Source: Iowa’s COVID-19 Dashboard)

There were only 23 new admissions statewide reported on Friday, down from 42 reported on Thursday.

IDPH reports statewide that there are 3,470 inpatient beds available, representing almost 43 percent of all inpatient beds in the state. There was a decrease in available inpatient beds once the restriction on elective and non-essential procedures was lifted.

There are 407 ICU beds available, representing just shy of 76 percent of all ICU beds in the state. Also, there are 713 ventilators, representing 76 percent of the state’s ventilators.

South-central Iowa (Region 3) hospitalizations as of May 15, 2020. (Source: Iowa’s COVID-19 Dashboard)

Hospitalizations in south-central Iowa, including Des Moines that is a current hot spot, appear to be stabilizing as well. There are 172 COVID-19 patients hospitalized down from the region’s peak of 180. There are 46 in ICU and 29 on ventilators. There were only seven new admissions reported on Friday.

The region has 862 inpatient beds available, representing 36 percent of the region’s inpatient beds. There are 64 ICU beds available, representing 58 percent of the region’s ICU beds. Also, there are 184 ventilators available, representing almost 68 percent of the region’s ventilators.

Northwest Iowa (Region 1) hospitalizations as of May 15, 2020. (Source: Iowa’s COVID-19 Dashboard)

Northwest Iowa, where Woodbury County is another current hotspot, saw its daily peak of COVID-19 hospitalizations at 104 on May 10. On Friday, IDPH reports they have 81, but that has increased slightly since May 11 when they saw 73 hospitalized. That region reports 35 patients on ICU, a metric which has seen a decline. Also, there are 25 patients on a ventilator; the number of patients on ventilators are also declining.

The region has 862 inpatient beds available, representing 36 percent of the region’s inpatient beds. There are 64 ICU beds available, representing 58 percent of the region’s ICU beds. Also, there are 184 ventilators available, representing almost 68 percent of the region’s ventilators. On Friday, they report only six new admissions, down significantly from their peak of 24 new admissions on May 9.

The region has 548 inpatient beds available, representing 55 percent of the region’s inpatient beds. There are 102 ICU beds available, representing 74 percent of the region’s ICU beds. Also, there are 80 ventilators available, representing almost 79 percent of the region’s ventilators.

Reynolds said they continue to monitor the hospitalization data.

“We’ll continue to watch to make sure that they have the capacity to not only treat individuals with that have tested positive for COVID that might need hospitalization, but that they can also take care of other Iowans,” she said.

“If we see a significant surge and we need to take additional steps, we’ll do that,” Reynolds added.

She also said this weekend is the first time the Iowa National Guard will not deliver personal protective equipment to hospitals as requests for PPE have slowed. Reynolds also said that the state’s stockpile of PPE is in “good shape.”

Iowa has also seen a decline in positive cases, even with testing ramping up.

Individuals tested statewide as of May 15, 2020. (Source: Iowa’s COVID-19 Dashboard)
Individuals testing positive statewide as of May 15, 2020. (Source: Iowa’s COVID-19 Dashboard)

IDPH reports 374 new cases for a total of 14,049 cases in 95 counties. They also reported 18 additional deaths for a total of 336. Reynolds noted that 16 out of the 18 new deaths were long-term care facility residents. Alos, 6561 Iowans have recovered for a 47 percent recovery rate among those who tested positive. There were 4,274 tests conducted on Thursday for a total of 93,556 tests, representing one in 34 Iowans tested.

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