Marshall County has reported a COVID-19 related death in two straight weeks for the first time since the spring.
Eighty-one people have died in Marshall County with COVID-19 infection, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health. The total death toll across the state is 6,482 people, with 81 new deaths reported in the last week.
After the rate of infection showed slowing in the county last week, it has accelerated from 5 to 7 percent this week. There were 190 positive cases reported in the last seven days.
Marshall County Public Health Nurse Pat Thompson said the testing process is still far from immediate. The county offers mail-in tests which can be taken at home. The tests require a sample of saliva which is sent to the State Hygienic Laboratory in Coralville. Results are then delivered by email after a couple days.
“They’re free. I ask people to give me a call so I can help them get the test,” Thompson said. “It’s going to be a few days by the time you mail it in so it takes a little while. It’s not overnight.”
Thompson advised contacting health care providers or even local pharmacies if someone is symptomatic or has been in contact with a COVID-infected person.
“Most health care providers won’t test you unless there is a reason to,” she said. “It’s more important if you have symptoms. Always call and ask them.”
There are only Test Iowa centers operating in Iowa right now, with the nearest being in Des Moines, according to Thompson.
In the last seven days, 26 percent of positive cases have been in children 17 or younger. People 80 or older only account for 3 percent of positives in that time. The seven-day average positivity rate in the state is up to 9.6 percent.
On July 1, the 14-day rolling total of positive cases was 1,208 across the state but cases have risen steadily since. The rolling total as of Tuesday was 24,464.
There are 29 active long-term care outbreaks, up six from a week ago. Hospitals are filled with 638 COVID patients, with 101 being admitted in the last 24 hours. Of those patients, 161 are in intensive care. COVID infection is the primary diagnosis in 482 patients. Inpatient bed availability is down to 26 percent.
Hospital patients who are unvaccinated account for more than 83-percent of ICU cases and 80 percent of COVID-19 patients in total.
“In the end it’s a novel virus that keeps mutating like these viruses do,” Thompson said. “If you haven’t gotten it yet, you will. The only protection we have is the vaccine.”
More than 65 percent of adults have been fully vaccinated in Iowa with 3.4 million doses being administered. Sixty-eight percent of children 12 or older have received at least one dose.
Marshall County is reporting 69.2 percent of people 18 or older are fully vaccinated. For children 12 and up the rate of full vaccination is 66.4 percent. Adults 65 and older represent the highest portion of fully vaccinated people at more than 28 percent. Females account for 53 percent of vaccinations.
Thompson said it’s time to start thinking about getting flu shots as well.
“You don’t want to get both and you could,” she said. “There’s a reason why you get the seasonal flu vaccine and it’s because it keeps mutating as well. Scientists study which viruses are the most prominent and most deadly and they put that into the vaccine.”
COVID-19 IN MARSHALL COUNTY
• Seven day percent of positive test rate: 7 percent
• Seven day number of cases: 190
• CDC transmission level: HIGH
• Fully vaccinated: 69 percent
• New deaths this week: 1
• Total deaths: 81
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