Iowa Department of Public Health reports state’s 10,000th COVID death

Iowa has surpassed another grim milestone.

The Iowa Department of Public Health on Wednesday reported the state’s 10,000th death in which COVID-19 was either the underlying cause or a contributing factor. The state’s official death toll for the pandemic is now 10,051.

It comes despite a week-over-week decrease in new reported cases, and even as the US Department of Health and Human Services reported a small decline in the number of people hospitalized with the disease in Iowa.

The true death toll is likely higher; it takes the state health department time to verify and publicly report each COVID-19 death.

At a minimum, 1 of every 318 Iowans has died from COVID-19 complications.

More:10,000 COVID deaths in Iowa: ‘The numbers do not tell you about a human life’

COVID-19’s death toll now exceeds the populations of 26 Iowa counties. It’s greater than the population of Mount Pleasant or Grinnell.

And though the deaths have slowed since 2020 and 2021, more than 1,700 Iowans have died already from the virus in 2022.

The bulk of Iowa’s COVID-19 deaths occurred in two distinct surges: both in the late autumns and winters of the past two years.

The first surge began in earnest in October 2020 and peaked at the start of December 2020, with Iowa averaging more than 60 COVID-19 deaths a day.

The surge in 2021 began earlier, in August, and took longer to peak. When it did in late January 2022, the state was averaging 26 deaths per day.

The key difference? The availability of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as more experience and resources for treating the disease.

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