COVID-19 cases down, hospitalizations up ahead of Iowa State Fair 2022 – Des Moines Register

Show Caption
Hide Caption

Here’s why COVID-19 cases are on the rise again

Could we see widespread mask mandates again? Here’s what we know about the state of the pandemic.

Just the FAQs, USA TODAY

The pace of the COVID-19 pandemic in Iowa remained steady over the past week, according to data released Wednesday by the Iowa Department of Public Health and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The number of new reported COVID-19 cases in the state was down slightly, and the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 was up slightly.

Wednesday’s data update comes one day before the Iowa State Fair is set to begin in Des Moines. If attendance figures match last year’s fair, it’s expected to bring more than 1 million visitors, or roughly 100,000 fairgoers per day, to Des Moines.

Over the past week, 5,660 new cases were reported, according to the state health department. That’s an average of 809 cases per day, about 15 fewer than the daily figure for the week prior. That number does not capture every COVID-19 case in Iowa, as it does not include positive at-home tests that were not reported to the state health department, nor does it include people who have COVID-19 without symptoms and do not get tested.

More: Polk County allocates $36.8 million in remaining ARPA funds for housing, health care and water projects

The amount of COVID-19 in the city of Des Moines’ wastewater reached its highest point since February, at the end of last winter’s surge. Data from the Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Authority shows the virus concentration in  wastewater, which has historically been an indicator of surges and declines in COVID-19 cases, has been increasing over the past several months.

The state is currently averaging a little more than 100 cases per day above the level at the start of last year’s fair. But case counts are following a different trend than they were then. Fueled by the delta variant, new reported cases had nearly doubled in the two weeks leading up to last year’s fair. This year, new reported cases have declined slightly over each of the past two weeks.

As of Wednesday’s data update, there were 323 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Iowa, 14 more than a week prior. Of those, 32 required intensive care, a decrease of nine from the previous week.

More: 5 new things at Iowa State Fair 2022, including a world record attempt and fresh events

The state health department reported an additional 33 COVID-19 deaths as of Wednesday, raising Iowa’s pandemic death toll to 9,850. The 33 deaths reported this week likely occurred earlier, as it often takes several weeks for the state health department to verify and publicly report COVID-19 deaths.

The latest COVID-19 numbers in Iowa

The latest data for the pandemic, as of 12 a.m. Aug. 10, compared to one week earlier:

  • Confirmed cases: 828,016, an increase of 5,660.
  • Deaths: 9,850, an increase of 33.

Data on the state vaccination rate is now updated just once a month on the state health department website. As of Aug. 3, 59.2% of Iowans were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

How many people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in Iowa?

Note: Hospitalization data for COVID-19 is no longer available through the Iowa Department of Public Health. The data below is from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Hospitalizations: 323, up from 309 one week ago
  • Patients in intensive care: 32, down from 41

Tim Webber is a data visualization specialist for the Register. Reach him at, 515-284-8532, and on Twitter at @HelloTimWebber.