Marshall County reported new COVID-related mortality for the third week in a row after not having one since the spring. Marshall County was home to 82 of the 6,563 deaths registered across the state. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health jobs, the state has also had more than 10,000 new cases in each of the last three weeks. 

This week, there have been no new instances reported by Marshalltown Community College. Positive cases are self-reported by college students. As of Friday, the Marshall Community School District has 35 cases among pupils and seven among employees. These figures apply to the entire district. 

Meanwhile, the Southern District of Iowa’s Judge Robert Pratt decided to support school districts’ ability to require masks in their classrooms. His decision found that the law prohibiting districts from requiring masks, which was passed in May and signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds, “substantially increases (students) risk of contracting the virus that causes COVID-19 jobs to lose and that, due to their various medical conditions, they are at an increased risk of severe illness or death, Plaintiffs have demonstrated that an irreparable harm exists.” 

In recent weeks, several districts across the state, including Ankeny, have gone against the rules and started demanding mask wear. The MCSD started the semester without a mask requirement, but at its Sept. 20 board meeting, the board adopted a mask requirement for Pre-K through sixth-grade students, as well as employees. Outside of those grades, according to Communications Director Adam Sodders, masks are still optional. 

After progressively growing in recent weeks, the state’s 7-day rate of positive cases has leveled out. It is now 9.5 percent, down from 9.5 percent a week ago. Twenty-four percent of positive cases are among children under 17 years old. Only 3% of incidents are among adults above the age of 80. 

There are 624 COVID-19 patients in hospitals, with 157 of them in intensive care. In the last 24 hours, 92 patients have been admitted. COVID infection was the primary diagnosis in about 76% of the patients hospitalized. 60-69-year-olds account for 23% of all admissions, the highest percentage of any age group. 

More than 84 percent of the 157 intensive care patients are not adequately immunized. COVID infection was found in more than 81 percent of hospitalized individuals. Approximately 74% of hospital inpatient beds are currently occupied. The IDPH website no longer informs patients about the number of people on ventilators or the number of ventilators available. 

With 3.4 million doses provided, around 65 percent of eligible Iowans are fully vaccinated. At least one dose has been given to 68% of children aged 12 and up. Marshall County now has a vaccination rate of 69.7%. 

Source: Marshalltown Times Republican