LE MARS, Iowa -- Numerous counties in Northwest Iowa, plus Union County in South Dakota, recorded additional COVID-19 deaths on Saturday.
Plymouth County recorded one additional death, raising the toll there to 37; Sioux County recorded two, bringing the toll to 24; O'Brien County recorded two, bringing the toll to 28; Dickinson County recorded one, bringing the toll to 10; Union County recorded three, bringing the toll to 23; and Osceola County recorded its first. (A COVID-19 death reported in Osceola County in October was subsequently deleted from the Iowa Department of Public Health site.)
The additional deaths come amid a surge in new infections; most counties in the region have added hundreds of new coronavirus cases in the last two weeks. All counties in the area, except Monona, Ida and Crawford, have positivity rates above 20 percent. (This does not include Nebraska counties, where the positive percentages are unclear.) A few counties -- Lyon and Yankton -- have positivity rates above 30 percent, according to Iowa Department of Public Health and South Dakota Department of Health data.
The surge in new coronavirus infections is especially pronounced in Woodbury County, with its huge volume of infections reported daily. On Saturday, another 91 infections were reported in the county, following 127 on Friday, 133 on Thursday, 64 on Wednesday, 42 on Tuesday and 142 on Monday, according to Siouxand District Health Department data.
On Saturday, some 63 patients were hospitalized in Sioux City with COVID-19; another 21 people in Sioux City hospitals had the virus, but were hospitalized for other reasons, according to Siouxland District Health.
The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 across Northwest Iowa remains elevated -- on Saturday, 203 virus patients were hospitalized in the region, according to data from Region 3 of Iowa's Regional Medical Coordination Centers (RMCC), which represents Northwest Iowa and some Central Iowa counties. Thirty-seven of these were in the ICU and 20 were on ventilators.
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