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Woodbury County sees decline in hospitalized COVID-19 patients
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Woodbury County sees decline in hospitalized COVID-19 patients

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Coronavirus Outbreak

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, orange, emerging from the surface of cells, green, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19.

SIOUX CITY -- The COVID-19 roller coaster ride continues in Woodbury County.

The percentage of COVID-19 tests coming back positive in Woodbury County continued to decline Wednesday after a recent upward climb. The number of patients hospitalized with the respiratory illness in Sioux City's two hospitals also has dropped in the past week.

The 14-day average positivity rate for Woodbury County dropped to 15.4% Wednesday, a week after it stood at 17%. It had been 13.5% on Dec. 30.

The seven-day average shows the drop in the overall percentage of Woodbury County tests. In the past week, an average of 12% of tests have come back positive.

The drop is good news, but infection rates remain high. Health officials have said positivity rates above 5% are a concern.

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The Siouxland District Health Department on Wednesday reported 40 COVID patients hospitalized in either UnityPoint -- St. Luke's and MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center in Sioux City, 28 of them hospitalized due to the illness. The hospitals had 52 COVID patients a week ago.

Hospitalizations across Northwest Iowa have remained steady during the past week. The Iowa Department of Public Health reported that the number of patients hospitalized in Region 3 of Iowa's Regional Medical Coordination Centers, a grouping that includes several Northwest Iowa counties, was 89, up from 77 a day earlier. There were 94 COVID patients in the region's hospitals a week ago.

The IDPH reported that as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, 14 patients had been admitted to hospitals in the region in the past 24 hours, up from eight in the previous 24-hour period.

Two COVID-related deaths were reported in Siouxland Wednesday. Plymouth County had its 67th death and Dixon County in Nebraska recorded its eighth death, according to state statistics.

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