COVID-19 Crisis in Iowa
An eye on the data: Key numbers during crisis
• Iowa daily positive cases pass 31,700
• Deaths overall at 723 in 58 counties through holiday weekend count

Also see the website for more information

Updated Monday, July 6, 2020

IOWA CITY, Iowa (July 6, 2020) — Trends of positive COVID-19 tests in Iowa are escalating while the death toll reached 723 through Monday evening, according to the latest data from the Iowa Department of Public Health.

The count of Iowa coronavirus cases is pushing toward the 32,000 mark, hitting 31,716 through preliminary reports for Monday.

The initial-day count reports can be deceptive because they are frequently revised. Trends, however, are giving a picture of the current state of the spread of the virus and some of the impacts. The most recent counts are continuing to trend higher than they have in recent weeks, reaching 445, 436, 483 and 435 in the first four full days of July.

Fifty-eight Iowa counties have had at least one COVID-19 fatality since the first report March 24.

Meanwhile, the latest signs in the economy remain difficult, with a continuing crisis in employment. Initial unemployment claims were reported last Thursday to have risen the previous week by 8,300, or a total of over 367,000 in 15 weeks. (See below)

The COVID-19 health data below are from the Iowa Department of Public Health, most reflecting data released by Monday evening. The counts change through the day as new information is gathered, and revisions are made in previously reported data. The IDPH dashboard is found here.

Despite the fluctuations in daily new cases as shown in the graph below, for the latest two weeks from June 22 to July 5 (full-day reports), the average increase was 355 new cases per day, but higher — 376 — over the last seven full days. The 300-per-day level became a benchmark as cases developed during the crisis. From the first case report on March 9, it took 39 days for a single-day report over 300. Twenty-one days in May were above 300; 15 days in June were above 300.

COVID cases statewide
Sixteen counties have COVID-19 deaths in double digits. A majority of the 99 counties — 58 — have recorded at least one death due to COVID-19, with Calhoun, Hamilton, Cherokee and Wright joining that list last week.

Total COVID-19 cases continue to be significantly higher than they were two weeks earlier. They stood at 26,660 on June 21, with a net increases well over 2,000 in each of the following two weeks.

COVID cases statewide
Total COVID-19 deaths rose to the current mark from 709 on June 29, from 696 on June 22, and 675 on June 15.

COVID deaths statewide

Economic Impacts
New unemployment claims continue way above Great Recession pace

IPP’s Colin Gordon has been reviewing the unemployment claims data and in the graph below illustrates how much more severe the COVID crisis has been than a similar period of the Great Recession in 2007-09. The numbers remain staggering for new unemployment claims with the COVID-19 pandemic. In Iowa, the 15-week total has reached past 367,000 with an increase of 8,300 last week. Many weeks in the period were well above the highest-claims week during the Great Recession. Even as initial claims have increased by lesser amounts in recent weeks, they remain well above comparable periods from the last recession.

The Iowa Policy Project (IPP) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit public policy research and analysis organization based in Iowa City. IPP has been tracking Iowa job trends since its founding in 2001.

Worker safety in COVID:
Who gets protection?
State policy is failing workers
Public policies should be assessed on whom they put at risk and whom they reward. The blanket business immunity in SF2338 during COVID-19 comes with a failed record of protecting Iowa workers.
Iowa Policy Points post by Colin Gordon June 16, 2020

Threat to critical state, local Iowa services
State fiscal relief must do more than meet emergency services
Congress must provide more to states and local governments — for the duration of the economic crisis — to avoid drastic cuts in education and other crucial public services.
Iowa Fiscal Partnership brief by Peter Fisher UPDATED May 23, 2020

More IPP, IFP research and perspectives

Understanding the data
• Key Iowa counties to watch. See the latest analysis, through last week, of what data indicate are potential trouble spots in the COVID-19 crisis.
• Why there's trouble ahead for rural areas — faster pace of infection, fewer limits. From trends evident in official data, IPP's Peter Fisher has identified several counties that are apparent COVID-19 trouble spots. In his latest update, he shows 16 counties had 200 or more new cases for every 10,000 people over two weeks. Of those, eight were among 77 counties where Governor Reynolds had eased social distancing restrictions — and six showed a doubling of cases in one week.

Meeting the emergency
• Iowa will need more fiscal relief than Congress has given
• COVID-19 poses threats to Iowa state and local services
• Governor’s metrics still raise questions
• Sheltering the data in place
• COVID metrics in Iowa arbitrary, backward facing
• Iowa's leaders need to better involve the public

The Economy
• Iowa unemployment claims keep rising LATEST — 5/7/20
• Iowa's employment apocalypse
• New solutions needed long term

The Safety Net — Supports
• Expanding SNAP access
• Good start on jobless insurance
• Make Iowa resilient: Strengthen supports

Special perspectives
• Guest opinion: Meatpacking outbreak unsurprising given Iowa laws
• When economists talk health, we'd betterpay attention
• Winston Churchill's words today for Iowa