DES MOINES, Iowa - COVID-19 numbers in Iowa continue on a downward trend.
Hospitalizations are down for the sixth straight day as of early Monday morning, to 1,162 after peaking at more than 1,500 on November 18th. The total is still almost triple the number of people hospitalized during the previous spike in May.
The number of statewide daily deaths reported has also declined since peaking earlier in November. There were 15 new deaths reported Sunday, down from 40 on November 19th.
Daily new COVID-19 cases have subsided during the past week, although there's concern the lower numbers simply reflect fewer tests during the Thanksgiving holiday period. A USA Today study shows the share of Iowa test results that came back positive last week was 40.2%, compared with 45% in the week before.
Rankings from the New York Times show Iowa as one of 10 states or territories where new cases are high, but declining.
As of early Monday morning, 87 of Iowa's 99 counties had a 14-day average COVID-19 positivity rate of 15 percent. The threshold is the rate at which Iowa school districts can ask the state for a waiver to conduct online only classes. More than 80 districts have done so since the start of November.