IOWA - COVID-19 hospitalizations are down to their lowest level since late September in Iowa.
Hospitalizations (316) as of Monday morning are roughly one-fifth of what they were during a virus surge in November (1,500), and have been steadily dropping since then.
Only two counties now have COVID-19 positivity levels high enough for schools to holds online only classes, which is also a sharp reversal from November.
At one point, all but three counties were at or above the cut-off level of 15 percent over a 14-day average.
There have also been no deaths reported during the last 24-hours as of early Monday morning. COVID-19 deaths in the state peaked at more than 840 in early December.
National virus levels are also on the decline. The New York Times reports COVID-19 cases have dropped 30 percent over the last two weeks, and hospitalizations are also falling.
There's uncertainty about the downward trends continuing because of new strains of the virus spreading to the United States.
New variants originally discovered in the U.K., South Africa and Brazil have been reported in the U.S. during the past couple of weeks.