IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa has among the nation’s highest coronavirus infection and death rates and residents should avoid gatherings in most counties, federal health experts say.
Iowa had 238 new cases and 2.8 deaths per 100,000 people last week, about double the national per capita average between Oct. 10 and Oct. 16, the White House Coronavirus Task Force reported.
The task force report of Oct. 18 was released Friday by the Iowa Department of Public Health. The grim statistics came as Iowa’s hospitals faced a surge of coronavirus patients. The number hospitalized hit a record 536, according to data released Thursday.
In all, 90% of Iowa’s 99 counties are experiencing high or moderate levels of virus transmission.
The report recommends “mask wearing, physical distancing, hand hygiene, avoiding crowds in public and social gatherings in private and ensuring flu immunizations.”
The state reported a one-day record of 31 deaths on Wednesday and 38 more in the two days since for a total of 1,617.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— France surpasses 1 million coronavirus cases
— WHO says Northern hemisphere at ‘critical juncture’ with rising cases, deaths
— FDA approves first COVID-19 drug: antiviral remdesivir
— UN chief says G-20 leaders must coordinate to fight coronavirus. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is frustrated leaders of 20 major industrialized countries didn’t do it in March as he proposed.
— Schools from New Jersey to California have been hit with teacher and staff layoffs. Urban areas lacking the property wealth of suburban communities are especially vulnerable to budget cuts, with many schools hoping for a new round of federal money.
— An online Japanese-language text messaging service for suicide prevention has grown to 500 volunteers since March.
Follow all of AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
PHOENIX — Arizona health officials on Friday reported an additional 975 known COVID-19 cases and six more deaths, the fourth day this week in which the state’s daily case report topped 900.
The additional cases and deaths reported by the Department of Health Services increased the state’s totals to 235,882 cases and 5,865 deaths.
Arizona in the past month has seen a gradual increase in COVID-19 cases and related hospitalizations but levels remain well below the thousands of cases reported on some days in June and July when Arizona was a national hot spot. The outbreak diminished in August and September as many local governments imposed mask mandates and the state re-imposed some business restrictions.
According to Johns Hopkins University data analyzed by The Associated Press, the state’s seven-day rolling average of daily new cases rose over the past two weeks, going from 598 new cases per day on Oct. 8 to 880 new cases per day on Thursday.
PARIS — France has surpassed 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, becoming the second country in Western Europe after Spain to reach the mark.
The national health agency announced 42,032 new