DES MOINES — The state Health Department reports COVID-19 hospitalizations and test positivity rates continue to surge.

The report today shows hospitalizations increased to 923 — the most since December 2020. The 14-day test positivity rate has spiked to 21.2%, with more than 31,000 new infections confirmed in the past week.

State public health department director Kelly Garcia says demand for testing remains very high. “We need you to be strategic about when you’re testing. We want to follow best practices here. But we really don’t have nationwide the capacity to be testing for every exposure all the time,” Garcia says.

She’s asking Iowans to be strategic about testing as demand remains very high.
“So are you actively sick? Have you been exposed, somebody else in your household has it and you’re trying to figure out, you know, do I send my child to school or not? If they’re asymptomatic, which is what we’re seeing a lot of right now, this is a space where that PCR test can be incredibly helpful,” Garcia says.

The state has confirmed an additional 182 deaths this past week. Fifty-six percent of all Iowans are fully vaccinated against the virus.