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COVID-19 still dwindling in Iowa despite rise of XBB.1.5

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COVID-19 still dwindling in Iowa despite rise of XBB.1.5

Feb 01, 2023 | 6:40 pm ET
By Jared Strong
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COVID-19 still dwindling in Iowa despite rise of XBB.1.5
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About 27% of confirmed coronavirus infections in Iowa in the second half of January were caused by the omicron XBB.1.5 subvariant.(Illustration via Canva)

About 27% of confirmed coronavirus infections in Iowa in the second half of January were caused by the omicron XBB.1.5 subvariant, according to the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services.

That version of the virus is believed to be more transmissible than previous iterations. But in the Northeast, where it accounts for nearly 90% of COVID-19 cases, the variant has not led to dramatic increases in documented infections, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Despite the variant’s increased presence in Iowa, the state’s documented infection rate continues to decline. On Wednesday, the state reported 1,495 new confirmed cases among those who have not previously been infected. That is a 5% decrease from a week ago.

The state also reported 2,114 positive tests, which includes reinfections of people who contracted the disease already. That was also a 5% decrease.

The state’s documented infection rate has not been this low since April.

On Wednesday, there were 131 infected people receiving inpatient treatment at Iowa hospitals, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That is 15% fewer people than a week ago. Of those currently hospitalized, 12 are under intensive care.

The state also reported 31 deaths among infected people, although it was unclear when they occurred. A total of 10,597 infected people have died since the start of the pandemic.