Iowa passes 2,000 COVID-19 deaths as pace accelerates

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds gives a primetime televised address announcing new efforts to combat COVID-19 in the state on Monday. Iowa surpassed 2,000 confirmed deaths from the coronavirus today, as the number of residents succumbing to the virus continues to rapidly increase. PHOTO CREDIT: Kelsey Kremer

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa surpassed 2,000 confirmed deaths from the coronavirus today, as the number of residents succumbing to the virus continues to rapidly increase.

Iowa marked 1,000 deaths from the virus on Aug. 19, five months into the pandemic.

But it took less than three months for the state to reach 2,000 deaths, and the 3,000-mark will be reached far quicker under current trends.

Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that the state has been averaging more than 20 deaths per day over the last week. That’s triple the rate from just two months ago.

With cases skyrocketing and hospitals filling up, daily deaths appear likely to increase further in the short term.

Roughly 3 of 4 of the 2,023 people who have died have been age 70 or older. A majority were men, and nearly half were residents of long-term care facilities. About five dozen have been under the age of 50.

Gov. Kim Reynolds on Monday enacted a partial statewide mask mandate, limited gatherings to 15 people indoors and 30 outdoors and ordered bars and restaurants to close at 10 p.m. She warned that the health care system has been “pushed to the brink” and will be overwhelmed if some residents continue to not take the virus seriously.