Allamakee County reports lowest weekly number of confirmed COVID-19 cases again since late October, records first day of no new cases since October 12

The past week’s timeframe of Tuesday, January 5 through Monday, January 11 marks the third consecutive week that new COVID-19 case numbers in Allamakee County have been around 50 or below, those being the lowest weekly numbers since a late October weekly total of 39 cases. However, this past week is the only one of those three past lower case total weeks that did not involve a holiday that closed testing sites yet still yielded the lowest weekly total, 45 new cases, since those 39 cases were reported for the week of October 20-26 - which, at that point, was a new weekly high of reported cases for the county since the pandemic began.

As one might expect with a decreasing trend in the number of cases, the 14-day positivity rate in Allamakee County has also continued in a downward trend, dropping from being one of the top-five percentages out of all of Iowa’s 99 counties to now ranking more toward the middle at 16.4% as of Monday, January 11. The State of Iowa also reports as of that January 11 date that Allamakee County’s positivity rate over the last seven days has dropped even lower, to just 11%.

Of interest to note is that of the past two weeks that have included weekly case totals of 45 this week and 51 last week, the age group of 18 to 29 years of age accounted for just over 20% - the highest percentage - of all new cases, at least four to five percentage points higher than any other age group in Allamakee County. Considered to be the most at-risk age groups, the 70-79 years of age and 80 years of age and older groups have accounted for the lowest percentage of those new cases in the past two weeks at right around just five percent in each age group.

For the first time in five weeks, there were no Allamakee County deaths reported as being attributed to COVID-19. However, as of its latest update Saturday afternoon, January 9, the State of Iowa is reporting that there are two patients hospitalized in Allamakee County due to COVID-19.

This past week’s reporting timeframe began with a likely “catch-up” total of 14 new cases reported Tuesday, January 5 following the New Year’s holiday weekend. Another double-digit total of 10 cases was reported Wednesday, with just four cases being reported Thursday and seven more Friday. The weekend brought back-to-back days of just five new cases each Saturday and Sunday, January 9 and 10, with Monday seeing the state of Iowa report no new cases for Allamakee County - a single-day absence of cases in the county for the first time since October 12.

Monday, January 11 the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) began sharing data on statewide COVID-19 vaccine administration, noting that these updates will be published each week Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Reports will initially be static visualizations, including high-level information on vaccine administration totals, as well as county-level information. The current update and future dashboard will be housed on the existing website under the “Vaccine Administration” link.

“We are working to bring a more robust and dynamic dashboard of our vaccine progress online in the coming weeks. Iowans can expect to see additional data points that will clearly illustrate the progress we are making in vaccinating Iowans,” said Kelly Garcia, IDPH interim director.

Vaccines continue to be administered to populations in the Phase 1A category, which includes health care personnel and residents and staff in long-term care facilities. In the coming weeks this will expand to further reach Iowans in the next priority groups.

“We know Iowans are eager to learn of the progress we are making in the vaccine effort, and we are committed to sharing information as we work through the stage of vaccinating this initial priority population. Stabilizing our health care system is paramount in our fight against COVID-19,” added Garcia.

Until more vaccines, which are currently a scarce resource, are widely available to all, it is critical that Iowans continue to practice the following mitigation measures that can slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus:

• Wear a mask or face covering
• Practice social distancing with those outside an immediate household
• Clean hands frequently with soap and water
• Stay home if feeling sick.

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