IOWA — The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting another increase in COVID-19 outbreaks at long term care facilities while at the same time statistics show new positive tests for the virus and hospitalizations due to it are waning statewide.

As of midnight on Friday, there were 928 people hospitalized in Iowa with COVID-19 including 162 in intensive care units. Of those in the ICU, 68% are unvaccinated. Knowledgeable, responsible medical professionals, doctors and researchers agree that COVID-19 vaccines decrease your chance becoming serious ill from the virus even if the vaccine doesn’t prevent an infection.

IDPH is reporting 26,244 positive tests for the virus in the last seven days. That is down significantly from the previous seven-day period. The state’s average positive rate over the last 14 days is 24.0%. That figure is down from 25.2% just two days ago.

IDPH is also reporting an increase in outbreaks of the virus at Iowa long term care facilities. There are currently 95 facilities reporting three or more cases of the virus – an increase of nine outbreaks since Wednesday.

Thus far there have been 8,501 deaths in the state attributed to COVID-19.