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DES MOINES, IOWA — The new surge of the COVID-19 virus fueled by the Omicron variant has pushed the number of hospitalized Iowans to a 14-month high, the statewide average positivity rate is now over 21% and 182 more Iowans have died from the virus – according to a weekly report from the Iowa Department of Public Health.

According to the IDPH, there have been 34,258 positive COVID-19 test results reported in the last seven days in Iowa. That figure does not include at-home test results that are not required to be reported. The surge of positive test results has pushed the state’s average positive rate to 21.2% as of midnight on Wednesday.

There are currently 923 patients hospitalized with COVID-19. That is more than at any point in 2021 and the highest figure since early December 2020 as the worst peak of the virus waned. There are 178 patients currently in the ICU. Of them, 78.9% are unvaccinated — again underscoring the importance of vaccination in preventing serious illness.

There are currently COVID-19 outbreaks at 41 Iowa long term care facilities. That is an increase of nine outbreaks in the last two days.

The state is confirming another 182 deaths from COVID-19 in the last eight weeks. That pushes the statewide death toll from COVID-19 to 8,201.