Iowa post-Thanksgiving surge spills into Christmas week

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa is going into Christmas week with continued high levels of coronavirus activity and no significant gains in vaccination.

The Iowa Department of Public Health said 788 people were hospitalized on Monday, a slight decline from Friday’s 810. The agency said 171 people remained in intensive care, one person less than on Friday.

The CDC says 64.1% of Iowans have received at least one dose of vaccine, leaving more than 35% of the population still unvaccinated.

Eastern Iowa hospitals Mercy Cedar Rapids and UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s announced last week they would postpone elective surgeries that weren’t urgent until after Christmas because of the increased patient load “has placed increasing strain on both hospitals’ capacity and staffing.”

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