Des Moines may mask back up, mayor says
Des Moines may reinstate a mask policy if cases continue to escalate, Mayor Frank Cownie warned during a council work session Tuesday.
Driving the news: Iowa averaged around 505 new COVID cases per day in the last week, according to The New York Times tracker. That's more than double the average two weeks ago.
- Deaths in that time have increased by 16%, with a daily average of three, as of Tuesday. Hospitalizations are averaging 132 a day, up 55%.
Zoom in: Polk County reported a seven-day average of 105 new cases on Tuesday, up by 159% from two weeks ago.
Flashback: The latest uptick is nowhere near the numbers documented in January, when the highest daily average of new cases hit 5,486 statewide and 1,072 in Polk County.
- When Des Moines' municipal masking ended on Feb. 28, Iowa was averaging around 474 new daily cases, and Polk County about 101, per the Times.
Yes, but: It's unclear how large the latest coronavirus wave actually is, partly because current counts don't include at-home results.
- Two gauges — hospitalizations and deaths — are still far below those seen in December and January.
- The community level of COVID-19 in Polk County is still considered low, according to the CDC.
What's next: Cownie directed city staff to continue monitoring case counts.
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