Nursing homes now account for 56.5% of virus deaths in Iowa

The Pearl Valley Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Perry was removed May 22 from the IDPH list of outbreaks at long-term care facilities.

More than 56% of the COVID-19 deaths in Iowa have occurred in long-term care facilities (LTCs), according to data released Friday by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH).

Data on the IDPH website does not reflect a running total for LTC deaths and positive case, but the numbers of deaths and positive cases are subtracted from the totals once an outbreak is past.

“When a nursing facility no longer has an outbreak it comes off the list and is changing the deaths for LTC as well and we continue to look at the data posting,” McCoy said in an email Friday to

McCoy said that as of Friday morning, 333 of the COVID-19 deaths in Iowa, or 56.5%, were related to long-term care.

Despite repeated inquiries over the last three weeks, the IDPH has not released figures for the total positive and negative tests within Iowa’s LTC facilities. There are about 23,000 residents and 55,000 workers in Iowa 435 long-term care facilities.

Up to half of the people who died of COVID-19 in Europe were residents of LTCs, according to the WHO. with the highest rates seen in Italy, France, Spain and Belgium. By contrast, Hong Kong has experienced zero deaths in its LTCs.


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