DES MOINES, Iowa —
The Polk County Health Department says the increase in COVID-19 related deaths is not in response to Iowans not following Thanksgiving guidelines, but rather the final phase of the spike we saw in early November.
Thursday and Friday, Iowa reported the two highest numbers of COVID-19 related deaths since the start of the pandemic, 70 and 84 respectively.
After analyzing the trends in the coronavirus data, the Polk County Health Department doesn’t believe these increasing numbers are fall-out from Thanksgiving. They say those effects will likely be known in another week.
Instead, they say this bump in the death toll is the last part of the virus’ massive wave that started in mid-November when the state was reporting more than 5,000 new cases every day.
A spokesperson at Polk County told KCCI, these spikes work in three phases. First, you’ll start to see a rise in case numbers, then a few weeks later, a rise in hospitalizations, and then finally, a rise in deaths.
“I think this is very…. it’s heartbreaking, it’s absolutely heartbreaking that we need to make sure our community realizes how absolutely serious this is. If we don’t think that the high death tolls that we’ve seen in the last couple days, if that doesn’t affect us, I don’t know what will,” said Nola Aigner Davis, with the Polk County Health Department.