Warren County sits just .6 percent outside the red zone of the Harvard Global Health Institutes risk assessment dashboard, according to numbers posted on Friday by the institute.
The county is averaging 12.6 new cases of COVID-19 per day over a rolling seven-day period, according to the web site and has 24.4 cases for every 100,000 people. While the county remains in the orange phase of the dashboard, counties with 25 cases for every 100,000 people are considered part of the red zone, a point at which the institute recommends stay-at-home orders be issued.
Seventy-two Iowa counties are now in the red zone, with 26 in orange. Just one county is in the yellow phase of the dashboard.
The number of COVID-19 cases statewide has risen almost 15 percent over the last two weeks, according to an article that appeared Oct. 16 in the Iowa Capital Dispatch.
Governor Kim Reynolds, in Indianola on Friday, said she couldn’t worry just about case count.
“I can’t look at one narrow piece of this,” she said. “I have to balance it all. I have to look at the lives and livelihood of Iowans.”
Reynolds said the state needs to make sure it is both “mitigating coronavirus but also figuring out how we learn to live with it in a safe and responsible manner.”
Iowa is in good fiscal health because it never shut down in the way other states did, Reynolds added. “We kept 85 percent of our workers and workforce up and going,” she said. “That’s reflected in our fiscal health.”
The county gained 26 new cases of the virus over the weekend, according to numbers posted Saturday and Sunday by Warren County Sheriff Brian Vos. Indianola gained five of those cases and Norwalk added two. Carlisle had three additional cases and areas of Warren County outside of those three communities gained 16 new cases.
Warren County has had 1,143 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health web site, with 931 people having recovered from the virus. The site says 6.9 percent of Warren County residents who are tested for the virus are testing positive. While the state requires some form of in-person learning for school districts in counties with less than a 15 percent positivity rate, the county had just a 4.5 percent positivity rate last Sunday.
Simpson College reported two additional cases Sunday, for a total of 12 new cases during the week of Oct. 12 and a total of 39 cases since school began in August. The Simpsonian, the college’s student newspaper, reported Sunday that 48 students are in quarantine either on or off campus.
There are currently 14 active cases on campus, according to the newspaper’s social media post.