- Associated Press - Monday, November 30, 2020

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa coronavirus deaths continued to increase in the past two weeks as the state ends November posting 687 deaths. That’s a 34% increase from the 512 deaths reported in October.

There were 1,200 new coronavirus cases in the previous 24 hours, according to data posted Monday by the Iowa Department of Public Health. The state’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate of 40.2% remained third highest in the nation behind Idaho and South Dakota, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

Hospitalizations continued a gradual decline after peaking at more than 1,520 patients two weeks ago.

A spokeswoman for University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City said the hospital’s decrease in COVID-19 patients - to 56 patients on Monday from 84 a week earlier - was mostly due to hospital discharges.

“However, we are very cautious about celebrating the decrease in hospitalizations as we anticipate the numbers will go back up later this week due to Thanksgiving gatherings. Hopefully that won’t be the case, but we are prepared for this to happen,” said spokeswoman Laura Shoemaker.

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