- Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2020

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa coronavirus infections grew by 1,259 confirmed cases on Friday with 10 additional deaths.

The state now has more than 78,000 confirmed cases, and the total number of death since March has risen to 1,258.

While trends have generally been improving in many locations, and Iowa dropped from the state with the fastest rate of virus spread to the third in the nation last week, data indicates that coronavirus infections still are occurring at a fast pace.

Gov. Kim Reynolds earlier in the month ordered that bars be closed in Story and Johnson counties, which are home to Iowa State Universities and the University of Iowa. With infections rates remaining high in those areas, Reynolds on Friday signed a new proclamation that keeps those bars closed at least through Sept. 27.

State data also shows 55 people were hospitalized in the last 24 hours as of Friday morning, the third-highest daily hospitalization number since Iowa began seeing cases in March.



Three counties with the highest 14-day positivity rates are in largely rural areas in the far northwest corner of the state - Sioux County with a 28.5% rate, neighboring Lyon County at 23% and Osceola is 20%.

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