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If you watch the news or look at social media each day, you probably think that we are never going to escape the current public health pandemic. While the media and others are often focusing on the negative impacts that of COVID-19, many of the positive trends are largely being ignored.

When looking at the unprecedented amount of data and information that the state is providing to Iowans, it is important to remember to not to look at one single day to measure the impact that COVID-19 has had. That is simply a snapshot in time. To truly measure the impacts and see trends, you need to look at more than a single metric.

Here are some of the positive trends that should provide Iowans with some optimism moving forward.

NOTE: All of this information was compiled using publicly available data from the state’s coronavirus dashboard

Daily positive cases are decreasing

On April 30, the three-day rolling average for daily positive cases reached its highest point. As of May 18, the three-day rolling average for daily positive cases have decreased by 61%. Over the same time, the 14-day rolling average has seen a decrease in daily positive tests by 28%. This is all occurring while testing has increased.

Iowa’s health care system has not been stressed or overburdened

One of the biggest reasons Governor Reynolds moved to implement COVID-19 mitigation efforts was to prevent Iowa’s healthcare system from becoming overburdened and crashing. Preventing an overburdened health care system ensures that Iowans can get in and be treated as quickly as possible to prevent unnecessary deaths.

Since the pandemic began in March, Iowa’s hospitals and health care providers have stepped up to the challenge and Iowans have gotten the care they need. As of May 18, 45% of Iowa’s inpatient beds remain available (approximately 3,660), as well as 79% of Iowa’s ICU bed capacity (464 of 590). Ventilators also remain in ample supply, with just 83 being utilized and 734 still available.

What can Iowans do moving forward?

While many of these metrics are showing positive signs, now is not the time to stop practicing personal responsibility. Iowans should continue to be vigilant to protect their health by practicing social distancing and proper hygiene. Iowans are strong and always up for a challenge.

John Wills

Author: John Wills