OSKALOOSA — The number of Iowans hospitalized with COVID-19 hit the highest level of the year Tuesday, as more than 3,000 children have become sick in the last week.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported 12,163 new individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 between Sept. 15-21. Of those 26% are children, age 17 and under. There were 81 new deaths reported, but the deaths likely occurred more than a week ago due to delays in data reporting.

With 638 hospitalized with COVID-19, Iowa had more hospitalized as of Tuesday than at any other point in 2021. It’s still far from the November 2020 peak of 1,527, but is 60 higher than a week ago.

About 80.5% of those hospitalized are not fully vaccinated. Of the 161 requiring intensive care, 83.9% aren’t vaccinated. Children make up 3% of those hospitalized.

Of the new cases, there were 150 in Marion County, or about 21 per day. Mahaska County saw 73 new cases, or more than 10 per day.

Three of the state’s new deaths were reported in Marion County, raising the county’s death toll to 86 since the pandemic began. One new death was reported in Mahaska County, for a total of 54.

Another 17,675 became fully vaccinated in the last week, raising the total number of vaccinated Iowans to 1.6 million or about 59.7% of the vaccine eligible population.

Marion County ranks 62nd in the state for vaccinations, with 54.2% of its eligible population vaccinated, according to numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mahaska County ranks 93rd with 47.3% of the eligible population vaccinated.

Everyone age 12 and up is eligible to be vaccinated.

Kyle Ocker is the editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. He can be reached at kocker@ottumwacourier.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.

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Kyle Ocker is a Centerville native and award-winning multimedia journalist. Kyle is currently the president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and vice president of the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.

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