This past week the increase in positive COVID-19 cases in Iowa has been "off the charts" prompting Governor Reynolds to ask Iowans to take more precautions. The virus even caused one northeast Iowa school to close due to teachers being infected. Black Hawk county's "high risk" designation was part of the reason why the Black Hawks hockey games for this weekend were postponed. Things are so bad here in Iowa, five of our metro areas are listed in the top 20 in the U.S. of where new COVID-19 cases are rising the most dramatically.

The New York Times has been monitoring the Coronavirus outbreak in metro areas across the U.S. As explained on their website, the statistics are limited to areas with at least 50,000 people and their figures are sorted by the difference between the number of cases in the past week compared with the week prior, on a population-adjusted basis.

In their breakdown of metro areas where it's increasing the fastest, Cedar Rapids is sitting at #2 in the nation with 984 reported cases last week and 2,493 cases reported, as of this writing (Friday, Nov. 6, 2020). Waterloo/Cedar Falls comes in on the list at #5 with 712 reported cases in the last week and 1,403 as of now. Also in the top 10...Fort Madison/Keokuk with 154 and 318 respectively. Just missing the top 10 at #12 is Dubuque with 575 and 822 and finally, Ames is sitting at #18 with 203 reported and 428 current cases.

Looking specifically at the places hit the hardest since the start of the outbreak, Sioux City is 2nd in the nation for metro areas that have had the highest cumulative case rates. Dubuque also has got hit hard at #13 on the list and they're also on the list of metro areas getting hit the hardest right now, currently sitting at #15.

According to the Covid data tracker, Iowa is 4th in the nation for the most cases per capita. All that being said, these are NOT lists that we, as a state, want to be a part as Iowans, we clearly need to "buckle down" with the 3 W's, wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance. The sooner everyone complies, the sooner we can get this nightmare behind us.

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