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The original item was published from 12/8/2020 1:50:30 PM to 12/17/2020 12:00:04 AM.

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Posted on: December 8, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Local COVID-19 Update, December 8, 2020

Dubuque County: 35 New Cases, 249 Recoveries, and 14* Deaths. Additional LTC Outbreak. Iowa: 1,395 New Cases, 7,222 Recoveries, and 202* Deaths.

Dubuque County: 35 New Cases, 249 Recoveries, and 14* Deaths. Additional LTC Outbreak.

Iowa: 1,395 New Cases, 7,222 Recoveries, and 202* Deaths.

* IDPH Announces Change to COVID-19 Death Reporting

New Methodology Retroactively Adds 13 Deaths to Dubuque County Total and 177 Statewide

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has announced a change in the way it report deaths attributed to COVID-19 to better align with national and state reporting. The department elected to make this change in consultation with our federal partners at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as a review of the variety of methodologies in other states. The new methodology will be consistent with the way the CDC reports deaths nationally, enhancing accuracy of reporting as counts will be tied directly to official death records.

Under the previous methodology used since March, a case had to meet two requirements to be considered a COVID-19 death:

  1. The case must have a positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test recorded in IDPH’s Iowa Disease Surveillance System (IDSS).
  2. The case must be reported to IDPH as deceased, through either case investigation or the death record.

This methodology did not include cases where a death is reported and can be matched with a positive antigen test result, nor does it include in the death count cases where COVID-19 is listed as a cause of death in the death record but there is not a positive PCR test result on file with the department.

The new methodology is based on the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) cause-of-death coding. Under this new methodology, a case must be coded by NCHS with the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10) code U07.1 as the underlying cause of death or a contributing factor to death. Coding is based on the registered death record completed by the health care provider.

This methodology does not require a positive PCR or antigen test result. Deaths will be counted as a COVID-19 death if NCHS codes the death record with code U07.1 as the underlying cause of or contributing factor to death. This methodology does ensure the number of COVID-19 deaths reported will match the official state vital statistics report, when eventually published, and will provide greater consistency between the number of deaths reported by federal, state and county government agencies. Additionally, NCHS ICD-10 coding can take approximately seven days to complete and return to the state, which will increase the time between when a death is reported to the state and the date it will be published on the website.

The new methodology has been applied retroactively to deaths reported to the state since March and has resulted in an increase in the number of Iowans whose deaths are attributed to COVID-19. This changed retroactively adds 13 COVID-19 deaths to Dubuque County's total and 177 to the statewide total. Read the full Dec. 7 announcement from IDPH at:

(11 a.m. yesterday to 11 a.m. today): 


  • Dubuque County: 35 new cases. Total confirmed cases to date = 9,699
  • Iowa: 1,395 new cases. Total confirmed cases to date = 246,240

14-Day COVID-19 Trendline New Cases 12-8 (JPG)


  • Dubuque County: 2,304 active cases (228 fewer than yesterday)


Dubuque County

  • 1 new death and 13 deaths added due to new reporting methodology.
  • Total deaths related to COVID to date = 115
  • The IDPH Dashboard now breaks down COVID deaths into two categories:
     Underlying Cause Deaths = "Disease or injury that initiated the events resulting in death."
    Contributing Factor Deaths = "Disease or condition that contributes to death."
  • Underlying Cause Deaths = 109, Contributing Factor Deaths = 6


  • 25 new deaths and 177 deaths added due to new reporting methodology.
  • Total deaths related to COVID to date = 2,919
  • Underlying Cause Deaths = 2,667, Contributing Factor Deaths = 248


  • Dubuque County Residents Hospitalized =  30 as of Dec. 6. (1 more than Dec. 5)
  • Iowans Currently Hospitalized = 900 (2 more than yesterday.) 


Dubuque County

  • 75 more individuals tested.
  • Total individuals tested to date = 45,242
  • Total tests to date = 103,262


  • 3,630 more individuals tested.
  • Total individuals tested to date = 1,255,019
  • Total tests to date = 2,609,049

% Positive Cases average is calculated by the sum total of Individuals Positive divided by the sum total of Total Individuals Tested for the past period of days (14 or 7).

Dubuque County

  • Past 14-day average = 13.6%
  • Past 7-day average = 9.6%


  • Past 14-day average = 16.0%
  • Past 7-day average = 12.1%


  • Dubuque County: New recoveries = 249. Total number of recoveries = 7,280
  • Iowa: New recoveries = 7,222. Total number of recoveries = 168,058


Dubuque County: 5 long-term care facility outbreaks (one more than yesterday) with 136 positive cases (20 more than yesterday), 12 new positive cases in the last 14 days, and 78 recoveries (12 more than yesterday):

  • Bethany Home, Dubuque (5 positive cases, 1 in the last 14 days, and 0 recoveries)
  • Dubuque Specialty Care, Dubuque (73 positive cases, 1 in the last 14 days, and 52 recoveries)
  • ManorCare Health Services, Dubuque (20 positive cases, 3 in the last 14 days, and 12 recoveries)
  • Shady Rest Care Center, Cascade (21 positive cases, 2 in the last 14 days, and 7 recoveries)
  • Stonehill Care Center, Dubuque (17 positive cases, 5 in the last 14 days, and 7 recoveries)

Iowa: 141 outbreaks (4 more than yesterday) with 5,443 positive cases, 2,457 recoveries, and 1,127 deaths to date. 

How to Take Off a Mask (JPG)

. For the most current information on COVID-19, visit

 For COVID-19 information specific to Dubuque County, visit

Media Contact
Randy Gehl, Public Information Officer
Email Randy Gehl

This message is from the Dubuque County Public Health Incident Management Team, which includes staff from the from the Dubuque County Health Department, City of Dubuque Health Department, Dubuque County Emergency Management Agency, and the Dubuque Visiting Nurse Association.

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