Iowa hospitals hit another high for ’21 for COVID patients; Muscatine has its most since April

All of Iowa's counties are in the red on the CDC's COVID-19 transmission map on Dec. 8, 2021.

The COVID-19 patient count in Iowa hospitals has reached 777, another record high for 2021 and a 7% increase since last Wednesday, while Muscatine County’s lone hospital has its highest number since last spring.

UnityPoint Health-Trinity Muscatine Hospital had six patients being treated for COVID-19, with one in the intensive care unit, according to Wednesday’s report at That’s the most since April 14.

The highest number of patients with the coronavirus at Trinity Muscatine Hospital during the pandemic was nine in November 2020.

“We continue to struggle, as many hospitals in Iowa have continued to struggle, with making sure that we have beds for the patients that need them,” says Theresa Brennan, the chief medical officer at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Brennan says the hospital continues to prepare for more coronavirus patients — including transfers from other hospitals — while employees are exhausted from the pandemic.

“We’re working with the hospitals in Iowa to try to make sure that the sickest patients have the right bed to get the care that they need, but it is a struggle,” she says.

On Tuesday, the hospital on the University of Iowa campus had 40 adult COVID-19 patients and three pediatric patients, under the age of 18, with the virus. Nearly 120 other patients with flu and coronavirus symptoms were screened by telephone or video conference yesterday according to the hospital’s website.

As of Wednesday, the Iowa Department of Public Health has confirmed 7550 Iowans have died of COVID-19.

(Iowa Public Radio’s Natalie Krebs and Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson contributed to this report)