AUDUBON — With the number of hospitalizations across the state climbing, Governor Kim Reynolds said, “Yesterday, we reached an all-time high of 444 Iowans hospitalized across the state and this is disappointing news and sadly it’s what can happen when we are experiencing community spread,” adding she was particularly concerned about the most vulnerable Iowans. “In the last 14 days, 72 percent of all individuals hospitalized are over the age of 60 and 68 percent have pre-existing health conditions,” she said.

Locally, Robert Nelson, Audubon County Public Health Administrator said in general, Audubon County “has had very, very few people who have been hospitalized for COVID-19.”

While numbers have been climbing, Nelson said most of those getting the virus had mild cases of it, and could stay home and recover.

Another plus was, the numbers of area residents testing positive were low in the elderly category.

“Which is a good thing,” Nelson said, “I like to think that those with underlying health conditions and the elderly are doing what they are supposed to be doing, which is staying home, wearing masks and taking precautions to avoid the virus.”

“It’s just a lot of common sense,” he said.

According to figures from the Iowa COVID-19 Dashboard site, as of Thursday morning, looking at percentages by age groups, in the category of children, aged 0-17, Audubon was at 10 percent — higher than the state’s 8 percent. For adults ages 18-40, the state was at 47 percent with Audubon County at just 36 percent. Among middle aged adults, 41-60, the state was at 27 percent, while Audubon County was close at 28 percent. In the older adult category, ages 61-80, the state had 13 percent, and Audubon County was up, at 21 percent. In the category of elderly, it was 4 percent for the state and 5 percent for Audubon County.

Nelson felt that one thing that may have contributed to increases in positives among younger people was schools reopening, both at the college and local school district levels.

“Numbers spiked because school was back in session,” he said, adding that kids were home all summer doing things at home, but when school reopened, it brought them back together, “and that brought the numbers up, which should have surprised no one,” he said. Also, around Labor Day, college kids coming home or back to school helped bump up numbers.

A good sign: with the state reporting the continual climb in hospitalizations,