DES MOINES, Iowa — COVID-19 cases are on the rise across Iowa.
As of July 6, statewide positive cases sit at 800,176, an increase of nearly 4,000 since June 29, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.
The 3,980 new statewide positive cases in the past week are especially concerning because the real case numbers are probably much higher, said Communications Officer Nola Aigner Davis at the Polk County Health Department.
“These are only reported lab tests," she said. "Now we have in the community the ability to do self-reported tests, (but) those do not get added into the state database or to the CDC database. So those numbers are actually going to be higher.”
According to Aigner Davis, the spike is probably related to an increased amount of summertime travel and interaction.
“This is a time where people are traveling a lot. Think about all the summer vacations. Think about traveling to see family, traveling for sports. This is when people do that,” Aigner Davis said.
Des Moines is no stranger to heightened vacation traffic – over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Des Moines International Airport experienced pre-pandemic travel numbers.
"What happens when we're at holiday? We forget things. We forget that COVID is around. We don't practice all the proper precautions that we should. And so this is when we will probably see an increase of individuals who get COVID-19," Aigner Davis said.
To stop the spread, Aigner Davis recommends going back to the basics: wear a mask, social distance and stay home if you feel sick.
Along with those precautions, she said it’s important to double check that you've gotten all vaccines available.
"Individuals should always think about getting a booster if they are not up to date on their boosters," Aigner Davis said.
Anyone under the age of 50 should be getting one booster right now, whereas immunosuppressed people and those over 50 should be getting two, she said.