IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- Federal experts are warning that Iowa has among the nation's highest coronavirus death and infection rates and say residents should avoid gatherings in most counties to protect themselves from the virus.

A White House Coronavirus Task Force report found that the virus infected and killed about twice as many people per capita in Iowa as the national average between Oct. 10 and Oct. 16.

The report says new case numbers have climbed for weeks and the state's test positivity rate also rose. Iowa hospitals are facing a surge of coronavirus patients, with a record 536 hospitalized on Thursday.

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