coronavirus

This 2020 electron microscope made available by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention image shows the spherical coronavirus particles from the first U.S. case of COVID-19.

OTTUMWA — Case growth locally took a bit of break on Tuesday, with Wapello County adding three new cases of the coronavirus.

Numbers continued to rise around the state, however. There were 1,516 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Iowa on Tuesday, with 22 new deaths.

Hospitalizations were at another record number: 730 statewide. There were 170 in an intensive care unit as of Tuesday morning, also a record. In the last 24 hours, 92 have been admitted into a hospital with COVID-19.

According to data from the Iowa Department of Public Health, Wapello County’s hospitalization numbers due to COVID-19 spiked Sunday to 13. Local officials said yesterday, though, that the number was down to eight.

There are five hospitalized in Van Buren, two in Appanoose, two in Jefferson, two in Monroe and one in Davis, according to the state numbers provided Sunday.

Around the Courier’s coverage area, there were six new cases in Appanoose, six in Davis, six in Jefferson and five in Van Buren.

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets. It is often mild and some individuals remain asymptomatic or have only cold or flu symptoms. But the disease can be more severe, require hospitalization and lead to death, particularly in older or immunocompromised people.

Experts, including those at the CDC, say wearing masks when in public, keeping at least 6 feet of distance between people when possible, and good hygiene can prevent the spread.

The Ottumwa Courier relies on data reported by the Iowa Department of Public Health, using its coronavirus data dashboard at coronavirus.iowa.gov. Data is checked each day at 10 a.m. and then compared to the data previously captured from the dashboard to produce stories.

The state has changed how it reported the data several times, and local officials often produce data based on different standards or in different timeframes. Therefore, the data will not always align with other sources.

Those wanting to be tested can visit testiowa.com to schedule a test at the Ottumwa Test Iowa Clinic.

Kyle Ocker is the group editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. He can be reached at kocker@ottumwacourier.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.

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Kyle Ocker is a Centerville native and award-winning multimedia journalist. Kyle is currently the first vice president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and vice president of the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.

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