Virus Outbreak US Surge

In this Oct. 23, 2020, file photo, University of Washington research coordinator Rhoshni Prabhu holds up a swab after testing a passenger at a free COVID testing site in Seattle.

OTTUMWA — Wapello County added 10 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, as the 14-day positivity rate increased to 16.3%.

Hospitalizations were down slightly, to 8, in the county, according to local data.

Iowa tallied an increase of 2,818 new cases of the virus on Wednesday, nearly a single-day record.

The state set records across the board for hospitalizations, tallying the most patients in a hospital (777), most in the intensive care unit (182) and most admitted in the last 24 hours (164).

Active cases in Wapello County rose to 203 on Wednesday. There were 144 active cases in Jefferson, 128 in Appanoose, 110 in Monroe, 83 in Van Buren and 83 in Davis.

Jefferson County added 17 new cases of COVID-19, while there were five added in Davis, four in Monroe and three in Appanoose.

Iowa reported 22 new deaths, 1,226 new recoveries and 6,626 individuals tested for the first time.

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 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 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 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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