COVID-19

The coronavirus disease COVID-19 was first reported from Wuhan, China, on Dec. 31, 2019.

OTTUMWA — Testing and new cases of the coronavirus were down according to numbers reported Friday, as testing sites and labs to process them around the state were closed for Thanksgiving.

Around Iowa, there were 37 deaths reported due to complications from the coronavirus. Of those, three were from Davis County and one was from Van Buren County.

Iowa added 1,266 COVID-19 cases, with testing numbers significantly lower due to the Thanksgiving holiday. In the seven days before Thanksgiving, Iowa averaged 8,662 new tests entered into the state’s coronavirus dashboard each day. There were just 3,242 new tests reported between Thursday and Friday.

Of the new cases, 16 were from Wapello County, seven from Appanoose, seven from Jefferson and two from Davis.

There were 1,226 Iowans in the hospital with COVID-19, with 256 in an intensive care unit. There were 183 admitted in the last 24 hours.

Numbers at local nursing homes are generally down in terms of new cases. In Wapello County, the outbreak at Vista Woods Care Center has ended after the facility went 28 days without a new case.

Ridgewood Specialty Care has had two cases in the last two weeks, and Good Samaritan Society has had just one in that span.

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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