Iowa COVID-19 cases

DES MOINES — Officials announced 73 new COVID-19 cases in Iowa on Tuesday, including one in Keokuk County. The state also reported one death.

The increase brings Iowa’s total confirmed COVID-19 case total to 497. Nineteen of the cases were in Linn County, where numbers continue to spike.

The Iowa Department of Public Health said the one death in the most recent figures was from Muscatine County. Seven Iowans have died, with the first death reported March 24.

Southeast Iowa’s totals continue to be relatively stable. There have been no new confirmed cases in Wapello County since the first, reported on March 23.

Of the current cases, 61 Iowans are currently hospitalized. Another 33 have been treated and released from hospitals in the state. That matches what officials said early on in the pandemic, with most cases not requiring urgent medical care. People have been warned to stay home if they feel sick. Those who believe they need to be seen at a doctor’s office are encouraged to call ahead to see if there are special instructions they need to follow.

State officials sought to reassure people on Tuesday that Iowa’s WIC program, which provides support for women, infants and children, “will continue for all current, and new or returning WIC participants.”

Benefits in the program will continue as normal, and April benefits will be available to use April 1. The IDPH urged people to purchase items as they normally would, rather than stockpiling items.

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate announced Tuesday his office plans to mail absentee ballot request forms to every active registered voter in Iowa in advance of the June 2 primaries. Forms will be sent in mid to late April.

Pate is encouraging people to vote by mail in the primaries to avoid spreading the COVID-19 virus. The mail-in voting period for the June primaries has been expanded to 40 days, and mail-in ballots can be requested through May 22.

Matt Milner can be reached at mmilner@ottumwacourier.com and followed on Twitter @mwmilner

Matt Milner can be reached at mmilner@ottumwacourier.com and followed on Twitter @mwmilner

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Managing Editor

Matt Milner currently serves as the Courier's Managing Editor. Milner is a trained weather spotter and is usually outside if there are storms. He joined the Courier in 2002.

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