OTTUMWA — There were five new cases of the COVID-19 disease reported by the state in Wapello County on Wendesday.

The new cases are tabulated based on the difference in totals reported between 10 a.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. Wednesday by the Iowa Department of Public Health.

There were three new cases reported in Davis, two in Appanoose, two in Monroe and one in Van Buren.

A total of 74 students are under quarantine at the Ottumwa School District, with 34 of those coming from Evans Middle School. There are 16 quarantined at Liberty Elementary School.

Statewide, there were 856 new cases of the disease reported and eight new deaths. There were 6,080 more Iowans tested and 1,132 more reported as recovered from the disease.

The top-five counties in terms of case growth on Wednesday were Woodbury (94), Polk (79), Dubuque (69), Sioux (55) and Linn (33).

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.

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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