Virus Outbreak College Testing

James Robson, a biomedical engineering graduate student, holds a swab and specimen vial in the new COVID-19, on-campus testing lab, Thursday, July 23, 2020, at Boston University in Boston.

OTTUMWA — Iowa saw an increase of 1,908 cases of the coronavirus. There were 12 new deaths reported, but none were in the Courier’s coverage area.

The state hit two new record highs for hospitalizations Saturday. Around the state, there are 545 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, a new record. There were 130 in an intensive care unit.

In the last 24 hours, there were 101 admissions, which is also a record.

More than 2,800 beds are available around the state, or about 35%, according to state data. There are 372 intensive care unit beds available.

The Wapello County Public Health Department reported Friday that nine residents were hospitalized with COVID-19.

Between 10 a.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday, Wapello County added just three new cases of the coronavirus. Neighboring Jefferson County added 14 in that span, however. There were five new cases in Monroe, three in Van Buren, two in Appanoose and two in Davis.

State data also indicated that another 7,020 Iowans were tested and that there were 922 new recoveries.

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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