COVID-19

OTTUMWA — Iowa reported seven more deaths and 1,813 coronavirus cases on Tuesday.

There were 14 new cases of the virus reported in Jefferson County, 13 in Appanoose, 11 in Monroe, six in Wapello, five in Van Buren and one in Davis. None of the new deaths occurred in area counties.

Statewide hospitalizations with COVID-19 were down slightly to 582 as of Tuesday morning. There were 115 in an intensive care unit.

Iowa’s 14-day positivity rate continued a climb to 13.4%. Monroe County’s average went down slightly from Monday but remains the state’s highest at 30.8%.

A long-term care outbreak at the Bloomfield Care Center was removed from the state’s reporting, signaling the outbreak there has ended. There were 15 new cases reported in an outbreak at the Monroe Care Center and one new case reported at the Parkview Care Center in Fairfield.

To date in Iowa, there has been 3,999 die from the coronavirus.

Vaccine distribution continues in the state. Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last updated Monday morning, showed that 55,495 have received the first of two doses in the state. There’s been about 116,000 doses distributed to Iowa.

In the U.S., about 4.5 million have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Wapello County Public Health Department said Monday that vaccinations are continuing, but it may be mid-year before the vaccine is widely available to the public. Until then, they say practicing mitigation strategies like social distancing, wearing a mask, and staying home when sick are important to mitigate virus spread.

The state is currently distributing the vaccine to the group in Phase 1A, which includes front-line health care workers and long-term care residents and staff.

State officials are still reviewing recommendations on the next phase of vaccine rollout in Iowa.

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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