Virus Outbreak France

A woman has a nose swab taken for a COVID-19 test at Lille Zenith Arena in Lille, northern France, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020.

OTTUMWA — There were just 600 new cases of COVID-19 reported Monday, with the state reporting fewer than 2,000 new individuals being tested in the last 24 hours.

According to data from the Iowa Department of Public Health, between 10 a.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. Monday just 1,933 individuals were tested for the coronavirus. The state tested an average of about 4,700 per day last week.

Throughout the pandemic, Mondays typically generate the lowest number of new cases and tests because of lower testing rates on the weekend.

Iowa reported no new deaths between Sunday and Monday. Deaths are reported on a lag, delayed by several days and even weeks as the state confirms cause of death. Earlier this month, the state announced it would begin including deaths of those clinically diagnosed with COVID-19, but absent of a test. The count also now includes those who tested positive through an antigen test, which returns results more quickly.

Since March, 3,589 Iowans have been reported to have died from the coronavirus. Of those, 90 have died in Wapello, 34 in Appanoose, 20 in Jefferson, 18 in Davis, 16 in Monroe and 11 in Van Buren.

There were five new cases of the coronavirus in Monroe and five in Wapello reported between Sunday and Monday, according to state data. Davis County and Van Buren County each added one new case, while Appanoose and Jefferson showed no new cases.

Hospitalizations continued a downward trend, with 644 hospitalized, down five from the prior day. Intensive care unit usage was down to 142, and there were 70 new admissions in the last 24 hours.

Around the state, 13.1% of COVID-19 tests taken in the last two weeks have returned positive. In the last 24 hours, however, 31% of the individuals tested were positive in Iowa.

Over the last two weeks, the positivity rate in Monroe was 22.5%, the highest in the Courier’s coverage area. Next was Davis County at 16.4%, followed by Jefferson at 15%, Wapello at 13.9%, Van Buren at 10.6% and Appanoose at 9.2%.

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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