OTTUMWA — There were no new coronavirus deaths reported by the Iowa Department of Public Health Monday.

The state, however, added another 452 cases of the coronavirus, while testing due to the weekend was down substantially. Iowa reported that 1,746 individuals were tested between Sunday and Monday.

There were four new cases in Wapello County, two in Davis, one in Appanoose, and one in Monroe.

Iowa’s 14-day positivity rate has held steady at 11%, still more than double the recommended rate deemed safe by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

The rate in Wapello County was up slightly to 12.8%, and continued a downward trend in Monroe County, where it was 12.7% as of Monday.

The lowest county in the region was Davis County, at 6.7%.

Statewide hospitalizations were mostly flat, up one from the prior day to 383 on Monday morning. There were 78 in an intensive care unit, down by one from the prior day.

Local hospitalizations reported as of most recently available data from Saturday were mostly down. There were four Wapello County residents hospitalized, according to the data from the state public health department. In Appanoose County, where hospitalizations had hovered around a half-dozen in recent days, was down to one.

The CDC says there have been 21.8 million doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines administered. About 3.2 million have received both of the required doses.

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 president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and vice president of the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.

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