DES MOINES — The number of new COVID-19 cases in Iowa hit a high on Tuesday, reaching triple digits for the first time and passing 1,000 total cases.

Gov. Kim Reynolds said there were 102 new cases in the state, bringing Iowa’s total to 1,048. The virus was confirmed in three new counties, and 104 people are currently hospitalized.

Reynolds announced one additional death. The virus has killed 26 people in Iowa. Some 346 people have recovered.

Tuesday’s press conference came just shy of a month after the virus was confirmed in Iowa. The first positive tests, which identified the virus in three people, were announced March 8.

Nearly half of Iowa’s deaths have taken place after the virus got into long-term care facilities. Residents and staff at such facilities account for 11 percent of the state’s total cases, Reynolds said, but 46 percent of the deaths.

The new cases include one in Mahaska County, bringing that county’s total to four. It was the only new case in the immediate Ottumwa area.

Wapello County still has two confirmed cases and two local counties have yet to see a confirmed COVID-19 case. But officials have said people need to assume that the virus is present across Iowa, regardless of the number of confirmed cases, and they should take precautions accordingly.

The precautions aren’t just limited to washing hands and staying home if you’re sick. The U.S. District Attorney’s office for southern Iowa said Tuesday the virus is giving scam artists an opening.

The office strongly recommended people hang up on robocalls and to avoid clicking links from sources they are not familiar with. And, since scammers often use high-pressure approaches, don’t let yourself be rushed into making donations or sending money, especially if you have not had time to verify the identity of the person or group making the demand.

Victims of scams should call local law enforcement to report it, and can file a complaint with the National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline by calling 1-866-720-5721 or emailing disaster@leo.gov.

Matt Milner can be reached at mmilner@ottumwacourier.com and followed on Twitter @mwmilner

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Managing Editor

Matt Milner currently serves as the Courier's Managing Editor. Milner is a trained weather spotter and is usually outside if there are storms. He joined the Courier in 2002.

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