The coronavirus disease COVID-19 was first reported from Wuhan, China, on Dec. 31, 2019.

OTTUMWA — There were 1,652 new cases of the coronavirus confirmed in Iowa in the last 24 hours, with 10 additional deaths.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported 25 of the new cases were confirmed in Jefferson County residents. There were 19 new cases reported in Wapello County between 10 a.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. Wednesday.

There were 18 new cases in Monroe, eight in Davis, five in Appanoose and one in Van Buren.

None of the 10 new deaths reported were in the Courier’s coverage area. Death reports are delayed by days and weeks as officials confirm them before entering them into the system. The deaths reported today occurred as far back as Nov. 28 and as recently as Christmas Eve.

The 14-day statewide positivity rate average was at 12.8% in Iowa, up a full percentage point from the prior day. Monroe County fell from the position of Iowa’s highest positivity rate, now down to third at 23%.

In Jefferson County, 19.3% of COVID-19 tests taken in the last 14 days have returned positive. The rate was up to 16.4% in Wapello, 14.7% in Appanoose and 14.2% in Davis. The rate declined to 13.2% in Van Buren.

Total hospitalizations were down slightly from the prior day to 612, as of Wednesday morning. There were 127 in an intensive care unit, up 10 from the prior day. In the last 24 hours, there were 105 Iowans admitted into the hospital.

As of the latest available data from Monday, there were nine Wapello County residents hospitalized with COVID-19, and seven from Jefferson County.

Since the pandemic began, 278,600 Iowans have contracted COVID-19. Of those, Iowa reports 236,656 have recovered and 3,822 have died.

Wapello County has had 3,083 residents test positive for COVID-19, with 2,555 reportedly recovered. Since the pandemic began, 90 have died.

Kyle Ocker is the group editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. He can be reached at 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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