OTTUMWA — Local officials said another resident of Wapello County has died due to the COVID-19 disease.

On Monday afternoon, the Wapello County Public Health Department said an individual between the ages of 61-80-years-old had died. That brings the total number of deaths in the county to 32.

Other information about the individual was not announced publicly.

There were 11 new cases of the COVID-19 disease as of Monday morning. Local public health officials warned that the county is considered a red zone by the White House and had a positivity rate of 11 percent.

Iowa added just 320 new cases of the disease on Monday. There were four new deaths, according to data from the Iowa Department of Public Health.

A press release from Wapello County Public Health noted a “sharp increase” in hospitalizations in Wapello County and “dramatic growth” in new cases the past two weeks.

The public health department urges the public to take aggressive mitigation strategies to disrupt the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing and wearing a mask outside the home.

Social gatherings, public activities and social interactions should be limited when possible.

As a result, the Ottumwa Public Library announce that they would be discontinuing computer usage this week, and re-evaluate on Monday. Curbside pickup will continue and mobile internet hot spots can be checked out.

The state has not updated the numbers for hospitalizations by county since July 30. On July 31, Wapello County Emergency Management’s website reported that seven people were hospitalized from the county.

Case numbers from other Courier coverage area counties also increased Monday morning. Appanoose county’s caseload grew by one while Jefferson added two and Van Buren one.

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.


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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