This 2020 electron microscope made available by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention image shows the spherical coronavirus particles from the first U.S. case of COVID-19.

OTTUMWA — Wapello County added another 47 cases of the coronavirus Friday, as virus spread continued across Iowa, including at local nursing homes.

There were 4,359 new cases of COVID-19 reported across Iowa between 10 a.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. Friday. There were 25 deaths in that time span.

There were 20 new cases reported in Jefferson, 16 in Davis, 12 in Appanoose, nine in Van Buren and five in Monroe.

Hospitalizations continued to rage at near-record numbers, with 1,447 currently admitted in Iowa, with 275 in an intensive care unit. There were 207 admissions in the last 24 hours.

As of the latest data provided from Wednesday by the state, there were 14 hospitalized from Wapello County, 12 from Appanoose, six from Jefferson, six from Monroe, five from Van Buren and four from Davis.

Cases reported at area nursing homes rose, as the state also began reporting a new metric: positive cases in the last 14 days.

The Ridgewood Specialty Care in Wapello County was up 17 cases from Thursday to 43 total since their outbreak started. The state reports that 26 cases have been reported in the last 14 days.

State data still does not provide deaths for nursing home outbreaks, so active cases can’t be readily calculated at long-term care facilities.

In Appanoose County, there were 15 new cases reported at Centerville Specialty Care and three new cases reported at Golden Age Care Center. There have been 30 cases in the last two weeks at Centerville Specialty Care and the newest reported cases at Golden Age are the first to be reported in two weeks.

Appanoose County officials also reported another death Friday, a male between the ages of 61- and 80-years-old. It's the county's 24th death since the pandemic began, and 20th death in November.

COVID-19 in area schools

New data from the Ottumwa Community School District reported two more students have tested positive for COVID-19, upping the district's total to 47 this school year. There are still 257 students in quarantine as of Friday afternoon.

At the Moravia Community School District, there were 10 active cases of COVID-19 in the student body, as of Friday afternoon. There was one student still awaiting test results and 56 students under quarantine. There are four active cases among staff, with one member awaiting test results.

On Thursday, the Davis County Community School District reported less than six students in the district have an active case of the coronavirus, though 135 are in quarantine. There are less than six positive staff members currently, and 18 are in quarantine.

As of Thursday, there were less than six active cases of COVID-19 within the student body at Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont district, and less than six active staff cases. There are 48 students in quarantine there, and one staff member in quarantine.

In undated figures, the Albia Community School District reports four active cases of COVID-19 in their district, with three at the junior-senior high school and one at Kendall Elementary School.

In the last five days, the Cardinal Community School District has reported five more cases, raising the number of active COVID-19 cases to six as of Friday. There are 60 students quarantined, down from a record high of 83 on Thursday. There are between 1-5 active cases among the district's staff, with 12 quarantined.

In the Fairfield Community School District, the district hit a record number of 10 active COVID-19 cases in its student body. There are a near-record of 131 students in quarantine, as of Thursday.

The Van Buren County Community School District does not report exact numbers, but in a Friday Facebook post said less than half a percent of its student body has an active case of COVID-19, and less than 8% of students were absent.

School districts not publicly reporting numbers include school districts in Centerville, Moulton-Udell and Pekin.

Indian Hills Community College reported this week four positive COVID-19 tests and 20 students quarantined between the Centerville and Ottumwa campuses. The school announced they will be moving to a live virtual learning format over Zoom

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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