Virus Outbreak US Surge

In this Oct. 23, 2020, file photo, University of Washington research coordinator Rhoshni Prabhu holds up a swab after testing a passenger at a free COVID testing site in Seattle.

OTTUMWA — The state reported 69 new coronavirus deaths in Iowa Thursday, with four coming from the Courier’s coverage area.

Davis County had two new deaths related to the coronavirus pandemic, while Appanoose and Monroe each had one new death.

Death reports are delayed by the state by days and often by weeks as officials work to confirm the cause of death before reporting them into their data dashboard. Of today’s 69 deaths, seven occurred in November, as far back as Nov. 18.

The Ottumwa Courier’s analysis of the Iowa Department of Public Heath’s COVID-19 data shows one of the four new deaths did not have a pre-existing condition.

— Appanoose County had one new death with COVID-19 as an underlying condition. The person was a female over the age of 80 with a pre-existing condition.

— Davis County had two new deaths with COVID-19 as an underlying condition. Both were between the ages of 70-79 with pre-existing conditions.

— Monroe County had one new death with COVID-19 as an underlying condition. The person was a male between the ages of 70-79 and did not have a pre-existing condition.

The state reports 3,879 COVID-19 deaths to date, and more than 90% of those who have died had a pre-existing condition. These comorbidities can include a variety of things, including common diseases and ailments like high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

Iowa added another 1,703 new cases of COVID-19 between 10 a.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. Thursday. Of those, 18 were in Wapello County, 13 in Jefferson, 10 in Monroe, nine in Appanoose, two in Van Buren and one in Davis.

There were another 4,137 individuals tested and another 2,321 Iowans have been reported to have recovered from COVID-19. There are 37,435 active cases reported in Iowa as of Thursday morning.

The 14-day average of positive COVID-19 tests dropped slightly to 12.2% in Iowa. Monroe had the highest rate in the Courier’s coverage area — and the fourth-highest rate in Iowa — at 24%. Davis County (13%) and Van Buren County (12.8%) were the only two Courier-area counties below 15% as of Thursday morning.

Around the state, 600 were hospitalized as of Thursday morning, down from 612 reported Wednesday. There were 134 patients in an intensive care unit, up by seven since Wednesday. State data reported that 76 patients were admitted to the hospital in the last 24 hours.

The state removed the Sunny Brook Living Care Center in Fairfield from its list of long-term care outbreaks, signaling the outbreak there has ended.

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

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