Virus Outbreak Kenya

Laboratory technician Irene Ooko prepares nasal swabs to be tested for the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19, at the Pathologists Lancet Kenya laboratory in Nairobi, Kenya.

OTTUMWA — State data indicated Friday that two more Wapello County residents have died due to complications from the COVID-19 disease.

The death toll in Wapello County rose to 62 as of 10 a.m. Friday. That’s two more than had been previously reported. Local officials have not yet confirmed the deaths or provided the age ranges of the deaths.

The two deaths in Wapello County were among the 16 new deaths reported in Iowa Friday morning.

Near-record hospitalizations continued in Iowa, while the state added 1,330 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

There were six new cases reported in Wapello County, five in Van Buren, four in Jefferson, three in Monroe, one in Appanoose and one in Davis.

The 14-day positivity rate dipped slightly in Monroe County but was still among the state's five highest rates at 19.8%. The rate in Wapello continues to hover around 8%.

Statewide, there were 372 new recoveries reported and 6,488 new individuals reported tested. There were 468 Iowans hospitalized, with 105 in an intensive care unit. Sixty-six have been admitted in the last 24 hours.

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets. It is often mild and some individuals remain asymptomatic or have only cold or flu symptoms. But the disease can be more severe, require hospitalization and lead to death, particularly in older or immunocompromised people.

Experts, including those at the CDC, say wearing masks when in public, keeping at least 6 feet of distance between people when possible, and good hygiene can prevent the spread.

The Ottumwa Courier relies on data reported by the Iowa Department of Public Health, using its coronavirus data dashboard at coronavirus.iowa.gov. Data is checked each day at 10 a.m. and then compared to the data previously captured from the dashboard to produce stories.

The state has changed how it reported the data several times, and local officials often produce data based on different standards or in different timeframes. Therefore, the data will not always align with other sources.

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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