OTTUMWA — While new cases of the coronavirus grew slightly slower in the last week, the state still averaged more than 1,000 new cases per day.

The Iowa Department of Public Health added 91 new deaths to its database in the last week, but most of those deaths occurred in September and are just now being reported. There have long been delays of days and weeks to the state’s death reporting, as officials confirm the data before making it public.

Children continue to make up a plurality of the new cases. Iowa added 9,860 new cases between last Wednesday and Tuesday, with more than 2,200 of those in children age 17 and under. Iowans between the ages of 18 and 29 made up 16% of new cases, and those aged 30-39 made up 17%.

Wapello County added 208 cases over the weeklong stretch, an average of nearly 30 per day. Appanoose County added 82. There were 62 new cases in Jefferson, 55 in Monroe, 44 in Davis and 34 in Van Buren.

Of the 91 new deaths, four were in Wapello County, raising the county’s death toll in the pandemic to 134. There was one new death in Monroe, the county’s 34th.

Vaccinations continued a slow, but steady, growth in the state. Another 12,199 Iowans completed their vaccinations against the coronavirus in the last week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports Iowa has fully vaccinated 64% of its eligible population. Statewide, 68.8% of eligible residents have received at least one dose.

Currently, all Iowans age 12 and up are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.

Courier-area counties all rank in the bottom one-fifth of the state in terms of vaccination rates. Wapello County is the highest in the area, ranking 84th with 51.2% of its eligible population vaccinated.

Appanoose County is 88th with 48.4% of eligible residents vaccinated.

The rest of the four Courier-area counties make the list of Iowa’s 10 least-vaccinated counties. Davis County is dead last, with only 40.7% of its eligible population vaccinated.

Iowans in the hospital increased by two to 626 as of Wednesday morning’s data release. The state reports 74.1% of those hospitalized are unvaccinated. There are 141 COVID-19 patients in an intensive care unit, about 85.8% of which are unvaccinated.

While younger Iowans are hospitalized far less frequently with COVID-19, statewide there are 5 children age 11 or younger that are hospitalized, along with six between the ages of 12 and 17.

Kyle Ocker is the 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 president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and vice president of the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.

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