COVID-19 illustration

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.

OTTUMWA — After two days of case growth not seen for months, Wapello County added 13 cases of the coronavirus on Thursday.

Wapello County had added 47 new cases on Tuesday and another 53 on Wednesday, which were the highest 24-hour changes in COVID-19 cases for the county since late November.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported that from 10 a.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Thursday, the state added 841 cases of the coronavirus.

There were four new cases in Jefferson County, and two each in Appanoose, Davis and Monroe counties.

The 14-day positivity rate was up to 13.9% in Wapello County as of Thursday, the third highest rate in the state. Experts with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider a rate of 5% or less as a safe level of community transmission.

There were 22 new deaths statewide, upping the number of Iowans killed by the coronavirus to 5,196. None of the newly reported deaths were of residents in the Courier’s coverage area.

Hospitalizations continued a steady decline, down to 273 in Iowa and 64 in an intensive care unit.

Wapello County is improving its ranking among other Iowa counties in terms of the percentage of population who has received both shots of a COVID-19 vaccine. To date, the county ranks 39th in that mark, with about 2.8% of residents having received both shots.

In Wapello, another 4.6%, or 1,628 residents, have received the first of two required shots.

Johnson County continues to lead the state, with 8.3% of its residents having received both shots. The second place county is Clay County, population 16,016, where 6.7% residents have received both shots.

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

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