Coronavirus Outbreak

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab.

OTTUMWA — Another local resident has died from the coronavirus, state data reported, as Iowa saw another 1,197 new cases on Wednesday.

Data from the Iowa Department of Public Health showed 56 more deaths were reported between Tuesday and Wednesday across the state. One of those was in Appanoose County: a male over the age of 80 years old with pre-existing conditions. It’s the county’s 44th death since the pandemic began in March.

To date, 4,975 Iowans have died from the coronavirus. The new deaths reported on Wednesday occurred between Nov. 29 and Jan. 31, according to state data.

Wapello County added 14 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, but active cases fell to 371 as recoveries from the virus outpace new infections. There were eight new cases reported in Davis, five in Appanoose, four in Jefferson, four in Monroe and four in Van Buren.

The 14-day positivity rate in the state decreased slightly from yesterday to 9.5% as of Wednesday morning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say a rate of 5% or below is considered a safe level.

In Wapello County, the two-week average rate was down to 11%, the lowest since late October.

Jefferson County holds the rights to the Courier coverage area’s lowest rate, of 5.6% as of Wednesday morning. It’s the county’s lowest level of positivity since Oct. 6.

Statewide hospitalizations with COVID-19 were down to 382 on Wednesday, with intensive care unit usage down to 86.

As of Wednesday morning, there have been 64,046 in the state to receive both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 135,156 who have received their first shot.

Of those who have completed their two-shot regime, 294 are Wapello County residents, 201 are from Jefferson, 117 are from Appanoose, 112 are from Monroe, 94 are from Davis and 64 are from Van Buren.

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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