COVID-19 illustration

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

OTTUMWA — From Christmas Eve to Christmas Day, Wapello County saw an increase of 26 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to state data.

Iowa reported an increase of 1,473 cases statewide as another 4,993 individuals were reportedly tested.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported five new deaths between 10 a.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. Friday. Death reports lag by days and sometimes weeks as officials work to confirm them, however. The five deaths reported for the first time today occurred on Nov. 26, Dec. 9, Dec. 17, Dec. 19 and Dec. 22, according to state data.

None of the deaths were in the Courier’s coverage area.

With only 336 new recoveries reported, the number of active cases reported rose in the state and in every Courier-area county except for Appanoose County, where active cases remained steady.

There were 13 new cases reported in Davis County, 12 in Jefferson, six in Appanoose, four in Monroe and two in Van Buren.

Monroe County continues to have the highest 14-day positivity rate in the state, but it did decline slightly to 25.5%. The rate is more than five times higher than the rate the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says indicates wide community spread.

Iowa’s positivity rate over the last two weeks went down slightly, to 12.3%

There were 600 hospitalized in Iowa, down 25 from Thursday and the lowest number reported since Oct. 28. The number of patients in an intensive care unit was 121, the lowest number since Oct. 25.

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

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