Asia Today: South Korea has virus jump before holiday period

An Indian health worker takes a nasal swab sample of a student to test for coronavirus after classes started at a college in Jhargaon village, outskirts of Gauhati, India, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020.

OTTUMWA — On Oct. 12, Iowa logged its 100,000th case of the coronavirus. Just 27 days later, the state logged the 150,000th case.

Appanoose and Wapello counties both added 31 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, as the state tallied another 4,213.

Appanoose County now has the highest 14-day positivity rate average in the area at 23.4%.

The Moravia Community School District, which is in Appanoose and Monroe counties, announced it will be closed Monday for cleaning following two confirmed COVID-19 tests in its student body. The district of fewer than 400 students has 36 students and one staff member currently quarantined, superintendent Sam Swenson said in a Facebook update on the district’s page.

The 14-day positivity rate in Wapello County is up to 21% as of Sunday morning. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a rate of 5% is indicative of significant community spread. A rate of 20% is the level set by Reynolds for schools to request waivers to move to all-virtual instruction if they choose to. The state must still approve the waiver request if one is made.

Elsewhere in the Courier’s coverage area, there were 10 new cases in Jefferson, five in Davis, four in Monroe and two in Van Buren.

To date in the pandemic, 152,604 Iowans have tested positive for the coronavirus. While 100,712 have reportedly recovered, there have been 1,842 deaths. More than 1 million individuals have been tested at least once.

Troubling trends continued for hospitalizations: a record 992 are hospitalized with the virus, 190 in an intensive care unit, and there were a record 181 admissions in the last 24 hours.

The state reported that, as of 6 p.m. Friday, there were 16 hospitalized in Wapello County.

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.

Those wanting to be tested can visit testiowa.com to schedule a test at the Ottumwa Test Iowa Clinic.

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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