OTTUMWA — The first person diagnosed with COVID-19 in Wapello County has recovered, officials say.

The identity of the person was never released, nor was their hometown. The announcement on March 23 of a positive case sent shockwaves through the community. At the time, there were only 105 cases known in the entire state. There are now more than 1,000.

While the length of time needed for recovery varies, two weeks has been the general benchmark used. Those who take longer often have more serious complications. The virus can cause serious cases of pneumonia, robbing patients of the ability to breathe without assistance.

The case of U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson illustrates one timeline. He was hospitalized Sunday, 10 days after he tested positive for the virus, in part because his symptoms had not improved. He was moved to intensive care on Monday, though the British government has said he is able to breathe on his own.

The Wapello County patient spent at least some time at Ottumwa Regional Health Center. The hospital confirmed it had a patient being treated shortly after the case was announced. Public Health Director Lynelle Diers said Tuesday the patient did recover.

Gov. Kim Reynolds said Tuesday a total of 341 Iowans have recovered from the virus. But the state also hit two grim milestones. The number of new cases rose to more than 100 for the first time, and the state passed 1,000 confirmed cases.

Officials continue to ask people to take basic steps to slow the spread of the virus, including frequently washing their hands with soap and water, staying home if they are sick, and avoiding crowds.

Matt Milner can be reached at mmilner@ottumwacourier.com and followed on Twitter @mwmilner

Matt Milner can be reached at mmilner@ottumwacourier.com and followed on Twitter @mwmilner

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Managing Editor

Matt Milner currently serves as the Courier's Managing Editor. Milner is a trained weather spotter and is usually outside if there are storms. He joined the Courier in 2002.

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