Virus Outbreak Florida

Health care workers prepare a COVID-19 test sample before a person self-administered a test at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing center at Miami-Dade County Auditorium in Miami as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues on Thursday, July 23, 2020.

OTTUMWA — More Wapello County residents died Monday with the coronavirus than in any other day so far in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Wapello County Public Health Department announced five Wapello County residents had died on Monday. Four of them were over the age of 81 years old, according to a press release from the Wapello County Public Health Department. The fifth death was between the ages of 61- to 80-years-old. The deaths bring the county’s total to 69 since the pandemic began in March.

The Ottumwa Community School District on Monday reported two more students have tested positive for the virus, raising the district’s total to 19 this school year. There are 117 students and nine staff members currently in quarantine.

There were 35 new cases of the coronavirus in Wapello County. Another area county is boasting one of the highest virus rates in the nation.

Data from the Iowa Department of Public Health showed that, from 10 a.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. Monday, there were 33 newly confirmed virus cases in Appanoose County.

According to data analysis by the New York Times, Appanoose County ranks 86 out of 3,141 counties in America for its virus spread. The Times analysis is for new cases from the past seven days, adjusted per capita.

Appanoose boasted the highest rate of positivity in the Courier’s coverage area, at 24.1%. The rate in Monroe was 21.6% and in Wapello it was 21%. 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 Gov. Kim 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.

The state added 4,212 new cases on Monday, as hospitalizations exceeded 1,000 statewide wide.

As of Monday morning, state data reported 1,034 were hospitalized with COVID-19 — a record. There were 184 patients in an intensive care unit and 152 were admitted in the last 24 hours.

There were 14 hospitalized in Wapello County, according to the latest available state data from Saturday afternoon. Four were in the hospital from Appanoose, four in Monroe, three in Van Buren three in Jefferson and one in Davis.

There were three new deaths statewide. There were 9,941 individuals tested for the first time in Iowa, and 329 new recoveries reported.

Active cases in Appanoose County were up to 242, as reported by state data. In Wapello County, there were 357 active cases, 182 in Jefferson, 128 in Monroe, 118 in Davis and 102 in Van Buren.

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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