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City leaders give COVID-19 update in Wapello County

City leaders give coronavirus update
City leaders give coronavirus update
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With summer just around the corner, Wapello County COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations continue to rise.

Tuesday afternoon, local officials tried to get the message across that danger from the coronavirus isn’t over.

"We still need to practice the 6-foot distancing, wash our hands frequently cover our coughs and sneezes, and really just take precautions to be careful because we are not through this yet," says Ottumwa Mayor Tom Lazio.

Those were the words of warning from Ottumwa Mayor Tom Lazio during a pandemic update.

Wapello County Emergency Management Coordinator Tim Richmond then took the podium to cite the specific concerns.

"We look at the number of active cases. We look at the number of hospitalizations, and then, unfortunately, the number of deaths. We posted 21 deaths to date, and we still have 14 hospitalizations, that’s concerning."

There was some good news, the county has received two grants.

Those grants, totaling nearly 20-thousand dollars, will help bring resources to try to keep the spread of the virus to a minimum.

"Its to purchase sanitization equipment outdoor sanitization equipment that we can loan to community events to help with some of these mitigations efforts that the mayor spoke of. Portable hand sanitizing stations, portable handwashing sinks, and a portable Clorox 360 machine that I can loan to public safety agencies to sanitize stations."

Clearly Ottumwa still needs testing capacity.

Richmond says, for now, the test Iowa site will stay in Ottumwa through June 12.

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Richmond did say that state and local officials will meet in the next few days to decide if Ottumwa needs to keep the Test Iowa site open.

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