OSKALOOSA — Cases of the COVID-19 disease continued to grow in Mahaska County Wednesday.

Data from the Iowa Department of Public Health showed 11 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus were found in Mahaska County between 10 a.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. Wednesday.

State data reported that pushes active cases in the county to 167. The 14-day positivity rate increased to 13.1% in Mahaska County.

There were five new virus cases reported in Monroe County over the same time frame.

There were 1,180 new cases of the virus statewide in Iowa. There were 11 new deaths reported, 992 recoveries and 5,419 new individuals tested.

Hospitalizations continued at near-record levels.

As of 10 a.m. Wednesday, the state reported 473 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 around the state, with 106 in an intensive care unit. There were 74 new admissions in the last 24 hours.

State data reports about 35% of beds remain available statewide.

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 Oskaloosa Herald relies on data reported by the Iowa Department of Public Health, using its coronavirus data dashboard at 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.

Kyle Ocker is the group editor of the Oskaloosa Herald and the Ottumwa Courier. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.

Group Editor

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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