OSKALOOSA — Increasing case totals in Marion County continued Saturday, with 18 new cases reported by the Iowa Department of Public Health.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported at 10 a.m. Saturday that Marion County has had 565 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of 18 from one day before. The state reported 220 new individuals tested in Marion County over the same period.

Cases in Marion County over the last seven days have risen by 23.6%. As of 10 a.m. Saturday, the positivity rate in Marion County the last 14 days was 16.2%.

Mahaska County saw four new cases and 68 new individuals reportedly tested in the last 24 hours. The 14-day positivity rate in Mahaska County increased slightly to 7%.

Statewide, there were 1,024 new cases reported, 23 new deaths, 496 new recoveries and 6,007 new individuals tested. Of the new deaths, 13 were in Polk County.

The top-five counties in the state in terms of the number of new cases between 10 a.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday were Johnson (113), Polk (108), Story (84), Linn (78) and Black Hawk (61).

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 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.

Kyle Ocker is the group editor of the Oskaloosa Herald and the Ottumwa Courier. He can be reached at kocker@oskyherald.com. 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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