OSKALOOSA — As spread of the coronavirus continues at one of the highest paces in the country, there were 5,065 new cases in Iowa Friday. Marion County alone added 45 of those.

The positivity rate average over the last 14 days in Marion County increased to 24.9%. The rate was 22.6% in Mahaska County, where there were 22 new cases Friday.

The state continued record-setting numbers for hospitalizations. There were 1,227 hospitalized with COVID-19 on Friday, a record. There were also a record 240 patients needing an intensive care unit. There were 213 patients admitted in the last 24 hours.

The latest available county-level data, as of Wednesday evening, showed 11 were hospitalized in Marion County and eight were hospitalized in Mahaska County.

The number of cases at some long-term care facilities around the area ticked upward.

In Marion County, there was one new case at Accura Healthcare in Knoxville, for a total of 18. In Pella, there were two new cases reported at The Cottages, raising the total to nine.

In Mahaska County, the Oskaloosa Care Center added seven cases, for a total of 42 since their outbreak began.

There were 19 new deaths across Iowa. There were 10,974 new individuals tested and 1,134 new recoveries reported.

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.

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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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