coronavirus

KNOXVILLE — There were 16 new cases of the COVID-19 disease in Marion County, pushing the county to 275 active cases, according to state data.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported an additional five cases in Mahaska County between 10 a.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. Monday.

According to the state data, there were 113 new individuals tested in Marion County in the last 24 hours, and 24 in Mahaska County.

The state added 611 cases of the disease, which is caused by the new coronavirus. There were two new deaths, 135 new recoveries and 3,222 new individuals tested according to the change in state data over the 24-hour period.

The 14-day positivity rate in Marion County went down slightly, now at 17.2%. The rate is a vital metric in determining whether schools can obtain waivers to switch to virtual instruction.

One district in Marion County has, and that's Twin Cedars after multiple teachers tested positive and many students were under quarantine. In-person instruction is slated to resume there Sept. 8.

The state requires a 10% absentee rate and a 14-day positivity rate higher than 15% in order to be able to receive a waiver to switch to virtual instruction. Districts in a county with a higher than 20% positivity rate can request a waiver regardless of their absentee rate.

The top-five counties in Iowa in terms of cases added on Monday were Johnson (120), Polk (97), Scott (33), Woodbury (31), and Black Hawk (26).

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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