COVID-19

OSKALOOSA — More than one-third of those tested were positive for the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, according to state data.

Between 10 a.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. Monday, Iowa added another 540 cases of COVID-19 to its data dashboard. Three came from Marion County, and three came from Mahaska County.

The state tested just 1,412 new individuals. Since testing data was reported in May, there have only been eight days in which the state reported a 24-hour change of less than 2,000. Of those times, four of them have been in December, including the last three days.

According to state data, collected and analyzed by the Oskaloosa Herald, the week of Christmas produced the lowest test numbers of any week since May.

Iowa reported no new deaths on Monday. Death reports are often behind by days and weeks as officials confirm cause of death before adding them to the system. Since March, there have been 3,745 Iowans die from the coronavirus.

Hospitalizations went up from Sunday to Monday, with 586 being hospitalized with COVID-19 in Iowa, an increase of 33 from the prior day. There were 111 in an intensive care unit. There were 82 admitted in the last 24 hours.

All local long-term care outbreaks have ended, according to state data.

There are 32 counties in Iowa with a two-week positivity rate above 15%. Marion County has a rate of 19.5% while Mahaska’s rate is 18.2%.

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.

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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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