This is an image of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the disease that flared in Wuhan, China, in late December.

OSKALOOSA — Mahaska and Marion counties each added four new cases of the coronavirus Sunday, while the state broke it’s four-day streak of four-digit growth.

According to data from the Iowa Department of Public Health, Mahaska County currently has 101 active cases of the COVID-19 disease. Two weeks ago, on Sept. 20, the state reported 74 active cases in the county.

The number of active cases in Marion County has dropped in a stark manner, with the state reporting 54 active on Sunday, down from 191 reported active on Sept. 20.

The state reported a 10.3% positivity rate over the last 14 days in Mahaska County. In Marion County, the positivity rate over the last 14 days has dropped to 6.9%.

Iowa on Sunday broke its streak of single day cases growth above 1,000. On Sunday, the state reported 684 new cases of the disease between 10 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday. There were four new deaths, 279 new recoveries, and 4,694 new individuals tested.

The top-five counties in terms of case growth were Dubuque (58), Polk (49), Linn (40), Woodbury (40), and Scott (33).

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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