This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab. Image captured and colorized at NIAID's Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) in Hamilton, Montana.

KNOXVILLE — There were a dozen new cases of the coronavirus in Marion County Thursday, as the state of Iowa saw more than 1,500 new positive tests.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 disease cases in Marion County rose to 831 since the pandemic began, as of 10 a.m Thursday. That’s 12 more than the county had 24 hours prior.

In that span, Mahaska County added four new cases, with total infection since March up to 471.

Cases statewide continued their growth, as did hospitalizations on Thursday.

There were 1,515 new cases reported by the Iowa Department of Public Health statewide on Thursday. Additionally, 63 new patients were admitted in the last 24 hours, upping the total to 449 currently hospitalized. There’s not been more hospitalized in Iowa since the pandemic began.

There were 9,000 new individuals tested for the virus, according to state data. Iowa saw five more die and 933 more recover.

The top-five counties in Iowa in terms of growth were Webster (118), Woodbury (109), Polk (98), Pottawattamie (76) and Sioux (67).

Locally, there were two new cases reported at the Oskaloosa Care Center, upping the facility’s total to five. Though two have now recovered.

Numbers at West Ridge Speciality Care in Knoxville remained the same, with nine infected with the virus and five having recovered.

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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