COVID-19 tests

This is a picture of CDC’s laboratory test kit for SARS-CoV-2 (also known as COVID-19 or coronavirus). CDC tests are provided to U.S. state and local public health laboratories and Department of Defense laboratories that were either previously qualified for being able to perform a similar type of test used to detect influenza or have been recently approved by their state public health laboratory for SARS-CoV-2 testing.

OSKALOOSA — Additional cases of the COVID-19 disease were confirmed in Mahaska and Marion counties Saturday. Meanwhile, the rate of positivity has continued to grow in Mahaska.

Data from the Iowa Department of Public Health indicated that there were 13 new cases of COVID-19 in Marion County reported between 10 a.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday. In that span, there were four new cases reported in Mahaska County.

The 14-day positivity rate continued a gradual descent in Marion County, with the state reporting a rate of 14.3% as of 10 a.m. Saturday. In Mahaska County, the rate continued a gradual increase, now at 10.4%.

Statewide, there were 793 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported with eight new deaths. There were 641 new recoveries and 5,555 new individuals tested.

The top-five counties in terms of single-day case growth were Polk (100), Woodbury (61), Linn (51), Dubuque (49), and Scott (39).

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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