COVID-19 illustration

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

OSKALOOSA — Cases of the coronavirus in Mahaska County tallied a significant spike Friday.

Between 10 a.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. Friday, there were 17 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mahaska County, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health. In that time frame, Marion County added 13.

There weren’t any new cases reported for either county’s long-term care facility outbreak, though numbers reported there at times lag. At 10 a.m. Friday, state data was still reporting five cases at Oskaloosa Care Center and nine at West Ridge Speciality Care in Knoxville.

There were 1,184 new cases of the COVID-19 disease Friday statewide. There were 14 new deaths statewide, but none of those were in the area.

Meanwhile, hospitalizations continued on their record path. In Iowa, there were 461 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and 104 in the intensive care unit. There were 77 admitted in the last 24 hours. The number of hospitalized patients is now higher than it has been in the pandemic in Iowa.

The state had another 7,059 individuals tested for the virus and another 871 have recovered.

The top-five counties in terms of growth in cases Friday were Polk (113), Woodbury (69), Dubuque (56), Black Hawk (53) and Linn (50).

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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