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).

KNOXVILLE — As the state reported 798 new cases of the COVID-19 disease Friday, data indicated 19 new disease cases were confirmed in Marion County.

The numbers are the difference in totals reported from 10 a.m. Thursday to 10 a.m. Friday by the Iowa Department of Public Health’s coronavirus dashboard at

The number of cases being reported at the West Ridge Specialty Care long-term care facility did not change from the 7 that appeared in the state’s data Thursday.

The 14-day positivity rate for Marion County went down slightly again to 14.2%.

In Mahaska County, state data indicated a growth of 10 new cases of COVID-19. The positivity rate the last 14 days is 9.9%, according to state data.

The state reported three new deaths, 651 new recoveries and 6,018 new individuals tested in that 24-hour time span.

The top-five counties in terms of single-day case growth were Polk (116), Linn (52), Story (47), Johnson (35) and Dubuque (35).

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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