OSKALOOSA — A growing number of children are contracting the coronavirus, new state data showed Wednesday.

Of Iowa’s 11,723 new positive cases over the last week, 29% are age 17 and under. Another 17 percent were young adults, aged 18-29.

The rate of new positive cases each day is continuing to increase. Last week, Iowa reported 8,404 new cases over a seven-day period and 8,308 the week before.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported data on Wednesday for the period of Wednesday, Sept. 8, through Tuesday, Sept. 14.

Marion County has added more than 28 new cases per day in that period, for a total of 197. There were 112 new cases reported in Mahaska County in seven day period, or about 16 per day.

The new data includes 64 new deaths in the state, pushing the total death toll in Iowa to 6,401 since the pandemic began. Two of the new deaths were in Marion County, and one was in Mahaska.

There were 578 Iowans in the hospital with COVID-19, including 157 in an intensive care unit. The unvaccinated account for most hospitalizations. Iowa reported 78.3% in the hospital are unvaccinated, and 87.3% in the ICU are not vaccinated.

Long-term care outbreaks were up to 23 statewide. The state no longer reports data for individual outbreaks.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Iowa has vaccinated 62.3% of its population that’s currently eligible (those age 12 and above). That ranks the state 24th in the country.

While the seven-day trends for vaccinations had shown more were getting vaccinated in late August, that trend has now slowed again, returning to levels seen in early August. The CDC reports that as of Tuesday about 1,500 people became fully vaccinated per day in the last seven days.

Marion County ranks 63rd in the state for its vaccination rate, with 53.6% of its eligible population considered fully vaccinated by the CDC. Mahaska County ranks 93rd with 44.4% vaccinated.

All 99 of Iowa’s counties are currently experiencing a high level of community transmission of the virus, according to the CDC, meaning masks are recommended to be worn when inside and in large groups.

The Iowa Department of Public Health releases top-level data on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at coronavirus.iowa.gov, and each Wednesday releases an in-depth data update.

Individuals interested in receiving the vaccine can contact their health care providers, pharmacies or local public health offices. Or, they can also consult with state and federal resources. Iowa offers a COVID-19 hotline that can help schedule appointments at 211, providers can be found at vaccinate.iowa.gov/providers.

Texting your ZIP code to 438829 (or 822862 for Spanish) is a federal service that will reply with three locations with vaccines in stock. The Department of Health and Human Services also has established a website for vaccine information at wecandothis.hhs.gov.

Those needing testing resources should call their local doctor’s office or pharmacy, or can visit testiowa.com for information on receiving free at-home saliva test kits.

Kyle Ocker is the editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. He can be reached at kocker@ottumwacourier.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.

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Kyle Ocker is a Centerville native and award-winning multimedia journalist. Kyle is currently the president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and vice president of the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.

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