This is a new image of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the disease that flared in Wuhan, China, in late December and has killed nearly 2,000 people.

KNOXVILLE — Cases in Marion County continued an increase on Sunday morning, according to state data.

Another 13 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported to the state's coronavirus website managed by the Iowa Department of Public Health. There were also 67 new individuals tested in the 24-hour period ending at 10 a.m. Sunday.

The positivity rate in the last 14 days in Marion County, as reported by the state, increased slightly to 14.4%.

Since last Sunday, total cases in Marion County have increased by 13.3%, with 656 confirmed cases to date. There were 77 new cases confirmed in the last week. According to state data, there are currently 286 active cases in the county.

There were two new cases of the disease reported in Mahaska County, and 41 new tests. The 14-day positivity rate declined from 10.4% to 9.6% in the last 24 hours.

Statewide, there were 814 new cases of the disease reported. The biggest increase in cases for counties was in Polk, with 151 new cases. There were 45 new cases in Woodbury, 40 in Pottawattamie, 37 in Linn and 32 in Dallas.

Iowa reported two new deaths, 188 new recoveries, and 5,690 new tests. On Sunday, the state passed a testing milestone with 700,472 Iowans having been tested for the disease since the pandemic began in March.

Since last Sunday, the number of confirmed cases in the state has increased by 6.6%, with the state reporting an additional 4,605 cases in the last week.

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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