coronavirus

OSKALOOSA — Mahaska and Marion counties both added new coronavirus cases in the double digits Sunday, as the 14-day positivity rates in both counties increased.

In Mahaska County, there were 11 new cases of the coronavirus reported. The positivity rate over the last two weeks — a key metric in determining whether schools can switch to all-virtual instruction — was at 10.5% as of Sunday morning.

In Marion County, there were 14 new cases of COVID-19, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health. The positivity rate increased to 10.1%, the first time the rate has been beyond 10% since Sept. 26.

Confirmed cases of the virus in the Oskaloosa Care Center increased to 10, according to state data. Two have recovered.

At West Ridge Speciality Care in Knoxville, numbers remained the same from Saturday, with nine confirmed cases and six reportedly recovered.

In Iowa, there were 1,264 new cases of the virus reported and six new deaths. There were 6,261 new Iowans tested and 319 new recoveries.

The top-five counties in Iowa for case growth were Polk (172), Dubuque (85), Scott (65), Sioux (61) and Black Hawk (54).

The number of Iowans has dropped in recent days, but there were still 438 patients hospitalized as of Sunday morning, and 100 in an intensive care unit. There were 63 new patient admissions in the last 24 hours.

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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