COVID-19 tests

This is a picture of CDC’s laboratory test kit for SARS-CoV-2 (also known as COVID-19 or coronavirus). CDC tests are provided to U.S. state and local public health laboratories and Department of Defense laboratories that were either previously qualified for being able to perform a similar type of test used to detect influenza or have been recently approved by their state public health laboratory for SARS-CoV-2 testing.

OSKALOOSA — The region’s coronavirus cases continued to grow, and state data reported new deaths in both Marion and Mahaska counties.

There were 3,627 new cases of COVID-19 statewide between 10 a.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday, according to numbers from the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Of those, 48 were in Marion County and 24 were in Mahaska County.

Each county reported one new death in state data. For Marion County, it's the 18th death since the pandemic reached Iowa. It's the 27th death recorded in Mahaska County.

In the last two weeks, 23.7% of tests taken by Marion County residents have returned positive in the last 14 days — more than four times the rate the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says determines a hot spot.

The rate is Mahaska County is down to 19.2% over the last two weeks.

Statewide hospitalization numbers remain at near-record numbers, with 1,416 Iowans in the hospital with COVID-19 and 273 of them in an intensive care unit. There were 200 admissions in the last 24 hours, according to state data.

Iowa had another 32 die from COVID-19. There were 9,141 Iowans were tested for the first time in the last 24 hours, and 1,442 were reported to have recovered from COVID-19.

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.

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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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