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 — There were 31 new cases of the COVID-19 disease reported Friday morning in Marion County, while neighboring Mahaska County added 12.

The case growth comes as the state announced another significant tally of 1,183 new disease cases statewide and three new deaths. There were 477 new recoveries reported in Iowa Friday and 7,632.

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

Marion County’s 14-day positivity rate fell nearly one percent in the last 24 hours, now at 15.5%. There were 146 new individuals tested, according to state data in the last 24 hours.

While case growth had dipped slightly from recent norms in the last few days, Marion County remains one of the fastest-growing counties in Iowa. In the last week, the number of confirmed cases has grown by 27.8%. Only eight counties in Iowa have grown more in that time.

Marion County has had 547 confirmed disease cases since the pandemic began, and 328 are considered active by the state. Just 14 counties in the state have more active cases.

In Mahaska County, 85 new individuals were reported tested since Thursday, and the positivity rate is 6.8%, according to state data.

To date, Mahaska County has had 245 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 69 remain active, according to state data.

The Oskaloosa High School will shift to a hybrid learning model next week, they announced Friday.

The top-five counties in terms of new cases between Thursday and Friday were Polk (152), Johnson (132), Story (93), Black Hawk (60) and Woodbury (46).

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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