KNOXVILLE — Marion County Public Health officials said Wednesday afternoon that another resident of the county has died.

To date, it's the fourth resident to die due to COVID-19. The person was older than 80-years-old, the officials said.

There were 775 new cases of the COVID-19 disease in Iowa, state data reported on Wednesday morning.

There were six new cases of the disease reported in Mahaska County, upping active cases to 80 according to state data on Wednesday morning. Marion County added two cases between 10 a.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. Wednesday.

There were 44 new individuals tested in Mahaska and 34 in Marion, according to data from the Iowa Department of Public Health.

As of 10 a.m., the state reported that in Marion County in the last 14 days that 12.2% of coronavirus tests have returned a positive result. The rate in Mahaska County was 9.4%.

Jefferson County added four new cases, as well, while the rest of the Courier coverage area remained idle on Wednesday.

Statewide, there was one new death in the state, 748 new recoveries and 5,733 new individuals tested.

The top-five counties around the state in terms of case growth were Polk (106), Woodbury (51), Scott (44), Dubuque (39), and Linn (36).

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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