OSKALOOSA — Marion County averaged nearly 18 new cases of the coronavirus per day in the last week, according to new state data.

The Iowa Department of Public Health released its weekly data update on Wednesday, which showed that cases continue to increase in the last week. Iowa reported 8,404 new individuals tested positive for the virus in the previous seven days. That’s slightly more than the 8,308 that had tested positive the week prior.

The younger population continues to drive case growth in the state. In the last week, children made up 29% of cases and those age 18-29 made up 18%. Similar numbers are seen in both Marion and Mahaska Counties.

Children make up 7% of those hospitalized in Iowa as of Wednesday, according to state data.

Over the last week, 125 new cases were reported in Marion County. In Mahaska County, 71 new cases were reported, or an average of about 10 per day.

There were 30 new deaths reported in Iowa, but none of those new deaths were in area counties. Deaths generally take a few weeks from when they occur to when they appear in state data.

To date, there have been 416,794 identified cases of the coronavirus in Iowa, with 6,337 deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control reported that about 1.6 million Iowans are fully vaccinated. That’s about 61.7% of the eligible population. Currently, anyone age 12 or above can receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Marion County leads the Herald-area in vaccinations, with 53.1% of its eligible population considered fully vaccinated. Of the three vaccines in use in the United States, two require two doses between 3-4 weeks apart and one only requires one dose.

In Mahaska County, 44% of eligible population is vaccinated.

Johnson County is the state’s top vaccinated county, according to the data.

There are 578 Iowans hospitalized with COVID-19, with 158 needing intensive care. State data on Wednesday showed that 88% of those in an intensive care unit are unvaccinated, and 79.4% of those hospitalized are unvaccinated.

The state reported 20 long-term care outbreaks in the state, but no longer provides data on individual outbreaks.

Kyle Ocker is the 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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Kyle Ocker is a Centerville native and award-winning multimedia journalist. Kyle is currently the president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and vice president of the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.

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