This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab. Image captured and colorized at NIAID's Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) in Hamilton, Montana.

OSKALOOSA — There were 22 new deaths from the coronavirus in Iowa reported in state data Wednesday, along with nearly 3,000 new positive cases of the virus.

Between 10 a.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. Wednesday, the state saw another 2,964 individuals test positive for COVID-19, according to data from the Iowa Department of Public Health. It’s the highest 24-hour tally in nearly a week.

Of the new cases, 35 were in Mahaska County and 15 were in Marion County.

There was a new death reported in Marion County, the county’s 22nd since the pandemic began.

Iowa reported that 6,897 individuals were tested for the first time in the last 24 hours. There were 4,816 recoveries reported.

Hospitalizations remained relatively flat from Tuesday’s numbers. State data reported that 1,162 were hospitalized in the state and 226 were in an intensive care unit. There were 181 new admissions in the last 24 hours.

Bed availability dipped slightly to 352, the lowest number reported since last week when 344 were available. The statistic doesn’t account for whether the free beds are staffed and truly open, or could be opened.

There were 18 Marion County residents hospitalized, and two in Mahaska.

The 14-day positivity rate average rose in Mahaska County to 18.6% with the 24-hour spike in cases. The rate was down to 16.7% in Marion County.

Active cases rose again in Mahaska County to 457.

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.

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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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