OSKALOOSA — Mahaska and Marion counties combined Wednesday to add 19 coronavirus cases Wednesday.

Between 10 a.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. Wednesday, the Iowa Department of Public Health reported 12 new cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in Marion County. In that span, Mahaska County added seven new cases.

The outbreaks at the Oskaloosa Care Center and the West Ridge Specialty Care in Knoxville showed no increase in cases Wednesday. To date, there have been three test positive at the Oskaloosa Care Center and nine positive at West Ridge.

Statewide, there were 919 new cases of COVID-19 reported Wednesday morning. There were also 15 deaths, as the state is up to 1,414 since the pandemic began.

The top-five counties for growth Wednesday were Polk (84), Dubuque (81), Woodbury (53), Linn (49) and Scott (43).

There were 5,602 new individuals tested between Tuesday and Wednesday morning, with 1,064 new recoveries.

To date, there have been 94,342 Iowans who have tested positive for the coronavirus, with 73,327 having recovered.

Hospitalizations continued to increase, now at an all-time high in the state for the pandemic. State public health reported that 444 patients are hospitalized, with 104 in the intensive care unit. In the last 24 hours, 97 have been admitted which exceeds the previous record in April for single-day admissions by 37.

The most recently available statistics for hospitalizations on a county level were posted Monday by the Iowa Department of Public Health. That data showed five were hospitalized in Mahaska County and four hospitalized in Marion County.

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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