OSKALOOSA — State data showed that coronavirus cases in Marion County have started to tick upward in the last week.
The Iowa Department of Public Health reported 13 new cases between July 7-14, and a test positivity rate of about 6%.
While still far away from the number of positive cases seen each day during the height of the pandemic, through the entire month of June the county averaged one new case every two days. State data shows in July the county has been adding nearly two cases per day.
Two-thirds of positive tests in the last week have come from the 40-49-year-old age group, though all age groups from 0-69 are represented.
Mahaska County has added only three positive tests in the last week
Around Iowa, there were 80 hospitalized with COVID, including 26 in an intensive care unit. Those numbers are up slightly from mid-June but in line with what’s been reported in recent weeks. The record for hospitalizations in the state was more than 1,500 in November.
Iowa has distributed 3 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine today, resulting in 1.5 million vaccinated Iowa.
State data says about 46.2% of Iowans are considered fully vaccinated, a number that lags behind the federal average. About 48.2% of the American population is vaccinated.
Iowa ranks 24th in the nation among states and their vaccination rates per capita, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
About 35% of Marion County residents are considered fully vaccinated, compared to about 34% of residents in Mahaska County.
Low vaccination rates are being blamed for a rise in COVID-19 deaths and cases around the world, the Associated Press reported.
The World Health Organization reported Wednesday that deaths climbed last week after nine straight weeks of decline. It recorded more than 55,000 lives lost, a 3% increase from the week before.
Cases rose 10% last week to nearly 3 million, with the highest numbers recorded in Brazil, India, Indonesia and Britain, WHO said.
The reversal has been attributed to low vaccination rates, the relaxation of mask rules and other precautions, and the swift spread of the more-contagious delta variant, which WHO said has now been identified in 111 countries and is expected to become globally dominant in the coming months.
Sarah McCool, a professor of public health at Georgia State University, said the combination amounts to a "recipe for a potential tinderbox.”
"It’s important that we recognize that COVID has the potential for explosive outbreaks,’’ warned Dr. David Dowdy, an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins University.
In the U.S., with one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, newly confirmed infections per day have doubled over the past two weeks to an average of about 24,000, though deaths are still on a downward trajectory at around 260 a day.
Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the U.S., reported its fifth straight day Tuesday of more than 1,000 new cases.
Tokyo is under a fourth state of emergency ahead of the Summer Games this month, with infections climbing fast and hospital beds filling up. Experts have said caseloads could rise above 1,000 before the Olympics and multiply to thousands during the games.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.