COVID-19

KNOXVILLE — As another 38 cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in Marion County on Tuesday, a new long-term outbreak was reported.

An outbreak at The Cottages in Pella was reported, where there were seven cases. There was no change reported in the ongoing outbreak at Accura Healthcare in Knoxville.

Mahaska County saw another 29 cases of the coronavirus added between 10 a.m. Monday and 10 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Iowa added 4,441 new cases of the virus on Tuesday, as hospitalizations continued to rise statewide. As of Tuesday morning, a record 1,135 were in the hospital with COVID-19. A near-record 196 of them were in an intensive care unit. In the last 24 hours, 166 had been admitted into a hospital.

While state data showed 364 ICU beds were available, hospitals around the state were beginning to reach their capacity. Leaders of those hospitals have cautioned that the state’s hospital bed availability doesn’t account for whether there is staff available for those beds.

Des Moines television station KCCI reported Monday evening that that four hospitals under the UnityPoint umbrella were at capacity following a record surge of patients between Friday and Monday.

Iowa reported 27 deaths, none of those in the Herald’s coverage area. There were 8,893 new individuals tested and 1,873 new recoveries reported.

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 coronavirus.iowa.gov. 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 kocker@oskyherald.com. 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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