KNOXVILLE — State data reports that Marion County has had its second death due to the coronavirus, while the county added seven new cases.

The second death was of an elderly individual, more than 81 years old, who had underlying conditions, according to the Marion County Public Health Department.

The 14-day positivity rate in Marion County decreased slightly to 16.4% as of 10 a.m. Thursday, according to data from the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Mahaska County saw an increase of nine cases on Thursday. The 14-day positivity rate was 6.3%, the state reported.

According to state data, Mahaska County has 57 active cases while Marion County has 303.

Across the state, there were nine new deaths reported, 502 new recoveries and 5,410 new individuals tested.

The top-four counties in terms of new positive tests reported Thursday morning were Polk (105), Story (100), Johnson (99), and Woodbury (34). Dallas and Plymouth counties each had 22 new cases 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 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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