This is an image of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the disease that flared in Wuhan, China, in late December.

OSKALOOSA — Deaths related to the COVID-19 pandemic were reported in both Mahaska and Marion counties on Thursday. Meanwhile, Mahaska County also saw another surge in new cases.

Data from the Iowa Department of Public Health showed that between 10 a.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. Thursday, there were 13 new deaths reported around the state. Of those, one death was reported in Mahaska County and one in Marion County.

In the pandemic, there have been 22 deaths in Mahaska County and 10 in Marion County.

There were 17 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Mahaska County. The new cases continued a recent growth trend for the county, which has now seen 93 new cases confirmed in the last seven days.

In Marion County, there were nine new cases reported as of Thursday morning.

Iowa reported 1,410 new cases of the coronavirus. There were 1,065 new recoveries reported and 6,879 new individuals tested.

The top five counties for case growth were Polk (136), Scott (91), Woodbury (89), Dubuque (68) and Linn (63).

Between Wednesday and Thursday, the state eclipsed the 1,500 deaths threshold. As of 10 a.m. Thursday, there have been 1,505 Iowans die with COVID-19.

There have been 103,222 Iowans test positive for the coronavirus and 80,114 are reported to have recovered.

Hospitalizations hit a new record in the state Thursday, with 482 hospitalized with the coronavirus. There are 107 patients in an intensive care unit, and there were 66 new patients admitted in the last 24 hours.

The state reports out of about 2,700 beds available across the state that 34.6% are available.

According to the state's most recently available data from Oct. 13, hospitalizations ticked up in Mahaska County. At that time, there were five patients hospitalized in Mahaska County. There was one hospitalized in Marion.

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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