IDPH confirms 1 death, 38 additional COVID-19 cases in Iowa

OSKALOOSA — The Oskaloosa Community School District will transition to a hybrid learning model for grades 6-12, according to an announcement from the district.

The district will begin their transition Thursday, Nov. 20 until Friday, Dec. 4 for the middle school and the high school. The hybrid learning model is a blend of both face-to-face and online learning. Attendance and participation during hybrid learning, both online and in-person, is required.

At this time, the elementary school will continue learning face-to-face, according to the district.

Additionally, all building rentals will be paused, and all middle school activities are canceled until further notice under the hybrid learning model and Gov. Kim Reynolds’ current proclamation. Lunch will also be available every day, and parents can order a free to-go lunch from any district building. Face masks are required at all times in district buildings.

According to Superintendent Paula Wright, the district is seeing a majority of their positivity rates at the middle school and the high school.

“I’m asking for your help to slow the spread so that we can continue to avoid any further changes to the learning model,” said Wright in a public announcement Tuesday.

As of Tuesday morning, Mahaska County has added 24 new positive cases for a total of 445 active cases, according to the state’s COVID-19 data. This brings the county’s positivity rate to 21.7%.

Students in the Pella Community School District and the Knoxville Community School District are still learning face-to-face. As of Tuesday morning, Marion County has added 50 new positive cases for a total of 670 active cases, according to the state’s website. This brings the county’s positivity rate to 25.3%.

As of 3:17 p.m. Sunday, Mahaska County had eight hospitalizations, and Marion County had 18. Another death was reported in Marion County Tuesday, bringing the county’s death total to 17.

Iowa surpassed another grim milestone Tuesday and continued record levels of hospitalizations around the state.

Between Monday and Tuesday, there were 33 new deaths reported in Iowa, causing the state to reach more than 2,000 deaths. As of Tuesday morning, 2,024 Iowans have died with COVID-19 in the pandemic.

It took the state five months to reach 1,000 deaths, but just three months to hit 2,000. A model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation currently projects Iowa will hit 3,000 deaths by mid-December and 4,000 by late-January.

There were 3,563 new cases of the coronavirus reported in Iowa in the 24-hour period ending Tuesday morning.

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.

Oskaloosa Herald Group Editor Kyle Ocker contributed to this report.

Emily Hawk can be reached at 641-672-2581 or by email at ehawk@oskyherald.com.

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