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Top 4 coronavirus positivity rates remain in Northwest Iowa
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Top 4 coronavirus positivity rates remain in Northwest Iowa

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This transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S.

SIOUX CITY -- Northwest Iowa continues to lead the way in a key novel coronavirus pandemic statistic, as the top positivity testing rates in Iowa are in four Siouxland counties.

The statistic measure local and state officials are watching is the 14-day average of positive tests in each of Iowa's 99 counties. The top positivity rate is in Sioux County, with 24.2 percent, followed by Lyon with 17.2 percent, Plymouth at 16 percent and O'Brien at 15.5 percent.

In late July, the Iowa Department of Education issued a directive that allowed school districts to ask permission to conduct all classes online for 14 days, if the two-week average of positive new tests is 15 percent or higher.

The positivity rate in Plymouth previously led the state over the last week of August, when the percentage was above 20 percent for many days.

Of all Northwest Iowa counties, Sioux has the third most positive cases with 1,125, behind the counties of Woodbury and Buena Vista.

Some school districts that have reported positive coronavirus cases in recent days include Spencer, Sibley-Ocheyedan and Westwood, which will not play its football game at Woodbury Central on Friday.

The number of people who have died in Woodbury County from COVID-19 rose by one Monday, to a total of 59. A man who died was between the ages of 61 and 80, according to Siouxland District Health Department.

In Woodbury County, 4,622 people have tested positive for the virus since March.

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild cases recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe ones can take three to six weeks to get better.

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