State health officials reported 15 new COVID-19 cases in Story County on Thursday, the highest number of cases reported over a 24-hour span to date.


Three of the 15 individuals are residents at Bethany Life, a long-term care facility in Story City that was reported to have an outbreak last week. One resident has died as a result of the novel coronavirus, the Tribune reported Wednesday.


Steve Sullivan, a spokesperson for Mary Greeley Medical Center and Story County Public Health confirmed the additional cases, but only had information on eight of the patients.


Four of the individuals were tested through TestIowa, three were tested at a McFarland Clinic location and one at Bethany Life as of Thursday morning.


On Wednesday, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced plans to lift capacity restrictions on businesses, as well as allowing adult and senior day care facilities and swimming pools to reopen on Friday.


“I’m happy to say that Iowa’s COVID cases continue to trend in the right direction,” Reynolds said during a press conference at the state Capitol in Des Moines.


Although senior day care facilities are allowed to reopen on Friday, Heartland Senior Services in Ames will remain closed.


“Knowing the dangers this pandemic poses to our elderly, Heartland Senior Services will take a more conservative approach and not reopen our facility immediately,” Director Nancy Carroll said in a news release. “We miss our regular guests and look forward to welcoming them back, but our first priority is the health and safety of those we serve and our staff.”


On Thursday, health officials reported 331 new positive COVID-19 cases statewide, as well as nine new deaths.


Since the pandemic began, 22,786 Iowans have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, which has resulted in 638 deaths.


In Story County, over 3,500 county residents have been tested for the virus, but only 5.1% have tested positive, according to the state health department.


Of the 180 Story county residents who have tested positive, 106 have fully recovered.