Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|February 10, 2021

Iowa news

Gov. Kim Reynolds defends decision to lift mask mandate, other COVID-19 restrictions

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Wednesday defended her decision to rescind a limited mask mandate and related restrictions, saying Iowans don’t need a government order to protect themselves from the coronavirus. Unlike many other governors, Reynolds did not implement a mask mandate during the initial wave of coronavirus infections in the spring. She issued her mandate in November, when infections and hospitalizations were surging throughout the state. The rule she put in place required Iowans to wear masks when indoors and unable to socially distance for 15 minutes or more. (Des Moines Register)

How three Iowans are working to drive down the Black maternal mortality rate

Black birthing people in Iowa are six times as likely to die from childbirth than their white counterparts. Olivia Samples has heard that statistic plenty of times. Quite frankly, they’re tired of hearing it. Samples, who is based in Des Moines, is a nonbinary holistic doula and provides emotional, educational and physical support to families throughout the process of becoming a parent. They specialize in serving Black and queer folks and primarily work in the areas of prenatal planning, labor support, postpartum care and lactation counseling, all while taking social determinants of health into consideration. (Business Record)

Iowa ranks near bottom of states in COVID-19 vaccine administration

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows Iowa ranks near the bottom among states in its ability to administer COVID-19 vaccinations. Previous CDC data showed Iowa at the bottom of the list. Iowa ranks 42nd in vaccine doses delivered to the state and 46th in doses administered. Only 7.5% of Iowans have received at least one vaccine dose. Alaska leads the nation at 15% receiving at least one dose. CDC data shows Iowa has received 510,550 vaccine doses. Iowa Department of Public health data shows the state has administered 348,042 of those doses. (KCCI)


National news

CDC chief urges states not to lift pandemic restrictions, cites rising variant cases

State officials shouldn’t lift COVID-19 restrictions as variant cases in the U.S. increase, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, said during a Feb. 8 White House news briefing. Dr. Walensky was asked about states ending mask mandates, along with some social distancing requirements for bars and restaurants. “I would discourage any such activity,” Dr. Walensky said. “We have yet to control this pandemic. We still have this emerging threat of variants, and I would just simply discourage any of those activities. We really need to keep all of the mitigation measures at play here if we’re really going to get control of this pandemic.” (Becker’s Hospital Review)

As COVID-19 vaccines raise hope, cold reality dawns that illness is likely here to stay

Vaccination drives hold out the promise of curbing COVID-19, but governments and businesses are increasingly accepting what epidemiologists have long warned: The pathogen will circulate for years, or even decades, leaving society to coexist with COVID-19 much as it does with other endemic diseases like flu, measles and HIV. The ease with which the coronavirus spreads, the emergence of new strains and poor access to vaccines in large parts of the world mean COVID-19 could shift from a pandemic disease to an endemic one, implying lasting modifications to personal and societal behavior. (The Wall Street Journal)

Report shows ‘vast improvement’ in state telehealth reimbursement policies

A report by Foley and Lardner found that the COVID-19 pandemic compelled state and federal policymakers to remove restrictions on and expand reimbursement for telehealth and virtual care at unprecedented rates. The firm, which monitors legal policy in the telemedicine and digital health industry, reported that 43 states and the District of Columbia implemented a version of a state telehealth commercial payer law – and the experts believe this year will trigger even greater expansion. (Healthcare IT News)

Become a hospital advocate. Sign up for IHA Action Alerts.

Click here