Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|June 22, 2021

Iowa news

Reynolds talks about mental health bill

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds recently signed a bill that would shift mental health funding from property taxes onto the state. Gov. Reynolds says Iowa was the only state in the country that funded mental health through a property tax levy. Gov. Reynolds says she’s proud of the bill that was put together and, although there was a stop at the legislature, they compromised and made the bill available. The bill, SF 619,  will phase out the mental health levy over two years. (KICD)

St. Luke’s extending visitor hours, now allowing children 12 and older

Effective Monday, June 28, UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids will implement changes to its visitor policy. St. Luke’s visiting hours will be extended from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Hospital visitors are limited to two visitors per patient, per room. But the visiting age has been lowered to include children 12 and older. Visitors must be in good health and will be screened, have a badge provided, and wear a mask. (KGAN)

Pandemic proves need to invest in public health, Linn County director says

As Iowa begins reflecting on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, one local public health director says a key piece of that conversation should focus on strengthening the public health infrastructure. “I’m not sure people are ready to face another onslaught of COVID-19 unless we have a robust infrastructure,” said Linn County Public Health Director Pramod Dwivedi. According to Dwivedi, creating a robust infrastructure should focus not just on a state level, but also on the local level by channeling more funding into those health departments and building up public health staffing in Iowa. Some funding is expected to reach local departments after the Biden administration and Congress allocated $7.4 billion from the American Rescue Plan to support public health, including grants to “expand, train and modernize the public health workforce for the future.” (The Gazette)

National news

White House to concede it’s likely to miss original July 4 vaccination target

The Biden administration planned to concede Tuesday that it will likely fall short of President Joe Biden’s goal of partially vaccinating 70% of American adults by Independence Day, but insist it has “succeeded beyond our highest expectations” in returning the nation to a pre-pandemic normal. Jeffrey Zients, the head of the White House Covid-19 response team, was slated to announce that the administration has hit its 70% vaccination target among Americans ages 30 and older, and is poised to reach that threshold for those 27 and older by the Fourth of July. (NBC News)

The hard realities of a ‘no jab, no job’ mandate for health care workers

Christopher Richmond keeps a running tab on how many workers at the ManorCare skilled nursing facility he manages in western Pennsylvania have rolled up their sleeves for a COVID-19 vaccine. Although residents were eager for the shots this year, he’s counted only about 3 in 4 workers vaccinated at any one time. The excuses, among its staff of roughly 100, had a familiar ring: Because COVID-19 vaccines were authorized only for emergency use, some staffers worried about safety. Convenience mattered. In winter, shots were administered at work through a federal rollout. By spring, though, workers had to sign up online through a state program — a time-sucking task. (Kaiser Health News)

CDC launches COVID-19 WhatsApp chat in Spanish to spur more Latino vaccinations

As Latinos continue to get hit with disinformation in Spanish about the COVID-19 vaccine on social media and messaging platforms, the federal government is making an attempt to fight back by partnering with WhatsApp to deliver information in Spanish to users. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is announcing on Monday a COVID-19 vaccine WhatsApp chat in Spanish to help get more Latinos inoculated. (NBC News)

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