Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|September 1, 2021

Iowa news

Iowa has spent more than $2 million with these Utah companies for at-home COVID-19 testing

Iowa has spent more than $2 million so far to fund the statewide at-home coronavirus testing program that launched in mid-July. Most of that amount has paid for a new contract with one of several Utah-based companies involved in the previous version of the Test Iowa program, which did not follow the traditional competitive bidding process. The state in June signed the new $1.7 million contract with the Utah tech firm Qualtrics, which provides underlying digital services to help facilitate the at-home testing program. (Des Moines Register)

UIHC receives approval for new $230M North Liberty hospital

The State Health Facilities Council voted in a remote meeting Tuesday to approve the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics proposal to construct a $230 million hospital in North Liberty. The council, which had rejected the proposal 3-2 in February, approved the reapplication of a certificate of need by a 4-1 vote. The four-floor complex will be located at the intersection of Forevergreen Road and Iowa Highway 965 in North Liberty. Competing hospitals expressed concern that a hospital expansion would cut too deeply into primary care services already offered in the area, and does not have as much emphasis on tertiary medical needs. (Corridor Business Journal)

High percentage of delta variant cases hitting Polk County

The Iowa Department of Public Health says 968 COVID-19 positive specimens were collected in August. Of that sample, 99.6% were positive with the delta variant. Local doctors are concerned. “The delta variant has become the dominant strain and various studies have shown it is twice as transmissible as the previous alpha strain,” said Dr. Ravi Vemuri, with MercyOne Des Moines. (KCCI)

National news

At least 15M COVID-19 vaccine doses have been wasted in the US since March, new data shows

Pharmacies and state governments in the United States have thrown away at least 15.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines since March 1, according to government data obtained by NBC News — a far larger number than previously known and still probably an undercount. (NBC News)

3 times as many people died in August than July

August’s delta variant-driven COVID-19 surge made it one of the worst months of the entire pandemic. The US reported almost 4.22 million new coronavirus cases in August alone, making it the fourth-worst month for cases. And 26,805 Americans were reported dead, more than three times as many people as died in all of July. More Americans were reported dead of COVID-19 in the last week of August than in all of July. (USA Today)

When will the delta surge end?

The US has entered the fourth wave of the pandemic — or fifth, depending on which expert you ask. As the vaccination campaign lags and the contagious delta variant spreads, cases and hospitalizations are at their highest since last winter. COVID-19 deaths, too, are on a steady incline. But after every other peak has come a trough, often for reasons that were not immediately obvious. In Britain, where the variant is also the dominant form of the coronavirus, daily cases fell from a peak of 60,000 in mid-July to half that within two weeks, though they have since been climbing again. (The New York Times)

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