Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|January 6, 2022

Iowa news

Johnson County Public Health maintains contact tracing, but emphasizes education

Johnson County Public Health has shifted its COVID-19 contact tracing efforts, focusing on notification over case investigation of individual infections within the county. As other local agencies are scaling back their contact tracing — or discontinuing the process altogether — Johnson County Public Health officials said it’s a possibility that has come up more than once. But no decision about whether their strategy will change has been made at this time, said Sam Jarvis, the agency’s community health division manager. (The Gazette)

Omicron is now predominant coronavirus variant in Iowa, CDC says

The highly transmissible omicron variant of the coronavirus is now the predominant strain in the four-state region that includes Iowa, according to statistical models from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published Tuesday. The variant accounted for 77% of COVID-19 infections in Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas between Dec. 26 and Jan. 1, the CDC estimates. (Des Moines Register)

University of Iowa hospital looks to add tower on main campus

Even as crews are developing a new University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in North Liberty, UI Health Care is making plans for another tower and a new College of Medicine building and clinic on its main campus in Iowa City. Planning for those three projects — likely to cost in the hundreds of millions — is in its early stages. But they are envisioned to come online within the next decade or so, UI Hospitals and Clinics Chief Executive Officer Suresh Gunasekaran told reporters. First among UIHC’s expansion projects is a new hospital tower on its main campus — which regularly is near capacity and forced to turn away transfers, despite its 860 beds serviced by 16,500 employees, students and volunteers. Second in line is a teaching and research building for the UI Carver College of Medicine. (The Gazette)

National news

CDC could add a negative test to its new isolation guidelines, Fauci says

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering altering its recommendations for people with COVID-19 after it got pushback on its new guidelines, Dr. Anthony Fauci said. President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser said there was “some concern” that the CDC told people to isolate for five days but did not recommend that they get a negative test before leaving isolation. (National Public Radio)

COVID-19 vaccinations are not linked to pre-term births, researchers report

Women who received COVID-19 vaccinations while pregnant were at no greater risk of delivering their babies prematurely or of giving birth to unusually small babies than pregnant women who did not get vaccinated, a new study reports. The study, one of the first to examine the health of babies born to women vaccinated during pregnancy, was a reassuring signal. Low-birth-weight babies and infants born early are more likely to experience developmental delays and other health problems. (The New York Times)

A pediatrician’s advice to parents of kids under 5 on omicron, travel and day care

Amid the omicron surge, there is understandable anxiety among parents, particularly those with kids under 5 who can’t yet get a COVID-19 vaccine. They’re wondering how to navigate life with young children, what this means for travel plans and day care, and when the vaccine will become available. Ibukun Kalu is a pediatric infectious disease doctor at Duke University and says her hospital has already seen a rise in children being admitted. (National Public Radio)

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