Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|January 17, 2022

Iowa news

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics staff answers community member questions about COVID-19 and vaccines

Community members got the chance to have their questions about COVID-19 and vaccines answered by health professionals during a Facebook live hosted by the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. One of the biggest things Drs. Dan Diekema and Patricia Winokur stressed during this Q&A was continuing to take precautions during this omicron surge. Dr. Diekema said Johnson County has seen more cases than ever before in the pandemic, and that it’s the best safety measure to get your vaccine and booster now if you’re eligible. (KCRG)

Living with long COVID-19: Two Siouxland women share their struggles with lingering symptoms

When Barb Larimer washes, brushes or wrings the water out of her hair, a clump of the 50-year-old Sergeant Bluff woman’s golden blond locks falls out. Long COVID-19 symptoms have run the gamut for Muriel Walker — gastrointestinal issues, rashes, blurred vision, heart palpations, brain fog, hair loss and persistent pain in her back, hip, rib and chest. These ailments and others began after the 62-year-old Sioux City woman contracted the virus in May 2020. As omicron, the latest COVID-19 variant, rapidly spreads around the globe, there is a risk that more individuals could experience this mysterious condition. (Sioux City Journal)

Current COVID-19 surge causing worst delays of pandemic, Iowa hospital leaders say

The dire situation at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is the worst it has ever been throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with infected patient counts at an all-time high while more staff are out sick than before, the health care system’s leader said Thursday. The system — along with other hospitals across the state — are straining under the load, meaning patients are facing even longer wait times for their medical care than ever before. Last week, the Iowa Department of Public Health reported the highest coronavirus hospitalization rate seen statewide in this current surge, with 923 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 last Wednesday. It’s the highest total admissions for the virus seen in Iowa since December 2020. (The Gazette)

National news

What HHS data shows about ‘flurona’ hospitalizations

The word “flurona” — used to describe flu and coronavirus co-infections — has recently made headlines as the omicron variant rapidly spreads nationwide, fueling a major COVID-19 surge in the middle of flu season. Despite a heightened focus on the co-infections, first identified in the U.S. in 2020, few states have reported flurona hospitalizations to HHS. As of Jan. 6, the most-recent data available, 12 states and Washington, D.C., reported no patients hospitalized with both flu and COVID-19. Hospitals in another 13 states reported having just one or two patients with co-infections, and 16 hospitals reported three to nine patients. Just nine states reported 10 or more patients hospitalized with co-infections, with Virginia topping the list at 20 hospitalizations. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

For the first time, the CDC said cloth masks weren’t as effective as other options. “Wear the most protective mask you can,” the agency urged.

According to the CDC’s new description of masks, loosely woven cloth products provide the least protection and layered finely woven products offer more. Well-fitting disposable surgical masks and KN95s are more protective than all cloth masks, and well-fitting respirators, including N95s, offer the highest level of protection. (The New York Times)

Illinois hospital closes, terminates staff

Galesburg (Illinois) Cottage Hospital closed Jan. 8, and its workers were told by email that their employment was terminated. CEO Sanjay Sharma, PhD, wrote in a Jan. 7 email to employees that the decision to shut down the hospital was because of CMS’ decision to terminate the facility’s Medicare contract. He said the closure is temporary but didn’t provide a timeline for when the facility may reopen. Galesburg Cottage Hospital will not receive Medicare reimbursement for inpatient services provided to patients admitted after Jan. 14, CMS said in a termination notice published Dec. 29. The agency said the hospital is not in compliance with several Medicare rules, including those related to patient rights and nursing services. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

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