Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|January 24, 2022

Iowa news

With COVID-19 straining hospitals and schools, we all can do something to help

The suffering from COVID-19 never stopped. But its visibility might never have been greater than it is now, even considering the disease’s early rampages overseas and on the U.S. coasts and during the winter 2020-21 surge. For practical purposes, the door slammed shut about a year ago for any significant government intervention in Iowa, when Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a law requiring full-time in-person schooling and a few days later allowed some limited mask-wearing requirements to expire. The Biden administration, also a year old now, has fallen short of expectations for both compassion and competence, expectations born from candidate Joe Biden’s promises for sufficient testing and personal protective equipment. (Des Moines Register)

COVID-19 infections in Iowa care facilities are up 117% in one week

The number of COVID-19 infections in Iowa nursing homes more than doubled last week and now stands at 821. The Iowa Department of Public Health said this week that as of Jan. 18, there were 63 Iowa nursing homes – about 15% of all skilled nursing facilities in the state – that were in outbreak status. Those 64 outbreaks have so far resulted in 821 infections of staff members and residents. The data shows that over the past week, the number of nursing home outbreaks in Iowa increased 52%, from 41 to 63, and the number of infections increased 117%, from 378 to 821. (Iowa Capital Dispatch)

What’s the cost of COVID-19? For one Iowa patient, a $1 million medical bill

The pandemic is drawing close to its third year, as of this March, and coronavirus infections continue to send Iowans to the hospital. The omicron variant has driven new cases to the highest ever weekly total since March 2020 as of this past week, and hospitalizations reached more than 1,000 admissions statewide. With Iowans continuing to fall ill to this virus, health care systems statewide still are trying to gain an understanding of what the financial toll will be. (The Gazette)

National news

U.S. COVID-19 cases down 5% last week: 11 CDC findings

The U.S. saw a marginal decrease in new COVID-19 cases and deaths last week, while hospitalizations figures ticked up slightly, according to the CDC’s COVID data tracker weekly review published Jan. 21. As of Jan. 19, the nation’s seven-day case average was 744,616, a 5% decrease from the previous week’s average. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Yes, you can catch the flu and COVID-19. No, ‘flurona’ isn’t real.

It would have been hard to know in March 2020 that COVID-19 testing limitations in New York City would help lead doctors at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx to a fascinating surprise. Testing for COVID-19 at the time was sluggish and expensive and in limited supply. Hospitals citywide were beginning to overfill. So doctors at the hospital often ordered several tests for patients, trying to identify — or eliminate from suspicion — other possible infections. First, they’d rule out influenza and RSV, common infections. Then, they’d test for COVID-19 and a slew of other viruses using the same sample at the same time. (NBC News)

Hospitals ask Congress to add $25B to relief fund

The American Hospital Association is urging Congress to include several priorities in legislation to fund the government beyond Feb. 18, including adding billions of dollars to the provider relief fund. The AHA is urging Congress to add $25 billion in additional relief fund dollars to help providers address the financial strain caused by the delta and omicron surges. The AHA said the relief fund has been a “lifeline” for hospitals, but no distributions have been made or announced for expenses related to the delta and omicron surges. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

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