Today’s Headline

Today’s Headline

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|January 26, 2022

Iowa news

New COVID-19 hospitalizations, cases in Iowa decline over past week; reported deaths on the rise

The spread of COVID-19 in Iowa slowed slightly over the previous week, according to data released Wednesday by the Iowa Department of Public Health. That’s an indication the wave fueled by the omicron variant may be starting to decline, although it’s too early to know for sure whether it’s reached its peak. After cresting above 1,000 patients early last week, the number of people hospitalized in Iowa with COVID-19 declined to 929 this week. That’s still higher than at any point during 2021, but it’s the first time that number has declined, week-over-week, in 2022. (Des Moines Register)

Mercy College receives approval for Master of Science in Nursing program

Mercy College of Health Sciences announced it has received approval from the Higher Learning Commission and the Iowa Board of Nursing to offer a Master of Science in nursing with an emphasis in organizational and systems leadership. The hybrid online and in-person program is for baccalaureate-prepared nurses to advance their skills in leadership and management. The program can be completed in as little as 1 1/2 years and offers full-time and part-time options. Graduates will be prepared to serve in positions of advanced practice, administration, education and research. The new program will be the eighth approved MSN nursing education program in Iowa. The first MSN cohort will start in fall 2022. (Business Record)

Iowa nursing homes wrestle with a COVID-19 resurgence that is less severe but still dangerous

The Spurgeon Manor nursing home made it through nearly two years of the COVID-19 pandemic without an outbreak. Then the omicron variant came calling. Extensive vaccinations and regular screenings were no longer enough to keep the extremely contagious strain of the coronavirus from sneaking into the Dallas Center facility. Routine testing of staff members had picked up an infection here and there, which was concerning, but not an emergency. Then Jan. 10, routine tests confirmed residents were starting to come down with the virus. By this week, eight of its 44 residents had tested positive. The rural nursing home joined dozens of other Iowa facilities wrestling with COVID-19 outbreaks, just months after the threat appeared to have receded. (Des Moines Register)

National news

U.S. hospitals have 3 different deadlines to fully vaccinate staff: All states’ dates in 1 place

CMS has issued a patchwork of COVID-19 vaccination deadlines in states to comply with the agency’s mandate for health care facilities participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Some states have earlier deadlines than others based on a Supreme Court decision to uphold the mandate and a federal court decision to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas. Health care facilities in the 24 states covered by the Supreme Court decision must ensure their employees have received at least one dose by Feb. 14 and are fully vaccinated by March 15. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Tested positive for COVID-19 and at high risk? How to get antiviral pills

With at-home COVID-19 testing kits beginning to arrive in Americans’ mailboxes nationwide, people who test positive for COVID-19 and at high risk for severe illness may want to seek out two newly authorized antiviral pills that have been shown to cut the risk of hospitalization or death. Unlike all other FDA-authorized COVID-19 treatments, which need to be given intravenously or by injection from a health care provider, the two antiviral pills — Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s molnupiravir — can be picked up at a pharmacy and taken at home. (NBC News)

Daily COVID-19 deaths during omicron surpass peak in delta wave

The nation’s seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases is falling, but deaths continue to rise and now are eclipsing levels seen during the delta wave, data from the CDC and Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University show. According to a Jan. 25 report from The Wall Street Journal, COVID-19 death averages have hit their highest levels since early 2021. The seven-day average for newly daily virus deaths reached 2,188 on Jan. 24, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

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