Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|February 18, 2022

Iowa news

Should unvaccinated people be denied health care? Iowa medical ethicist weighs in

Should COVID-19 vaccine status determine health care? Ethics in medicine tell us providers should never limit or deny care to someone based on vaccine status, a University of Iowa expert says. The pandemic’s latest surge resulted in a major uptick in COVID-19 cases that threatened to overwhelm hospitals nationwide. Health care system leaders warned they may not have capacity for all patients in need if they ever reached their breaking point. The situation has changed, and hospitalizations statewide have been dropping in recent weeks. Case counts and positivity rates are also on the decline. (The Gazette)

UnityPoint Health names Joiner chief diversity officer

UnityPoint Health has selected Daniel Joiner to lead the health system’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts as its first chief diversity officer. Joiner, who previously was interim system DEI consultant for UnityPoint Health, led a systemwide effort to design and implement a DEI framework and approach for the organization. Additionally, he was the diversity and community impact officer for UnityPoint Health-Trinity in the Quad Cities. He has been with UnityPoint Health since 2015. Joiner will begin his new role Feb. 27. (Business Record)

COVID-19 surge continues downward, as Iowa limits what’s reported

The latest COVID-19 surge in Iowa is continuing its downward trend as state officials transition to a new phase of reporting pandemic numbers. The new coronavirus data released this week by the Iowa Department of Public Health is more limited compared to previous weekly totals. On Tuesday, state officials shut down its online coronavirus dashboard, Coronavirus data has shifted to a Department of Public Health website, The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations is no longer reported, and the number of long-term care facilities with outbreaks is no longer reported. Also, seven-day positivity rates for the state and counties are no longer reported. (The Gazette)

National news

Woman is cured of HIV using a novel treatment

A woman of mixed race appears to be the third person ever to be cured of HIV, using a new transplant method involving umbilical cord blood that opens up the possibility of curing more people of diverse racial backgrounds than was previously possible. Cord blood is more widely available than the adult stem cells used in the bone marrow transplants that cured the previous two patients, and it does not need to be matched as closely to the recipient. (New York Times)

Why some Chicago hospitals aren’t requiring front-line workers to get COVID-19 boosters

Although many Chicago hospitals required employees to get the initial two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, several are not requiring booster shots, reflecting the challenges and pressures health care providers face amid a nationwide health care worker shortage. Some of Chicago’s largest hospital chains confirmed they’re not requiring employees receive the third jab despite data showing that protection against the COVID-19 virus and its variants drops sharply for those without a booster. (Modern Healthcare)

Record number of patients caught COVID-19 in hospitals last month

The daily total of patients who acquired COVID-19 while in the hospital hit a record of about 4,700 in January. This figure peaked at about 1,100 patients during the delta wave, and reached 2,050 during the peak of the pandemic’s first winter surge in 2020. Thomas Tsai, M.D., a public health researcher at Harvard University, who helped review HHS data, said the proportion of patients with hospital-acquired COVID-19 as a share of all non-coronavirus patients closely aligns with case numbers in their surrounding communities. The data indicates the overall percentage of patients who contract COVID-19 in the hospital doubles on days when surges reach their highs compared to days when cases are at low points. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

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