Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|February 4, 2022

Iowa news

Downtown hospital property sold to developer

After over a century as a hospital in downtown Marshalltown, UnityPoint Health has sold the property between East Main Street, South Third Avenue, East Church Street and South Fifth Avenue to a developer with future plans for “office, retail, residential and live/work space” use. UnityPoint is transitioning its operations to a new campus on the south edge of Marshalltown, which is expected to take around six months, and the sale will not affect day-to-day functionality in the meantime. (Marshalltown Times-Republican)

All-volunteer salon in Des Moines works to empower cancer patients

An all-volunteer salon in Des Moines is working to empower cancer patients as they navigate losing their hair during treatment. Empower Boutique and Salon provides free haircuts, head shavings and scalp massages to cancer patients. In honor of the upcoming International Women’s Day on March 8, four local artists are donating all of the profits from their prints to Empower Boutique and Salon for the next month. (KCCI)

Fighting COVID-19 information fatigue in Iowa

Rachel Fratzke led her Mercy Iowa City nursing staff in a meditation session to start the work day Monday morning. A nurse manager, she had the nurses do deep breathing exercises and think about when they first wanted to be a nurse, or how they felt about passing their certifying board exams. The session was necessary, Fratzke said, to deal with the facts of COVID-19 and the rippling effects the coronavirus is sending through the nurses’ workday but also home life. (KRRO)

National news

COVID-19 deaths are surging in low-vaccination states

More than 900,000 people have died in the United States from COVID-19 as of Friday, according to NBC News’ tally, and data shows that states with low vaccination rates have had the biggest share of deaths over the past six weeks. The country has recorded 100,000 deaths since Dec. 13. During that period, Tennessee, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania have the largest number of deaths when adjusted for population. Of those states, Pennsylvania is the only one to have fully vaccinated more than 60% of its population. “Fully vaccinated” means that at least two weeks have passed since a person has received the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine. (NBC News)

U.S. may see up to 76,000 more COVID-19 deaths through February

Even as nationwide COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations begin to fall, deaths are on the rise. CDC data shows the nation’s pandemic death toll was nearly 889,000 as of Feb. 3, and up to 76,000 more deaths could occur in the worst-case scenario by the end of the month. The CDC’s ensemble forecast predicts COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. could total between 933,000 and 965,000 by Feb. 26. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Medicare will cover 8 free COVID-19 home tests per month beginning this spring

In a reversal from its earlier position, the Biden administration has announced that people on Medicare will get up to eight free COVID-19 home tests each month, beginning in the spring. The administration said it will be the first time Medicare covers a free, over-the-counter test for enrollees. Medicare will pay pharmacies and other entities directly to allow enrollees to pick up the free tests. (USA Today)

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