Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|March 25, 2022

Iowa news

Iowa reports fewest COVID-19 deaths since September

Iowa’s COVID-19 metrics continue to trend in a positive direction. The number of Iowans hospitalized dropped by more than half since last week, marking only the second period since the pandemic began — the other being a stretch from May to July 2021 — that fewer than 100 people were hospitalized. (Des Moines Register)

Iowa Cancer Consortium seeks project grant proposals

The Iowa Cancer Consortium has announced an invitation for proposals for the FY23 Iowa Cancer Plan Implementation Grants. Applicants can apply for up to $25,000 for projects that reduce the burden of cancer in Iowa. The consortium supports cancer control implementation projects every year proposed by organizations that are in the best position to understand which approaches to cancer control are likely to be most effective in their own communities. The consortium is a partnership of more than 500 health care providers, public health professionals, caregivers, researchers, cancer survivors, volunteers and others who work together to reduce the burden of cancer in Iowa. (Business Record)

Iowa’s health, human services agencies to merge: If it works, you won’t notice, leader says

Iowans will soon be hearing references to a new state agency name: The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services. Administrators are moving ahead with plans to merge the Iowa Department of Public Health with the Iowa Department of Human Services, which already is the largest agency in state government. The agencies have released a preliminary organization chart, which they plan to begin putting into place this year. A budget bill introduced in the Iowa House of Representatives this week includes language that would bolster administrators’ authority to make the changes. (Des Moines Register)

National news

BA.2 accounts for 35% of U.S. cases; Major surge unlikely

The omicron subvariant BA.2 accounts for more than one-third of COVID-19 cases nationwide. This figure sat at 22.3% in the week ending March 12 and 12.6% in the week ending March 5. Of HHS’ 10 surveillance regions, the subvariant was most prevalent in region 1 and 2 at 55.4% and 51.8%, respectively. Region 1 includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, while region 2 includes New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Black adults were hospitalized at higher rates than whites during the U.S. omicron wave

Black adults were hospitalized at nearly four times the rate of white adults during the omicron wave in the U.S. Part of the reason is lagging vaccination rates among Black adults, but that doesn’t account for the entire racial disparity. Black adults were more likely to end up hospitalized than white adults, regardless of their vaccination status. (The New York Times)

Will baby boomers unretire?

Economists are curious as to whether baby boomers who accelerated their retirement during the pandemic will return to the workforce, and if so, at what rate. About 2.6 million older workers retired above ordinary trends since the start of the pandemic two years ago. Despite this boom, applications for Social Security benefits have remained fairly flat, based on calculations by the Boston College Center for Retirement Research. About 0.1% of the U.S. population 55 and older have applied each month, which is in line with pre-pandemic applications. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

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