Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the web.
The rate of COVID-19 tests in Iowa that came back positive in a 24-hour period ending at 11 am Sunday rose to 15.49 percent — the highest in more than five weeks. The latest tally represents the third consecutive day above a 12 percent positive rate. Iowa has not seen a surge of this extent since the first few days of May. The latest 15.49 percent rate means that of the 4,268 tests run in the period, 661 of them proved positive. (The Gazette)
Public health experts say infected people are not transmitting the novel coronavirus after 14 days — a key metric to help others understand when they may be at risk for exposure. But when it comes to understanding how this virus could affect Iowans’ overall health and the long-term implications for their well-being, that knowledge could be lacking under current tracking systems. Beyond deaths and hospitalizations, there’s no data to track the outcomes of COVID-19 patients. (The Gazette)
A counseling hotline initially set up to help people with mental health issues during the COVID-19 pandemic is expanding. It’s known as COVID Recovery Iowa and was one of the programs DHS started with federal funding. Experts with COVID Recovery Iowa say they’ve seen an increase in calls from people impacted by the derecho. They say while the signs and symptoms of mental health issues haven’t changed, they may be more pronounced. (KCRG)
With its steady growth over the last decade, telemedicine – diagnosis and treatment provided by phone or video – was already transforming the way patients were accessing health care before COVID-19. But the pandemic has accelerated its widespread adoption. Now, it’s experiencing exponential growth, with virtual health care interactions on pace to top one billion by the end of 2020 according to Forrester Research. (GoLocalProv.com)
Stephanie Bergmann brought her first child Evalynn into the world, in May, as it was swept up by the COVID-19 pandemic. During labor, she, like other new parents at UnityPoint Health – Meriter, had to get tested for the virus. The test came out to be negative, but two months later, she wasn’t so lucky. After getting positive test results, she immediately went into isolation. (WMTV)
As COVID-19 continues to spread, an increasing number of rural communities in the US find themselves without their hospital or on the brink of losing already cash-strapped facilities. Eighteen rural hospitals closed last year and the first three months of 2020 were “really big months,” says Mark Holmes, director of the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Many of the losses are in Southern states, including Florida and Texas, he says, and more than 170 rural hospitals have closed nationwide since 2005, according to data collected by the Sheps Center. (WAMU)