Some 60 million people across the country’s rural areas rely on small local hospitals for medical care. But as the delta variant rages on, the hospitals that provided a lifeline to these communities now find themselves drained of the resources that sustained them: nurses. A boom in demand for travel nurses, who work short stints at hospitals around the country to fill high-demand positions, has exacerbated a longtime staffing issue, with rural nurses enticed away by salaries that can be almost 10 times what they made in their hometown. NBC News
The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) — heading into the fall and winter months with COVID-19 still spreading — is preparing for another surge, albeit different from the one that stressed the campus last year. This time around, UIHC CEO Suresh Gunasekaran told the Board of Regents on Wednesday, non-COVID-19 patients aren’t putting off care. The Gazette
Hospitals around the country are seeing a spike in unvaccinated pregnant women with COVID-19. That includes Iowa’s largest hospital. In the last month, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has cared for six unvaccinated pregnant women with COVID-19 in the medical intensive care unit. Iowa Public Radio
The first results from the highly anticipated trial studying the effectiveness and safety of the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 showed promising results. The pharmaceutical companies said early results of their trial indicate the vaccine is safe for children and establishes a strong antibody response against the virus.
Idaho hospitals are so overwhelmed with the surge in coronavirus cases that doctors and nurses have to contact dozens of regional hospitals across the West in hopes of finding places to transfer individual critical patients. The situation has grown so bad that the Idaho Department of Health and Wellness announced Thursday that the entire state is in a hospital resource crisis, permitting medical facilities to ration health care and triage patients. NBC News
Governor Greg Gianforte on Friday announced that the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services (DPHHS) has issued an emergency rule designed to ease the strain on hospital capacity across the state. The temporary emergency rule waives regulations to make it easier for hospitals to transfer certain patients to other healthcare facilities, freeing up needed hospital beds. KRTV