Today’s NewsStand — March 26, 2020

Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the web.

Iowa news

1 new coronavirus case brings Black Hawk Co. to 4; county’s PPE shipment ‘disappointing’

Black Hawk County has one new positive case of coronavirus, with local health officials saying it was not related to the other three cases but was travel-related, meaning the county currently had no documented community spread as of Tuesday. (Waterloo Courier)

Iowa’s largest hospital directs workers to reuse face masks when treating non-coronavirus patients

Iowa’s largest hospital has instructed its health care workers to reuse face masks to conserve its supplies during the coronavirus outbreak. The directive, from Suresh Gunasekaran, CEO of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, said that some face masks not used while treating patients who have or are suspected to have the virus should be reused unless they become “visibly contaminated.” (Des Moines Register)

UIHC has considered using residence halls for staff housing as part of coronavirus response

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has talked with the UI about using residence halls — largely vacant because of the coronavirus outbreak — as part of the hospital’s response to the virus. However, residence halls adjacent to the UIHC would more likely be used as temporary housing for hospital staffers who can’t get home than for patients, said Suresh Gunasekaran, UI Health Care CEO. (The Gazette)

 

National news

Nationwide Foundation donates medical supplies to hospitals, $5 million to charities to help against pandemic

The Nationwide Foundation is donating $5 million to help and support charities during the coronavirus pandemic. The foundation said it is giving $1 million each in national response grants to the American Red Cross, Feeding America and the United Way. Grants worth a total of $2 million will be given to communities where Nationwide companies do business. The foundation also donated medical supplies including masks and surgical gloves to Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Ohio Health in Columbus, and MercyOne and UnityPoint in Des Moines. (WBNS-TV)

New clinic in Albert Lea put on hold by coronavirus

The coronavirus crisis has a new victim … the MercyOne clinic project in Albert Lea, Minnesota. Plans had been for the facility to open by October. MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center, however, has put the brakes on the project because of COVID-19. The Albert Lea Healthcare Coalition had worked to bring a new medical provider to town after Mayo Clinic Health System announced it would move inpatient services from Albert Lea to its Austin, Minnesota campus. It was announced in September 2019 that MercyOne would be that new provider. (KIMT-TV)

COVID-19 threatens health of rural hospitals

When the doctor is ready to see you at Dayton General Hospital, in some cases he arrives on wheels in the form of cart-mounted video communications. The telehealth cart is one way the rural hospital has been providing care while cutting back on the use of its decreasing supply of personal protective equipment. It’s also a way to allow a provider to speak with an isolated patient without exposing the doctor. Strategies like this are how Dayton General continues to offer care as a critical access hospital during what could be a devastating time for the hospital. (Union-Bulletin)