Today’s NewsStand — July 22, 2020

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

Iowa news

New machine offers COVID-19 tests in under 60 minutes

As COVID-19 continues to spread, the Mitchell Co. Regional Health Center is joining a list of north Iowa hospitals adding diagnostic devices that can quickly test for the deadly virus. Just added to the hospital’s lab last week, the BioFire Torch can detect not only COVID-19, but also other viruses like whooping cough, influenza and rhinovirus, and bacteria. The BioFire Torch and its sister machine the Cepheid can detect if there is a positive test in just under an hour. (KIMT)

Hy-Vee to hand out more than 3 million free masks to customers entering its stores

In an effort to protect its customers and employees from COVID-19, Hy-Vee will distribute free masks to those entering its stores starting Monday, July 27. The company will hand out more than 3 million free masks in an effort to help support the CDC’s recommendation to wear masks in public by launching a new initiative called “Mask It Up To Shut COVID Down. It’s Your Choice.” Starting July 27, employees will be stationed at the front doors of all stores to hand out masks to customers who are not wearing one prior to shopping. Customers will also see signage, employee attire, and other reminders around the store about the educational campaign. (Hy-Vee.com)

Coronavirus outbreak at Iowa pork plant was larger than state reported

The first confirmed coronavirus outbreak at an Iowa meatpacking plant was far more severe than previously known, with more than twice as many workers becoming infected than the state Department of Public Health told the public, newly released records show. The department announced at a May 5 news conference that 221 employees at the Tyson Foods pork processing plant in Columbus Junction had tested positive for COVID-19. But days earlier, Tyson officials told Iowa workplace safety regulators during an inspection that 522 plant employees had been infected to their knowledge, documents obtained through the open records law show. (Des Moines Register)

National news

Telehealth is the new normal, but so is online fraud

What a difference a couple of months of pandemic makes. Before COVID-19, the United States telehealth market was estimated at about $3 billion with 11% of consumers using telehealth in 2019. Fast forward to pandemic-plagued 2020, the telehealth market is poised to grow to $250 billion with 46% of consumers now using telehealth, according to McKinsey & Company. McKinsey also found that 76% of consumers are highly or moderately likely to use telehealth in the future and 74% of people who had used telehealth reported high satisfaction. (HealthITSecurity)

Amazon to open 20 health centers for employees in 5 cities

Amazon plans to launch 20 health centers in five cities to provide primary care to employees. The initiative, dubbed Neighborhood Health Centers, will provide primary care services for employees as soon as they join the company. The pilot program will serve around 115,000 employees and families at select locations across the U.S. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

4 ways telehealth is changing health care consumer behavior for the better

Data from the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic shows that U.S. consumers made a massive shift to telehealth. What’s more, a majority of new adopters want to keep using it in the months ahead. Five percent of Americans have used telehealth for the first time since the onset of COVID-19, according to a report from the PwC Health Research Institute, which surveyed more than 2,500 consumers in early April. Applied to the entire U.S. population, that equates to more than 16 million Americans, the consultancy estimates. Moreover, nearly 9 in 10 survey respondents said they would be willing to use telehealth again. (HealthTech Magazine)