Today’s NewsStand — Oct. 12, 2020

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

Iowa news

COVID-19 hospitalizations are surging in Iowa, but Gov. Kim Reynolds says hospitals can handle the load

Iowa set a record last Tuesday, with 444 patients hospitalized for COVID-19, many of them in the northwest part of the state. Despite the grim numbers, Gov. Kim Reynolds said the state’s hospitals can handle the surge. The hospital systems have surge plans that include possible transfers of patients to regions with fewer patients, but they have not had to invoke those yet, she said. (Des Moines Register)

How to get help if COVID-19 or the derecho is affecting your mental health

As we stretch into month seven of the coronavirus pandemic and deal with the aftermath of Iowa’s August derecho, many are feeling mentally fatigued. COVID Recovery Iowa employees want to help. “We do get lots of calls for housing and financial assistance,” said Teresa Zilk, spokesperson for CRI. “And a lot of that is a direct result of the derecho we had here.” (WeAreIowa.com)

On the front line: the community behind the caretakers

Hospitals are the places where the community goes to seek help, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, Siouxlanders stepped up and gave back to those working tirelessly on the front lines. Their generosity didn’t go unnoticed, and UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s highlights some of their favorite moments of community support. They showed us how those acts of kindness helped front line workers get through their toughest days. (Siouxland News)

National news

Preventive care dropped during COVID-19 pandemic despite rise in telehealth visits: study

There have been substantial decreases in primary care delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic despite the rapid uptick in the use of virtual care visits, according to a new study. Despite the interest in telehealth fueled by the pandemic, virtual care didn’t fill in the gap for missed primary care appointments, according to a study published in JAMA Open. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors turned to virtual consultations to continue to provide care to their patients. (FierceHealthcare)

Study: Increasingly popular telemedicine visits may have shortcomings

Telemedicine is hot. About a third of visits with primary care doctors are happening virtually. But, a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health expert warns they’re not always best. The number of blood pressure checks declined by half, and cholesterol checks dropped by more than one-third during a period when telemedicine visits were experiencing an “unprecedented surge” from 1.1% of total primary care consultations to 35.3% in the second quarter of 2020. That’s according to a study evaluating April-June 2020 data, comparing them to data from the second quarters in 2018 and 2019. (WTOP News)

Rural health care stressed as COVID-19 surges in Midwest

With COVID-19 ravaging Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers said a field hospital will open on the state fairgrounds next week to prevent care facilities from becoming overwhelmed. The situation comes as rural health care systems in the US struggle to survive. Among Midwestern states, Wisconsin isn’t alone in seeing the virus infect more people, but it still is near the top nationally in weekly cases per capita. Brock Slabach, senior vice president of the National Rural Health Association, said a big concern now is rural areas, where community spread has been hard to control. Making matters worse, it’s been difficult for residents in these areas to access care. (SeehaferNews.com)