Governor, IDPH explain the COVID numbers they watch

For the past two weeks Gov Kim Reynolds has referred to metrics she is using to determine if stronger mitigation strategies, like a shelter-in-place order, are needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said the reference points are the percent of population older than 65 years of age; the percent of identified cases of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization; the rate of cases per 100,000 in population over a 14-day time period; and outbreaks in long term care facilities. Continue reading Governor, IDPH explain the COVID numbers they watch

Public health disaster extended to April 30

Gov. Kim Reynolds on Thursday signed a new proclamation continuing the State Public Health Emergency Declaration. The proclamation orders the closure of schools until April 30, waiving time requirements as long as school districts put in place a continuous learning plan.

The proclamation also extends closures and limits placed on bars and restaurants, previously identified retail stores, prohibits social gatherings of more than 10 people, and continues to ban nonessential and elective surgeries until April 30.

And it extends and expands the previously granted regulatory relief and other measures until April 30. Violating any of Governor Reynolds’ public health orders is a simple misdemeanor. Continue reading Public health disaster extended to April 30

Reynolds, IDPH share mental health tips

Watch for news Thursday about school calendar

The COVID-19 pandemic and dealing with it has become ordinary enough that Gov Kim Reynolds at her April 1 press conference on the subject spoke for nearly a minute without naming the disease or the virus. That included reciting how many new positive cases were identified in the past 24 hours (52, for a total of 549), how many tested negative ( 416 for a total 7,304), how many tests are available at the State Hygienic lab (1,449); how many Iowans are hospitalized as of Tuesday evening (63); how many have recovered (118); and how many Iowans died yesterday (two, for a total of nine). Continue reading Reynolds, IDPH share mental health tips

Supervisors okay employee leave time in compliance with FFCRA

by Janice Harbaugh for GreeneCountyNewsOnline

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), an act of Congress of “making emergency supplemental appropriations available for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2020,” was discussed by the Greene County board of supervisors at their regular meeting on March 30.

Since the courthouse remains closed to the public, only supervisors John Muir, Pete Bardole, Mick Burkett, and Tom Contner attended the meeting in person. Audio of the meeting was made available through a phone or computer link to Continue reading Supervisors okay employee leave time in compliance with FFCRA

Medical Center recruiting medical mask sewers

Greene County Medical Center is inviting community members to sew handmade medical masks.

The masks will be used by medical center employees and volunteers not involved in direct patient care – such as registration staff – who have been directed to wear protective equipment by the employee health or infection prevention staff.

Masks will also be used by visitors who request a mask and by patients without respiratory symptoms who request a mask or are being discharged from the hospital, emergency room or clinic to their home, a nursing facility or a group care facility. Continue reading Medical Center recruiting medical mask sewers

Public health disaster extended one week

Gov Reynold’s March 17 declaration of a public health disaster, and its regulations, were set to expire Tuesday, March 31, at 11:59. Tuesday afternoon Reynolds extended it for another week, through April 6 at 11:59.

She made no mention of it during her 2:30 pm press conference. She briefly updated the number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases and said an Iowan age 41-60 has died, bringing the total number of deaths to seven. Continue reading Public health disaster extended one week

COVID-19, a marathon, not a sprint

Gov Kim Reynolds’ rhetoric about the COVID-19 pandemic has changed in the two weeks since she declared a public health disaster in Iowa. At her daily press conference Monday she characterized the pandemic as “a marathon, not a sprint” in answering a question about how many peaks we can expect.

“Today starts the fourth week since coronavirus was first confirmed (in Iowa), and the reality is the end is not yet in sight,” Reynolds said. Continue reading COVID-19, a marathon, not a sprint

Medical Center trustees announce leadership changes

Tracy Warner

As the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the health care industry significantly, the Greene County Medical Center board of trustees on Thursday announced interim appointments to the medical center’s leadership team to “ensure critical positions are occupied by talented and qualified people” to lead the organization through challenging times, a press release stated.

Tracy Warner has been appointed interim chief executive officer (CEO). As the director of rural health resources for UnityPoint Health-Des Moines, the medical center’s affiliation partner, Warner has worked with the medical center over the past 14 years and is very familiar with it. Warner’s knowledge of rural health care and governance issues will be a stable presence in these challenging times while recruitment for a permanent CEO continues. Continue reading Medical Center trustees announce leadership changes

Medical Center describes COVID-19 planning

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is prominent in highly populated states and cities right now. Rural facilities, like Greene County Medical Center, have been preparing for a potential outbreak of COVID-19 for several weeks. The medical center and Greene County Public Health continue to work with Greene County Emergency Management, Greene County Ambulance and other health experts in the county in preparation for local COVID-19 cases. Continue reading Medical Center describes COVID-19 planning

Med center adds visitor restrictions

Greene County Medical Center first put visitor restriction in place for the long term care unit March 6, and placed restrictions on visitors throughout the building March 13.

Effective Tuesday, March 24, further restrictions are in place. Visitors are not allowed unless he or she is a designated caregiver AND the patient falls into one of four of the following categories: Continue reading Med center adds visitor restrictions

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