COVID-19

COVID-19 infections in Iowa nursing homes double in two weeks

BY: - January 15, 2022

The number of reported COVID-19 infections in Iowa nursing homes has doubled over the past two weeks, according to newly released data from state health officials. There were 41 outbreaks reported in Iowa care facilities last week, compared to 23 two weeks prior, and 16 outbreaks four weeks prior, the Iowa Department of Public Health […]

Online orders for free at-home COVID tests to begin Jan. 19

BY: - January 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Friday launched a new website for Americans to request up to four free COVID-19 tests per household. The administration is buying 1 billion at-home rapid COVID-19 tests, and Americans will be able to begin ordering the tests online on Jan. 19 at COVIDtests.gov. This is part of the administration’s effort to […]

Rep. Ashley Hinson tests positive for COVID-19

BY: - January 14, 2022

U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson tested positive for COVID-19, she announced Friday morning. “Yesterday afternoon, I began experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms,” Hinson said in a statement. “I took a COVID-19 test and the results were positive.” Hinson, a Republican, said she is fully vaccinated and boosted, and she intends to follow Centers for Disease Control and […]

Supreme Court blocks Biden workplace vaccine rule, allows health care workers mandate

BY: - January 13, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday dealt a blow to the Biden administration’s fight against the pandemic, blocking a federal mandate that workers be vaccinated or regularly tested for COVID-19 — though the court allowed a separate rule requiring vaccinations for some health care workers. The two rulings represented a split victory for Republican attorneys general from Ohio, Missouri, […]

Biden sends medical teams to 6 states, promises more free COVID tests and masks

BY: - January 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the federal government will deploy military medical units to six states to assist hospitals overwhelmed with the recent spike of the omicron coronavirus variant. Starting next week, more than 120 medical personnel — the beginning of a deployment of 1,000 service members — will go to hospitals […]

National Guard COVID vaccine mandate creating ‘dilemmas’ in Iowa troops

BY: - January 13, 2022

The Department of Defense COVID-19 mandate is creating “dilemmas” for the Iowa National Guard, Maj. Gen. Ben Corell told the Legislature on Thursday. “Let me be clear: Federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates will no doubt impact our organization,” Corell, adjutant general, said in his annual Condition of the Guard address. “These mandates have already started to […]

Iowa’s COVID infection rate hits all-time high

BY: - January 12, 2022

The rate of new confirmed coronavirus infections in Iowa recently surpassed the state’s previous peak in November 2020, according to newly released state data. On Sunday, the state’s one-week total for COVID-19 cases was nearly 38,000. The previous peak in 2020 was about 34,000. That means an average of more than 5,400 people have been […]

Complaints about White House handling of COVID-19 aired at U.S. Senate hearing

BY: - January 11, 2022

WASHINGTON — Senators from both political parties expressed their frustration with the Biden administration coronavirus response team during a Tuesday hearing that keyed in on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance on vaccines, as well as the shortage of COVID-19 tests available for Americans. The hearing also was highlighted by a tense exchange between […]

COMMENTARY

Lurking behind lackluster jobs gain are a stagnating labor market and the threat of omicron

BY: - January 9, 2022

By Christopher Decker The first U.S. jobs report of 2022 showed continued – if lackluster – growth. But perhaps of greater significance for the economic year ahead are two factors that lurked behind the headline unemployment rate: a stagnating labor pool and the impact of omicron. First, the good news. The economy did add jobs […]

Supreme Court appears wary of Biden vaccine-or-test employer mandate

BY: - January 7, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority appeared unconvinced Friday of the Biden administration’s authority to impose a vaccine-or-test mandate on private businesses, casting doubt on a key piece of the White House COVID-19 response. The justices seemed potentially more comfortable with another Biden administration rule to fight the virus that requires certain health care workers […]

Omicron is 50% of Iowa coronavirus cases

BY: - January 5, 2022

About half of recent coronavirus infections in Iowa — which are spiking and have reached new heights in Johnson County, for example — have been caused by the omicron variant, according to State Hygienic Lab analyses. “The surge of delta and omicron cases are stressing our health care system,” said Sarah Ekstrand, a spokesperson for […]

Proposed bill would prohibit employer vaccine or mask mandates

BY: - January 4, 2022

State Rep. Jon Jacobsen paced, microphone in hand, around a table of anti-mandate organizers, as he unveiled a proposal to prohibit Iowa businesses from requiring employees to be vaccinated or wear masks. “I can’t think of a greater civil rights issue than this,” Jacobsen said, comparing mandatory employer vaccinations to “an indentured servant-slash-slave relationship.” If […]