Health Care

State lab can detect omicron variant

BY: - November 29, 2021

The latest significant coronavirus variant — dubbed “omicron” by the World Health Organization on Friday — has several troubling mutations that might boost its ability to spread, but the changes also make it more quickly detectable by the State Hygienic Laboratory, which processes the tests of Iowa residents. “Fortunately for us, the (tests) that we […]

Federal vaccine mandate for health care workers in 10 states blocked by judge

BY: - November 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — Enforcement of the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for millions of health care workers was blocked in 10 states on Monday, after a ruling by a federal judge in Missouri. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Matthew Schelp affects the states involved in the lawsuit, which include Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, and New Hampshire. The […]

Doctor convicted in opioid scheme granted an Iowa medical license

BY: - November 29, 2021

The Iowa Board of Medicine has granted a license to a physician currently on probation for his role in a criminal scheme to distribute opioids to addicts. Dr. Parth S. Bharill, now 63, entered a plea of guilty in September 2019 to one felony count of conspiracy to distribute suboxone outside the usual course of […]

covid-19 cell pastel

White House imposes travel restrictions for Africa amid new COVID-19 variant

BY: - November 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — The White House is set to announce travel restrictions to eight countries in Southern Africa on Monday due to the discovery of a new coronavirus variant, according to senior administration officials. The World Health Organization classified the COVID-19 variant as a “variant of concern” due to its high mutation and transmission rate, and […]


Political sectarianism fuels vaccine resistance

BY: - November 28, 2021

Emotional intelligence is the ability to fathom our feelings so as to reduce stress, enhance reasoning and perceive emotions in ourselves and others so as to enhance awareness and mental well-being. The ability to process emotions has many benefits. We can interact prudently and mindfully with others, communicating effectively, overcoming challenges and defusing conflict. The […]

Restaurant inspection update: moldy food, rodents and immediate closures

BY: - November 26, 2021

In the past four weeks, state and county food inspectors have cited Iowa restaurants for hundreds of food-safety violations, including moldy vegetables, rodent activity, cockroach infestations and kitchens so filthy they triggered an immediate, temporary closure of the establishment. The findings are among those reported by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, which handles […]

Immigration protections in Biden’s social policy bill face a new test in the Senate

BY: - November 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — Nearly 100 House Democrats are pushing the Senate to expand immigration protections in President Joe Biden’s massive social spending and climate bill, and advocates say that it may be a last opportunity for years to advance any reform. The letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and the chairman of the […]

Doctor sued after setting up shop four blocks from former employer

BY: - November 24, 2021

Mercy Medical Services is suing one of its former physicians, accusing the doctor of poaching both its employees and its patients. Mercy and its Sioux City hospital, the MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center, allege in a newly filed federal lawsuit that Dr. Stilianos Efstratiadis, a cardiology specialist, signed an employment contract with the corporation in January […]

State scales back hospital COVID reporting requirements

BY: - November 24, 2021

It was burdensome and unnecessary for hospitals to report the county of residence for Iowans receiving in-patient treatment for COVID-19, according to Sarah Ekstrand, a spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Public Health. As such, the department is no longer requiring hospitals to report the information, which the state previously published online. A page on […]

Reynolds ‘confident’ U.S. Treasury will approve her use of COVID-19 aid for staff salaries

BY: - November 23, 2021

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said Tuesday she is “very, very confident” her use of nearly $450,000 in federal coronavirus relief funds for staff salaries will be approved by the U.S. Treasury. A state audit released Nov. 15 found that the governor’s office had not provided documentation necessary to show the employees were “substantially dedicated” to […]

Analyst: Iowa student loan delinquency dropped 36% in early pandemic

BY: - November 23, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic sent the U.S. economy into a short but drastic recession, generating a wave of layoffs and business closures. But a new analysis found that the first seven months of the pandemic actually ended with fewer Iowans delinquent on credit card and student loan debts. “I think it really shows us how, in […]

Reynolds ‘disappointed’ in ruling on transgender Medicaid coverage

BY: - November 22, 2021

A Polk County judge has ruled that a state law denying Medicaid coverage for gender-confirmation surgery violates the Iowa Constitution and the Iowa Civil Rights Act. A spokesman for Gov. Kim Reynolds said Monday the governor “is disappointed in today’s decision and disagrees with the district court’s ruling on Medicaid coverage for transgender reassignment surgeries.” The spokesman said the governor’s staff is […]