Kelly Garcia

State officials promise more frequent COVID-19 data updates as delta spreads

BY: - September 2, 2021

Iowa will be providing COVID-19 data updates more frequently as the delta variant of the virus continues to spread in the state. Beginning Friday, the Iowa Department of Public Health will update its coronavirus dashboard three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  “We owe it to you to share and ensure that you […]

Polk County sees COVID-19 surge as school year begins

BY: - August 25, 2021

COVID-19 cases in Polk County were surging Wednesday as Des Moines Public School students returned to the classroom, multiple metrics show. The Polk County Health Department announced this week that COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise in Des Moines. The most recent data available shows there were 109 COVID patients in Polk […]

Governor, Guard general urge wary Iowans: Get vaccinated

BY: - April 21, 2021

Iowa’s adjutant general, still laboring to breathe months after spending a week in the hospital with COVID-19, on Wednesday appealed to Iowans to get vaccinated against the illness.  Maj. Gen. Benjamin Corell, commander of the Iowa National Guard, appeared at Gov. Kim Reynolds’ weekly news conference. The governor also pleaded with Iowans to get vaccinated […]

Twenty-one Iowa counties turn down COVID-19 vaccines

BY: - April 14, 2021

Twenty-one county health departments turned down their state COVID-19 vaccine allocations this week, the state health director said.  Kelly Garcia, director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, said it is unclear if those counties have a lack of demand for the vaccine. It’s possible people are going to private pharmacies that get their vaccines […]

Iowa health director fears loss of vaccine momentum after J & J pause

BY: - April 14, 2021

Iowa’s top public health official fears that the pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for COVID-19 will lead some skeptics to skip getting any version of the coronavirus vaccine. Federal health officials called for a temporary halt in injections of the J & J vaccine after six women got a rare […]

Reynolds asks all Iowans to be vaccinated but won’t require it of state-employed caregivers

BY: - March 31, 2021

After repeatedly urging all Iowans to get their COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Kim Reynolds reiterated Tuesday that she will not be requiring health care workers in state-run care facilities to be vaccinated. “Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, and it’s what will allow us to return to living our lives […]

State withholds nursing home outbreak data while asking that open-records complaint be dismissed

BY: - March 29, 2021

In response to a formal open-records complaint, the Iowa Department of Public Health is continuing to withhold data regarding COVID-19 outbreaks in Iowa nursing homes. In December 2020, the Iowa Capital Dispatch requested an updated version of the spreadsheet the department maintains on COVID-19 outbreaks in Iowa’s 440 licensed nursing homes. That spreadsheet, which the […]

Iowa Capital Dispatch files second complaint over access to COVID-19 data

BY: - March 15, 2021

The Iowa Capital Dispatch has filed its second complaint this month with the Iowa Public Information Board, alleging state officials are withholding additional data related to COVID-19. In March 5, the Capital Dispatch complained to IPIB that the Iowa Department of Public Health was denying access to a list showing all of the coronavirus outbreaks […]

Sex offenders sue state after being denied leftovers from their Satanic feast

BY: - March 4, 2021

A group of convicted sex offenders is suing the state of Iowa, claiming their right to worship Lucifer with a weeklong feast of fried chicken, doughnuts and ice cream is being violated. Lawsuits filed by prison and jail inmates are commonplace, and many of them allege violations of constitutional rights related to religious practices. But […]

COMMENTARY

There’s no justification for government shutting the public out

BY: - December 30, 2020

There are some high-minded legal principles written into Iowa laws and rulings by our state’s Supreme Court. But in recent weeks, one of those sound principles has run into a few closed-minded state officials and the closed doors of government. Some officials prefer to conduct the people’s business without being bothered with having the pesky […]

COMMENTARY

Locking out the public will not lead to healthy decisions on vaccine distribution

BY: - December 21, 2020

I wrote two weeks ago that the COVID-19 vaccination process “is too important for mere lip service in favor of the public’s right to know.” Unfortunately, our state’s leaders don’t agree. Iowans learned last week the public will be shut out of a government advisory board’s discussions on who should have priority access to the […]

Iowa alters COVID-19 death calculations and remains silent on care-facility deaths

BY: - December 8, 2020

The state of Iowa is revising its reporting of COVID-19 deaths to better conform to federal standards, resulting in Iowa’s total death toll from the pandemic increasing by 177. Kelly Garcia, director of the Iowa Department of Human Services and the Iowa Department of Public Health, announced the change Monday night. She said IDPH will […]