Iowa agency keeps secret the number of COVID-19 staff deaths in nursing homes

Clark Kauffman, Iowa wCapital Dispatch
Published 2:29 p.m. CT Oct. 5, 2020

The Iowa Department of Public Health is refusing to disclose the number of Iowa nursing home workers who have been infected with, or died from, COVID-19.

For months, the department has released only combined staff-and-resident numbers for both infections and deaths in Iowa nursing homes.

The agency has refused requests to separate the number of staff deaths and infections from the number of resident deaths and infections.

The department’s COVID-19 Communications and Emergency Preparedness Planner Alex Carfrae told the Iowa Capital Dispatch Thursday the agency would not provide requested information on staff deaths “due to privacy concerns.”

After being asked to cite the specific law that allows the agency to withhold non-identifying statistical information of that sort, an agency official said the department intends to review its policies and the applicable state laws.

More: Iowa eases visitor limits

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Iowa eases nursing home visitor limits amid coronavirus outbreak

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For the country’s 1.4 million nursing home residents, lockdowns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic have meant more isolation. Those who call Southern Pines home are still grappling with seeing loved ones only through window panes or screens. (July 17)

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Iowa officials moved Thursday to ease visitor restrictions at many nursing homes, where thousands of frail Iowans have been isolated since March because of the COVID-19 threat.

The new rules allow for indoor visits at nursing homes, especially in parts of the state with relatively low transmission of the coronavirus.

The coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, has ripped through dozens of Iowa care facilities. Nursing home residents have accounted for 702 of Iowa’s 1,360 deaths from the disease, the Iowa Department of Public Health reported on its website Thursday.

Emma Jean Schrock, right, visits with her niece, Joyce Butler, through a window at the Pleasantview nursing home in

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Iowa Manufactured Homes Stand Up to ‘Inland Hurricane’ | Nation & World

DES MOINES and CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, Sept. 29, 2020 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — One thing Iowans are familiar with is wild weather, says the Iowa Manufactured Homes Association (IMHA). Positioned in the heart of the Midwest, Iowa’s weather ranges from extreme cold and snow to temperatures in the triple digits. And let’s not forget tornadoes. Iowans see virtually everything mother nature can throw, but on August 10, 2020, the state was in for a record-setting weather incident.

What has been compared to an “Inland Hurricane,” a ferocious storm called a derecho swept across the state with winds equal to a Category 2 hurricane, taking down 100-year-old oak trees, stripping homes of roofs, destroying business complexes and more. But through it all, Iowa’s manufactured homes, generally perceived an easy target for wind and storm damage, stood up to the derecho.

“We’re blessed to say the least,” said Troy Hames, General Manager and

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COVID-19 in Iowa nursing homes continues to spread | Articles

The number of COVID-19 outbreaks and infections is continuing to climb in Iowa nursing homes, nearly doubling the levels set in July.

In late July, there were 502 infections tied to 20 active nursing home outbreaks in Iowa, the Iowa Capital Dispatch reported. Over the next month, the number of COVID-19 infections associated with active outbreaks increased 66% to 835. Since August, the cumulative total of COVID-19-related deaths in Iowa nursing homes has climbed from 508 to 671.

On Sept. 13, the White House coronavirus task force recommended that Iowa impose a statewide mask mandate to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the state’s nursing homes. The report noted that “COVID-19 is being brought into nursing homes through community transmission.”

Gov. Kim Reynolds has resisted calls for a statewide mask mandate, saying she trusts Iowans to act responsibly.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported Tuesday there were 41 active

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COVID-19 outbreaks increase in Iowa nursing homes; deaths climb to 671 | Omaha State and Regional News



Iowa health officials investigating case surge in northwest

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to reporters after touring the Plymouth Place senior housing facility with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Des Moines. 




The number of COVID-19 outbreaks and infections is continuing to climb in Iowa nursing homes, nearly doubling the levels set in July.

In late July, there were 502 infections tied to 20 active nursing home outbreaks in Iowa, the Iowa Capital Dispatch reported. Over the next month, the number of COVID-19 infections associated with active outbreaks increased 66% to 835. Since August, the cumulative total of COVID-19-related deaths in Iowa nursing homes has climbed from 508 to 671.

On Sept. 13, the White House coronavirus task force recommended that Iowa impose a statewide

Read More Read more