The two hospitals in Cedar Rapids have issued a joint statement, announcing elective surgeries like joint replacements that require an overnight hospital stay are being rescheduled to clear the calendar from now through November 20. UnityPoint in Waterloo is doing the same with elective surgeries that had been scheduled between now through November 27.
Administrators say the moves ensure the hospitals have enough staff and PPE to care for patients.
On Thursday evening, the state website tracking coronavirus information showed 1227 Covid patients were in Iowa hospitals; 213 of them had been admitted just in the past day and 240 patients were in Intensive Care — all record numbers for Iowa.
During a news conference late Thursday morning, Governor Kim Reynolds told reporters hospitals are managing the surge.
“While hospitals are experiencing sharp increasing in patient volume due to the impact of Covid-19, they still are accepting patients,” Reynolds said. “In fact, most hospitals are continuing to provide elective surgeries, although some have scaled back to open beds for more patients, as needed.”
In the first 12 days of November, more than 37,000 new Covid cases had been reported in the state.
“We’re seeing significant community spread across our entire state, both in our metro and rural communities,” Reynolds said. “Covid-19 does not discriminate based on geography. The virus is present in all of our communities and all of us can help stop its spread.”
Reynolds indicated her public awareness campaign is launching yet this week and the budget is about $500,000. The money is coming from federal coronavirus relief funds. The ads will run in Iowa newspapers and on radio and TV stations around the state.