Univ. of Iowa Hospitals CEO asking Iowans to return to stricter Covid-19 mitigations for next 4-6 weeks

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 6:35 PM CST
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) -The CEO of University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Suresh Gunasekaran is asking Iowans to return to stricter safety mitigations like masking, and getting vaccinated or boosted over the next 4-6 weeks.

He says the health care system is under a lot of stress as Iowa saw a record number of COVID-19 cases this week statewide. Hospitalizations are rising, too.

Gunesakren says that’s forced the hospital to shift workers to treat COVID-19 patients. That restricts resources for other patients but emphasized they have no issues treating emergency patients.

Gunesakren says an increase in staff out sick with COVID is also adding to the strain. 50 UIHC staff tested positive just yesterday.

He says we are at a critical point with the Omicron variant. “Even though the risk of mortality may be even lower for any individual,” said Gunesakren “The risk to the entire healthcare system is just as high as it was before. It’s still causing workforce shortages, it’s still causing other types of care to be delayed.”

The CEO says more than 90-percent of its staff is vaccinated without it implementing a mandate. With Thursday’s decision by the U-S Supreme Court that allowed the mandate at hospitals, it’s unclear what UIHC will do next.

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