Two outbreaks in Marshalltown long-term care facilities

The Iowa Veterans Home and Accura Healthcare of Marshalltown were listed with COVID-19 outbreaks this week by the Iowa Department of Public Health.

IDPH reports five active cases at IVH and Accura has three.

IVH Commandant Timon Oujiri said the IDPH number is inaccurate and IVH has seven residents and three staff members who tested positive. The first resident tested positive last Friday. This has caused IVH to reopen its COVID unit for the first time since November.

The outbreaks come at the heels of a report by Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter Clark Kauffman this week stating 40 percent of IVH workers refuse to take a COVID-19 vaccine.

Oujiri said the sentiment around the vaccine from his staff and residents has started to shift in favor of getting vaccinated. The factor changing their minds, according to Oujiri, is education.

“We held seminars and town halls — they’re all Zoom meetings — with all of our staff,” he said. “People are seeing that, OK, the first vaccination went really well here. There are no major reactions here. A number of them have spoken to their individual medical provider which we’ve encouraged the whole time. Then they’re ready to step up and do it after that.”

The second round of vaccines at IVH will begin Tuesday, Feb. 2.

“All of the staff who are manning the COVID unit again are volunteers,” Oujiri added. “I’m very proud of all the staff.”

Across the state there are 60 outbreaks in long-term care facilities. Of Iowa’s 4,532 COVID-19 related deaths, 1,888 were residents in long-term care. Forty-one percent of the cases in these facilities have been symptomatic, 72 percent have been female and 45 percent have been 80 years old or older.

In the last week 87 people in Iowa have died including 32 reported in the last 24 hours.

Marshall County added 64 new cases this week, bringing its total to 4,350. There have been 62 deaths in the county but none were reported this week.

The 14-day positivity rate in Iowa is 10.2 percent and in Marshall County it is 5.1 percent. There have been 316,683 individuals who have tested positive reported in Iowa since the start of the pandemic. More than two million Test Iowa assessments have been completed including 5,776 in Marshall County.

There are 391 patients hospitalized with coronavirus infection including 52 admitted in the last 24 hours. Eighty patients are in intensive care and 32 are on ventilators. There are 928 ventilators available in Iowa hospitals according to IDPH. Sixty-four percent of patients have COVID-19 as their primary diagnoses. Twenty-six percent are 80 years old or older, 22 percent are 60-69 and 8 percent are between 18 and 29 years old.

USAFacts.org reports more than 25 million known COVID-19 cases in the United States during the pandemic, which is 1.2 million more than last week. There were 140,602 new cases reported on Tuesday and the seven day average is 163,961 cases per day.

The U.S. has 416,833 deaths with 3,267 per day over the last seven days.


Contact Joe Fisher at 641-753-6611 or jfisher@timesrepublican.com


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