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In Iowa, COVID Cases Are Up; Unemployment is Holding Steady

The number of Iowans hospitalized for COVID-19 in Iowa remains above 500, and one expert says it’s straining the state’s hospital system.

Theresa Brennan of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics says the hospital’s ICU is currently dealing with an influx of COVID patients. That’s on top of dealing with a higher than average number of non-COVID patients. Brennan says UIHC is receiving requests for transfers from hospitals across the state -- and country. She says hospitals are facing staff shortages as some are missing work after testing positive for COVID and others are leaving the field from mental burnout.

Iowa State University faculty senate leaders want to be able to require masks in their classrooms.But the Iowa Board of Regents showed no indication during meetings this week that it may change its policy on university face mask mandates. 

A federal court ruling this week temporarily blocks Iowa’s law that prohibits school districts and other local government entities from requiring masks be worn. But the ruling does not affect the state’s public universities. <--break->

Iowa’s unemployment rate for August held steady at 4.1% as the number of unemployed residents increased slightly, a state agency reported Friday. The number of unemployed Iowans increased by 300 to 67,900, according to Iowa Workforce Development.  Iowa’s unemployment rate is ranked 17th nationally. Nebraska had the nation’s lowest unemployment rate of 2.2%. The national unemployment rate for August was 5.2%.

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