University of Iowa Hospitals Releases Plan to Ramp Up COVID-19 Response

IOWA CITY, Iowa - University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics is preparing its response to the COVID-19 surge.

The hospital has a plan to expand staffing, testing capacity, and the number of ICU (Intensive Care Unit) beds to prepare for patient transfers from across the state.

It's the first step in a three-phase plan that'll be implemented if COVID-19 cases don't drop in the next couple of weeks.

The hospital announced the plan Thursday. As of early Friday morning, there were 912 hospitalizations in the state, which is a new record high during the pandemic. In the past week, hospitalization records have been falling daily.

The first phase of the UIHC plan calls for a change in staff quarantine procedures.

Currently, staff members are required to quarantine for two-weeks when exposed to someone with the virus. The new plan calls for those same workers to return to work if they're asymptomatic and receive a negative COVID-19 test.

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