UI Health Care reports 64 cases of COVID-19 among employees since February

Four of the 64 self-reported cases were confirmed Wednesday.


Rachael Westergard

The University of Iowa Health Care building is seen on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2015.

Brooklyn Draisey, Managing Editor

University of Iowa Health Care reported 64 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since February, with four new cases confirmed Thursday.

According to a press release, 15,000 people work for UI Health Care. All of the cases have been self-reported, and appear to have come from community spread. The release emphasized that this is not an outbreak, as the cases have been recorded over the past two months.

“The 64 number is an aggregate number that might look or feel high because it’s the first day that we’ve shared this total, however, it represents only .4% of our total employee population,” the release stated.

With increasing community transmission, the statement said determining whether health-care worker infections are acquired in the workplace or in the community becomes more difficult, though the statement said the majority of these individuals appear to have acquired COVID-19 via community transmission.

RELATED: UI Health Care leaders say COVID-19 takes financial toll on system; focused on resources for patients, staff

The Iowa Department of Public Health reports 2,332 Iowans have tested positive for the novel coronavirus as of Friday and various laboratories have conducted 21,692 total tests. Around 1,000 Iowans have recovered.

UI Health Care will begin reporting the number of positive cases daily along with their other reporting to add transparency. According to the release, CDC guidance prioritizes testing of symptomatic health care workers.

Staff at UI Health Care continue to wear face coverings, follow social-distancing guidelines, and are provided with appropriate Personal Protective Equipment while treating COVID-19 patients, the release stated. Employees and visitors are also being screened for symptoms.

“We continue to lead the state in our COVID-19 preparedness, treatment, and research. We will continue to provide transparency in our numbers and do everything we can to keep our employees, patients, and community safe,” the release stated.