With over 500 Iowans hospitalized for COVID-19, University of Iowa Health Care workers call for more state aid

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics healthcare workers issued a statement on Wednesday about the more than 500 coronavirus patients in Iowa hospitals, calling on Gov. Reynolds to allocate more funding to patient care.

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Tate Hildyard

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics are seen on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.

Lillian Poulsen, News Reporter


As the states reports more than 500 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in Iowa, the highest since the start of the pandemic, University of Iowa Health Care workers are calling on Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and other elected officials to fund more patient care.

Iowa reached a grim COVID-19 milestone, with 534 Iowans hospitalized because of the virus, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard. Previously, the high was 417 in April, according to the state’s numbers.

American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 12 President Richard Frauenholz and Service Employees International Union Local 199 President Cathy Glasson released a joint statement on Wednesday, representing the views of UIHC health care workers.

The workers said they expect more from their elected officials in the form of supporting funding for patients.

“We and all workers on the frontlines of the fight against COVID need Iowa’s leaders to step up and provide the personal protective equipment and the resources necessary for us to care for Iowa,” the statement said.

They called on Reynolds and elected officials in Iowa to make the lives of patients and healthcare workers their main priority. 

According to The Gazette, Reynolds spent $20.1 million to replace computer systems, which a state auditor’s report told the state was “not allowable.” The workers said they believe this money should have been used to help patients. 

More than 600 UIHC employees have been infected with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic in March, according to the release — 637  to date according to the hospital’s dashboard. 

“We and all the workers on the frontlines of the fight against COVID need Iowa’s leaders to step up and provide the personal protective equipment and the resources necessary for us to care for Iowa,” the statement said.

This comes in the middle of union recertification elections. University of Iowa Health Care members of the AFSCME and SEIU unions are voting in elections until Oct. 27 to recertify as a bargaining unit. 

A 2017 Iowa bill requires public service workers to meet a voting threshold to keep their unions. A majority of all employees in a workplace must vote yes to maintain their union voice.

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