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Iowa’s Nursing Homes Have Greater PPE Shortages than Other States

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DES MOINES, Iowa — A new report shows Iowa is seeing greater shortages of personal protective equipment per week compared to other states.

The AARP released a study that showed an average 25 percent of nursing homes in the United States did not have a full week’s supply of PPE for the last four weeks. In Iowa, 42.6 percent of nursing homes have also had weekly PPE shortages.

The statistics come from self-reported data from nursing homes available from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Anthony Carroll, Iowa’s advocacy director fo AARP said these numbers should cause everyone alarm.

“I would say is truly shocking that here we are almost sort of the end of October, days are getting shorter and yet we still have again this high level of nursing homes reporting that they don’t have access to PPE,” he said.

In terms of COVID-19 deaths and cases of nursing home residents, Iowa is slightly below the U.S. average. But in terms of PPE and staffing shortages, Iowa is behind other states.

“We really have to get this right,” Carroll said. “The need to better support both staff and the residents and families in our long term care facilities does not go away and doesn’t go anytime soon.”

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