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News and Press Releases

Health Department News
Support Person Restriction Guideline Updates for Polk County Hospitals

UnityPoint Health – Des Moines, MercyOne – Des Moines and Broadlawns Medical Center maintain the current visitor restrictions for the safety of our patients and team members. However, we recognize the importance of having a support person available for a patient’s well-being. With some exceptions, one support person will be permitted to be with a patient per day during hours set by each hospital. This change will be effective Wednesday, October 14, 2020. NOTE: Hospitals may further restrict visitation in certain situations.

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10/14/2020

Health Department News
Health Department urges everyone six months and older to get their flu shot

Each year, flu season is unpredictable and severe. Some years, we have seen a mild flu season. . The truth is we have no idea what this year’s flu season will look like. What we do know is that possible to get the flu and COVID-19 at the same time.

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9/22/2020

Health Department News
City of Ankeny Offers Drive-thru Flu Shot Clinic

The Ankeny Fire Department, in partnership with the Polk County Health Department, will be offering a Drive-thru Flu Shot Clinic Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, 1 – 6 p.m. at Ankeny Fire Station Headquarters, 120 NW Ash Drive, Ankeny.

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9/16/2020

Health Department News
Health Department urges residents to take caution over Labor Day Weekend

Over the past weeks, we have seen an alarming increase of positive COVID-19 cases in the state. Cases in Polk County are still on the rise and do not show any signs of slowing down. As families get together and students come home from college, we strongly urge residents to celebrate Labor Day weekend with extreme precaution.

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9/1/2020

Health Department News
Recommendations for individuals who use oxygen and are without power

The recent storm has caused widespread power outages that affect a large number of people that use oxygen.

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8/12/2020

Health Department News
Visitor Restriction Guidelines for Polk County Hospitals

Due to significant increases in positive COVID-19 cases in Iowa, including Polk and Dallas Counties, the following visitor restriction policies have been put in place by Broadlawns Medical Center, MercyOne Des Moines and West Des Moines Medical Centers and UnityPoint Health – Des Moines.

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7/20/2020

Health Department News
Limited cooling centers in Polk County

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, many daytime cooling centers in Polk County are closed. There are public options including malls, stores and other businesses that people without air conditioning can visit to get temporary relief from the extreme heat.

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7/7/2020

Health Department News
Confirmed Surge of Positive COVID-19 Cases in Polk County

The Polk County Health Department continues to see an increase of positive COVID19 cases. We are seeing this trend with the younger population. With the surge in cases and the holiday weekend quickly approaching, we strongly urge residents to celebrate the Fourth of July with caution.

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7/2/2020

Health Department News
COVID-19 Cases on the Rise in Central Iowa: Increased Concern for Long Term Care Residents

Our country has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations over the past several weeks. The United States has experienced the highest case counts of the pandemic, over 40,000 cases in the past two days. Central Iowa is now following the same trend. Over the past seven days, our positive COVID-19 cases are on the rise again. Since the beginning of June, Polk County has been averaging around 50-55 cases a day. The seven-day trend has shown an increase of 20% of new cases reported in central Iowa. We are seeing community spread of COVID-19 as our community has re-opened.

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6/30/2020

Health Department News
COVID-19 Cases on the Rise in Central Iowa

Our country has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations over the past several weeks. Central Iowa is now following the same trend. Over the past seven days, our positive COVID-19 cases are on the rise again.

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6/29/2020

Health Department News
Infant Deaths on the Rise in Polk County

Over the past three months, infant deaths have been on the rise in Polk County. From April to June 2020, the Polk County Medical Examiner autopsied seven babies. Five out of the seven deaths occurred in unsafe sleep environments. This is a stark contrast from January to March 2020, where there was only one infant death related to natural disease.

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6/25/2020

Health Department News
New Visitor Restriction Guideline for All Polk County Health Systems

As we continue to work together to keep our patients, families and healthcare providers safe and healthy, the following new visitor restriction policies have been put in place by all metro health systems.

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6/22/2020

Health Department News
Polk County Medical Coordination Center Encourages Patients to Visit Healthcare Provider for Routine Health Needs

The Polk County Medical Coordination Center would like to remind our community that it is safe to schedule a visit with your medical provider for critical health visits or to seek care at the emergency room or urgent care.

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5/28/2020

Health Department News
Polk County Health Partners Requires Patients and Visitors to Wear Masks

The Polk County Medical Coordination Center is requiring all patients and visitors who are coming into hospitals and clinics to wear masks or homemade face cloths for appointments or visiting patients.

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5/22/2020

Health Department News
Message from the 211 medical triage call center

As our healthcare systems have now adjusted to the ongoing demands surrounding COVID-19 and we have seen the numbers to our 211 medical triage line decrease, we will be winding down that line on Friday, May 22, 2020.

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5/21/2020

Health Department News
Board of Health Advisory Committee Meeting Canceled for May

Board of Health Advisory Committee Meeting Scheduled: Friday, May 15, 2020, at 8:30 AM Has been CANCELLED due to the COVID 19 outbreak

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5/8/2020

Health Department News
Polk County Health Partners Asking Patients and Visitors to Wear Masks and Call 911 for Heart Attacks or Strokes

(Des Moines, IA) – The Polk County Medical Coordination Center is asking all patients and visitors who are coming into hospitals and clinics to wear masks or homemade face cloths for appointments or visiting patients.

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5/7/2020

Health Department News
Polk County Health Partners Provide Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment and Homemade Mask Donations (04-01-2020)

(Des Moines, IA) – The Polk County Medical Coordination Center would like to thank our community who has stepped up and donated personal protective equipment (PPE) for our healthcare staff, first responders and care facilities.

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4/28/2020

Health Department News
Polk County Health Partners Encourage Community to Wear Homemade Face Cloths in Public Settings

The Polk County Medical Coordination Center encourages the public to follow the CDC's guidance on wearing homemade face cloths in public settings such as the grocery store or pharmacy, where social distancing of 6 feet is difficult to maintain.

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4/23/2020

Health Department News
Polk County Crisis and Advocacy Services Provides Additional Sexual Assault Exam Site

Planned Parenthood North Central States and Polk County Crisis and Advocacy Services have partnered together to provide survivors of sexual assault with an alternative exam site during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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4/21/2020

Health Department News
April BOHAC Meeting Canceled (04-07-2020)

Due to COVID-19, The Polk County Board of Health Advisory Committee meeting on April 17, 2020 is canceled.

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4/10/2020

Health Department News
Health Department Changes Hours and Services Due to COVID-19 Response (03-31-2020)

As of April 6, 2020, The Polk County Health Department will change hours and services.

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4/10/2020

Health Department News
Polk County Opens COVID-19 Shelter for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness

Polk County and community partners will be using the Youth Inn at the Iowa State Fairgrounds as a shelter for people experiencing homelessness in response to COVID-19. As COVID-19 spreads throughout our community, it is imperative that everyone stays healthy and safe.

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3/24/2020

Health Department News
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) Weekly Totals for August 12-16, 2019

August 12 – 16, 2019, Health Department staff investigated...

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10/17/2019

Health Department News
Central Iowa Experiences First Extreme Heat Event

With very hot weather expected this weekend the Polk County Health Department encourages residents to take extra precautions to stay safe. Hot and humid conditions are expected in central Iowa Friday into Monday. High temperatures are forecast in the...

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10/17/2019

If you think you need to get tested for COVID-19 or have been exposed, call your clinic FIRST. DO NOT go to the ER or clinic. You could potentially expose others to COVID-19 or be exposed to COVID-19.