University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics today announced steps it is taking to prepare for the continued increasing rates of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations across the state. In preparation for a potential surge, UI Health Care is adding ICU beds to accommodate statewide transfers, additional services for local COVID testing, and more staffing resources to respond to a record number of patient calls. To put the plan into effect, UI Health Care is making a number of operational changes, such as reassigning staff to other areas, modifying its staff quarantine process, and slightly decreasing clinical volumes, as needed. “As a hospital that serves patients from all 99 counties in Iowa, we play a critical role in responding to the pandemic,” stated Suresh Gunasekaran, CEO of UI Hospitals & Clinics. “Hospitals across Iowa are stretched thin and need our support in caring for patients with complex care needs, and we are committed to being there for them.” UI Health Care is also implementing additional safety measures to safeguard staff and patients, including additional visitor limitations to reduce the number of people in its facilities and expanding work from home for nonclinical front-line staff. More information will be provided to patients ahead of the changes, which are expected to be in place no later than Nov. 16 and continue through Jan. 3, 2021.