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Facts Not Fear: Addressing misinformation surrounding COVID-19

Have a question about the coronavirus you want answered? Text it to Local 5 at 515-457-1026.

Coronavirus rumors and misguided claims end up in the Local 5 inbox every day.

There is still a lot of misinformation about the virus eight months into the pandemic.

The first claim from one of our viewers: Positive cases do not equal deaths.

This is true.

Not every positive coronavirus test results in someone passing away. But some more context.

As Iowa continues to see more positive test results, that means more people in the community have the virus and they are spreading it—sometimes unknowingly—to others who have compromised immune systems, have underlying health conditions, or are in other high-risk categories.

Claim No. 2: There is a concerted effort by the media, and big pharma, to try to panic people.

This is not true.

Local 5 and other journalists across the state and globe are reporting the facts about COVID-19 data. That information comes through interviews with dozens of experts, workers on the front lines and families impacted..

State data is also analyzed frequently during reporting.

The third claim: Iowa hospitals are told to inflate their COVID numbers so they get more federal money.

This also is not true.

Hospitals get an extra 20% for Medicare patients who come in with coronavirus, but hospital administrators are not falsifying records to show they have more COVID patients in order to get more money.

In fact, some Iowa hospital administrators have Local 5 they lost money at the beginning of the pandemic because non-essential surgeries were canceled.

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