Dec. 16, 2019

Dec. 16, 2019

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Q: I heard that UnityPoint Health-Allen Hospital had a lockdown because of a shooting. What does that mean? Does it mean people can’t get emergency care?

A: “The term lockdown is something you may hear law enforcement use at other facilities but not at hospitals,” said Tyler McCormack, UnityPoint Health-Allen safety and security manager. “In a hospital setting, that type of call is more of a secured access situation, which means trained personnel is called to the area to assist with crowd control or limit individuals’ ability to access other areas of the hospital. This helps safely treat patients already at the hospital or others who arrive. The Allen Hospital Emergency Department is required by law to offer emergency medical treatment to anyone who seeks it at any time.”

Q: When will the “$100,000 Pyramid” and “Match Game” return to TV? Whatever happened to “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”?

A: According to the shows’ Facebook pages, the current seasons for both “Pyramid” and “Match Game” have ended; no word yet when the next ones will start. Disney-ABC canceled “Millionaire” earlier this year.

Q: Do you think eventually all shopping centers and department stores will close and we’ll have only big box stores left?

A: No one can say for sure; it’s certainly a time of great change and transition in the retail world. Plenty of business analysts point out that it’s hard for retailers to compete with Walmart and Amazon on price and selection and predict that the bricks-and-mortar stores that remain will likely focus on higher-end goods and wealthier shoppers, or that retailers will carry a smaller inventory in the stores and a larger inventory online.

Q: What will the standard Medicare Part B premium will be in 2020? How about the annual outpatient deductible?

A: According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: “The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees will be $144.60 for 2020, an increase of $9.10 from $135.50 in 2019. The annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries is $198 in 2020, an increase of $13 from the annual deductible of $185 in 2019.”

Q: Can a dog get spina bifida?

A: Yes, the birth defect can afflict dogs, said veterinarians with Taylor Veterinary Hospital in Cedar Falls. Depending on the severity, different neurologic deficits may be observed: dragging of the hind legs, limp limbs, incoordination, and fecal or urinary incontinence. There is no treatment for spina bifida but, in some cases, there are possible procedures to lessen its severity. Spina bifida can appear in any breed, but it is seen more frequently in English bulldogs.

Calls are taken on a special Courier phone line at 234-3566. Questions are answered by Courier staff and staff at the Waterloo Public Library.


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