DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) – Planned Parenthood North Central States (PPNCS) is bringing back limited in-person services to its health center in Sioux City to meet patient needs in the region starting on Wednesday.
According to a release from PPNCS, the health center located at 4409 Stone Ave. will offer STI testing and family planning services that includes birth control, IUD consulation, LARCs, Depo shots, and more. Medication abortion care will also be available.
The release states that the lack of sexual health access is having a big impact on Woodbury County, and STI rates are skyrocketing in Iowa, especially in the county. New STI cases jumped 74% in Woodbury County since 2017 and gonorrhea cases increased by more than 141%.
Planned Parenthood said due to the strains on the healthcare system, access to STI tests and family planning services, that was limited before the virus, is even more difficult today. With the lack of testing, the National Coalition of STD Directors anticipates the STI rates will continue to skyrocket.
“Sexual and reproductive health care needs don’t stop during a pandemic and Iowans in the Sioux City area need these services, especially now. New data shows sexually transmitted infections are skyrocketing in the county as the availability of testing and treatment has gone down. We are proud to be opening the Sioux City health center to provide care to Iowans in an area that has lacked access. Our expert staff take every precaution to keep patients healthy during COVID-19, and we will be promoting our many telehealth services. We want to be sure every Iowan can access the health care they need no matter what.”From Erin Davison-Rippey, Iowa State Executive Director for Planned Parenthood North Central States
The health center in Sioux City was forced to close in 2017 after state legislators defunded Planned Parenthood operations.
In order to limit the spread of COVID-19, patients will have access to telehealth services that was launched at the beginning of the pandemic. PPNCS said the patient use of the telehealth services has increased by 250% during this time period.
The Planned Parenthood health centers are taking all of the necessary measures to protect its patients and physicians when in-person care is necessary. Officials said health centers have a universial in-clinic masking policy, require social distancing, and limit in-person contact to only when it’s necessary.
To make an appointment at the Sioux City health center, call them at 877-811-7526.