Family: COVID delays in moving Iowa man contributed to death

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The family of a retired school superintendent who died from an infection unrelated to COVID-19 believes he would have had a better chance of surviving had his transfer to a larger hospital not been delayed for 15 days because of the pandemic.

Dale Weeks’ twin daughters told the Des Moines Register that their father stayed at the relatively small hospital in Newton, west of Des Moines, because larger hospitals couldn’t spare a bed for him. Weeks died Nov. 28 at age 78.

Weeks lived in the southern Iowa town of Seymour, where he was the school superintendent before he retired in 2007. He went to the hospital in nearby Centerville on Nov. 1 thinking he might be experiencing the side effects of a flu shot or COVID-19 booster shot, but doctors diagnosed sepsis, a dangerous, blood-borne infection.

His family said the Centerville hospital did not have a bed for him, and it took that hospital until the next day to find one in Newton, 80 miles north.