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CLINTON — MercyOne locations continue to be critically impacted by increased patient volumes, according to a press release issued Friday by MercyOne officials.

To avoid long wait times and additional patients visiting its busy sites, MercyOne is urging people with COVID-19 symptoms to contact their provider office to assess any active symptoms over the phone or determine if a telehealth appointment is available.

If you have been exposed and are not experiencing symptoms, MercyOne says to start with an at-home test from a local pharmacy or a free Test Iowa kit. A limited supply of Test Iowa kits are available at the MercyOne Clinton Medical Center switchboard.

Before going to an urgent care or emergency department for COVID-related visits, contact your family doctor’s office. If you are experiencing only mild symptoms, please do not visit the emergency department to be tested, MercyOne officials said.

You can find Clinton County’s most current list of COVID-19 testing locations on the Clinton County Health Department website.

Minimizing the spread of illness is crucial. MercyOne is asking residents to follow safe health practices to relieve stress on them and the health care system.-

• Wear a mask, even if you are vaccinated. Continue frequent handwashing and avoid large gatherings.

• Make sure you’re up to date on all your vaccinations, including a booster if eligible. Flu shots can be received at the same time as a primary COVID shot or booster.

• If you have tested positive for COVID-19, please follow guidelines of isolation for five days or until you are feeling better.

Visitor restrictions remain in effect

Due to the current COVID-19 surge, MercyOne Clinton Medical Center is reminding the community of its visitor policy: Patients are allowed up to one visitor at a time. All visitors are required to:

• Be at least 18 years of age, with the exception of extenuating circumstances, such as end of life.

• Be free of signs of illness and will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19.

• Adhere to COVID precautionary guidelines, including hand hygiene and mandatory masking at all times. Additional PPE may be supplied to support people as necessary.

• Stay in their respective patient’s room, as appropriate, and only be outside of this area during entrance, exit, or if food is obtained from the cafeteria or vending. The visitor’s mask should always remain on while in the patient’s room. During some procedures, support persons may be asked to leave.

• Not be present during any intermittent or continuous aerosol generating procedures during the visitation.

If a patient already has a visitor in their room, MercyOne is asking that the next visitor wait in their vehicle until the patient is available, or return at a later time. The facility is unable to accommodate visitors in the front lobby waiting area; this area is currently designated as a patient waiting area, according to hospital officials.

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