3 ‘urgent requests’ from Genesis

Local News

Unless you have severe symptoms, emergency department is not efficient site for testing

With a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the Quad Cities, Genesis Health System is providing the public with “three urgent requests” for those with symptoms or looking to get tested.

“The past six days, we have had more COVID-19-related hospitalizations every day,” Genesis Media Coordinator Craig Cooper said. “Each day has been a new record for highest number of patients since the start of the outbreak.”

First and foremost, Genesis emphasizes that unless you have severe symptoms, the emergency departments are not efficient sites for community testing.

Here is the message Genesis wanted to share with the public in its entirety:

As COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise rapidly, we hope media outlets can share these critical messages with the public.

We have three urgent requests at this time:

  1. With COVID-19 testing demand increasing, some people are showing up at emergency departments to be tested. Unless you have severe symptoms, the emergency departments are not efficient as community testing sites.

If you have COVID-19 or flu symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), follow these steps.

· First Step of Action: Call your primary care physician first. If you are unable to reach your primary care physician, or if you don’t have one, move to second step.

· Second Step of Action: Call the Genesis COVID-19 hotline at (563) 421-3820 to get information on how to connect with a provider for COVID care. The line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

· Third Step of Action: Connect with a Genesis provider (marked with a Genesis logo) through your smartphone, tablet or computer through a Virtual Care visit at www.genesishealth.com/virtual or on the Genesis CareNow app on your phone.

Kurt Andersen, M.D., Senior Vice President of Physician Operations and Chief Medical Officer, Genesis Health System said, “The emergency department is not the appropriate site for COVID testing. It should not be your first step if you have mild COVID symptoms, as do about 80 percent of patients with COVID. We would refer you to a testing site, to one of the convenient care centers or your primary care doctor if you need testing for mild symptoms of COVID-19.”

2. Genesis COVID Hotline: If you have questions or concerns, call the Genesis COVID-19 hotline at (563) 421-3820. The line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

3. Uninsured: If you have COVID-19 symptoms and need care, do not delay. Care is available and covered regardless of whether you have insurance and reacting quickly may prevent a hospitalization. Care is covered through the pandemic relief legislation known as the CARES Act.

Genesis President and CEO Doug Cropper has four concerns which are adding great pressure on health system resources and resulting in continued increases in hospitalization of COVID-19 patients.

Those concerns are: 1. Increased hospitalization numbers; 2. The Emergency Department is being overcrowded with COVID testing; 3. High local positivity rates of symptomatic patients being tested; 4. High number of tests being ordered.

Here is a snapshot of past seven days:

Genesis Health System COVID Inpatient Hospital Census

DATE TOTAL

Nov. 3 51#

Nov. 4 50

Nov. 5 56#

Nov. 6 70#

Nov. 7 75#

Nov. 7 89#

Nov. 9 93#

Nov. 10 105#

# Indicates high since start of pandemic

Positivity Rate of Symptomatic Patients Being Tested

Nov. 2 28.55%

Nov. 3 31.26%

Nov. 4 31.25%

Nov. 5 29.55%

Nov. 6 30.45%

Nov. 7 34.29%

Nov. 8 33.33%

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