MercyOne locations in Clinton County continue to be critically impacted by increased patient volumes.

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

FILE – This Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 file photo shows a BinaxNOW rapid COVID-19 test made by Abbott Laboratories, in Tacoma, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Please follow these instructions related to COVID:

  • If you have been exposed and are not experiencing symptoms, start with an at-home test from your 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.
  • 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. Please follow safe health practices to relieve stress on you and your health care system, the MercyOne release says.

  • 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 your 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.

For more COVID-19 information, visit MercyOne.org.