MercyOne Clinton Medical Center is updating its visitor and masking guidelines due to a recent increase in cases of COVID-19 and flu in Eastern Iowa.

To help ensure the safety of patients, MercyOne Clinton Medical Center is continually refining policies and procedures, and starting Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, the following guidelines will be implemented:

  • Masks are required for all patients, visitors and colleagues.
  • There will be a limit of two visitors at a time, per patient.
  • MercyOne will not be accepting visitors under the age of 18. Exceptions will be made for extraordinary circumstances.

“As we continue to monitor the transmission rate for COVID-19 and influenza rates through the respiratory virus season, we encourage all who are eligible to get your flu shot and COVID-19 vaccination or booster to help you stay healthy,” according to a Tuesday release from MercyOne.

If you have questions or reservations regarding immunizations, including those protecting against influenza and COVID-19, visit the MercyOne website to schedule an appointment with your primary care provider.

The CDC says that Clinton County is now at a medium community risk level for COVID, compared to low levels in Muscatine, Scott and Rock Island counties.

As of Monday, Dec. 19, Genesis Health System reinstated the mask mandate for all Genesis colleagues, medical staff, and volunteers. They will be required to wear masks in all public and patient care areas at Genesis facilities in response to increased respiratory illness in our community. 

Patients and visitors are strongly encouraged to wear masks in Genesis facilities.

“Due to increased COVID-19 activity, a surge in influenza, ongoing RSV, and an increase in staff illnesses, we have re-instituted the mask mandate for staff to help keep our Genesis workforce and patients healthy,” said Kurt Andersen, M.D., Chief Clinical Officer/Chief Medical Officer, Genesis Health System.

Dr. Kurt Andersen is chief medical officer of Genesis Health System.

Most counties in eastern Iowa and western Illinois are now at a “high” level of community transmission for COVID, according to a Genesis release. Therefore, the CDC recommends returning to universal masking for health care workers at this level and encourages everyone in the community to wear masks in public areas.

“While we would all like to put the pandemic behind us, we must be conscientious about wearing masks, following PPE guidelines, and encouraging COVID vaccinations and boosters and flu shots,” Dr. Andersen added.

Genesis relaxed its general mask mandate for staff and visitors in mid-October.

(unitypoint.org)

UnityPoint Health guidelines for the QC and Muscatine facilities say that masking is now based on personal preference.

“Patients and visitors should mask in our facilities if they are currently ill with respiratory symptoms, have a COVID-19 diagnosis, or have been exposed to COVID-19 in the past 10 days,” the UnityPoint website says. “Masking is strongly recommended when community transmission levels are high. We encourage anyone who prefers to continue masking to do so.”