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Home > Health & Wellness > Protect Yourself from Illness > COVID-19
As we tackle this unprecedented international crisis, one of our top priorities is the safety and health of our workers who will be caring for those affected by the COVID-19 virus. In assessing their needs, we became aware that employees are experiencing their own financial struggles. NOW IS THE TIME TO SUPPORT THEM. Learn more and donate now.
ALL public events (support groups, non-profit meetings, etc.) that are scheduled to be held in Mercy’s facilities or in the community are postponed or canceled. We will continue to monitor COVID activity in the community and reassess on an ongoing basis.
However, some events have moved online, including select support groups and bariatric seminars. Birthplace tours and classes are also offered live or via Zoom.
With the exception of severe cases, please do not go to the Emergency Department if you have symptoms of or may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus.
Instead, CALL your primary care provider for instructions on how to proceed.
Learn more about what to do if you think you might have COVID-19 or may have been exposed (PDF).
Do you have COVID-19 symptoms? Find out what to do next (JPG).
As part of the hospital’s efforts to slow the spread of the virus, Mercy is limiting the number of public entry points and putting screening processes in place for patients, visitors and staff.
See where to park and enter for the service you need. Current entrances available (click to enlarge the map):
Human coronaviruses are common throughout the world. However, the latest coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that began in December 2019 is a novel virus, which means it has not been previously identified in humans.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that has been detected in almost 70 locations internationally. It is believed to be spread through person-to-person contact and, in these types of conditions, illness is spread through coughing or direct contact. That is why it is important to follow the common practices listed below to kill germs that may be spread.
The symptoms are very similar to the flu and include mild to severe respiratory illness with a fever, cough, shortness of breath and/or loss of taste and smell. The symptoms can present from two to 14 days after exposure.
Because this virus is relatively new, there is not currently a vaccine to provide immunity from the virus (like there is for the flu). As a result, the best way to avoid getting this – or any virus – is to ensure common practices that eliminate germs or keep you from being exposed to germs. These activities include:
Keeping our healthcare workforce healthy and safe is a top priority to ensure we are prepared and able to serve the health needs of our community as this situation evolves. As a result, Mercy has several mechanisms currently in place to ensure the safety of all of our patients, staff and volunteers, as well as minimize any potential exposure. In addition to the universal precautions listed above, this also includes:
Linn County Public Health has also created multi-lingual resources (PDF).
The University of Iowa’s College of Public Health has put together a series of videos in various languages about COVID-19 for community members. Languages are English, French, Spanish and Swahili.
The CDC is a great resource for the latest information about COVID-19. Linn County Public Health also provides information on COVID-19.
Video from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: Medicare Coverage and Payment of Virtual Services. This video will provide you with answers to common questions about the expanded Medicare telehealth services benefit under the 1135 waiver authority and Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act.