McFarland Clinic has taken a number of steps to prepare for and respond to your questions and concerns about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19.
McFarland COVID-19 Nurse Phone Line
Mindy Rash, RN, Director of Patient Care Services at McFarland Clinic, talks about the McFarland COVID-19 Nurse Phone Line which has been established for residents of Central Iowa who think they may have COVID-19 symptoms.
When should I seek medical care if I'm concerned I may have COVID-19?
If you have symptoms (cough, fever, or shortness of breath) and believe you may have been exposed, please call the McFarland COVID-19 Nurse Phone Line at 515-500-6711.
Can I get tested for COVID-19? What are the requirements?
There are defined testing criteria, and supplies are limited. McFarland Clinic is following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) criteria for COVID-19 testing. Only patients with a known exposure and who have symptoms of cough, fever, or shortness of breath will be tested.
My employer is requiring a doctor’s note that says I don’t have COVID-19 so I can return to work. How do I get one?
McFarland Clinic will only test patients meeting CDC criteria. The CDC is advising employers: “Do not require healthcare providers to issue notes for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work.” McFarland is following this guidance as outlined in CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers.
Is it safe to come the clinic? Should I cancel my routine appointments?
McFarland Clinic providers and staff follow standard infection control procedures to protect patients and staff and to control infection. Notice signs at all clinic entrances direct patients with known exposure and symptoms to call the COVID-19 Nurse Phone Line. If you have concerns about your scheduled appointment, please contact your healthcare team by calling or direct messaging in MyChart.
Can someone come with me to my appointment?
McFarland Clinic is requesting no more than two visitors accompany patients to their appointment.
Watch our Coronavirus playlist or select any video below to watch:
Please refer to these resources for the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 in Iowa and in the United States.
- Iowa Department of Public Health - Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- CDC.gov - Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Questions? Call 211 - IDPH Public Hotline
The Iowa Department of Public Health has established a public hotline for Iowans with questions about COVID-19. The line is available 24/7 by calling 211.
There are four known common types of coronaviruses that circulate frequently within the community. Coronaviruses generally cause mild respiratory illness with sniffles and some coughing, and they can sometimes cause more problems for people who have underlying lung problems. The novel coronavirus causes a disease known as COVID-19, with pneumonia-like symptoms including cough, fever, and shortness of breath.
Spreading the Virus
The novel coronavirus is thought to spread from person-to-person, particularly between people who are in close contact (within about six feet). When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they can produce droplets which can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or can be inhaled into the lungs. People are thought to be most contagious when they are showing symptoms, although it is thought to be possible to spread the disease before becoming symptomatic. It may also be possible to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
Prevention of Respiratory Illnesses
While COVID-19 is prominent in the news, seasonal influenza remains a very real threat in the community. Reports of illness and testing have increased in the early months of 2020. Influenza B was predominant in December 2019, and now we are seeing a sharp rise in influenza A/H1N1.
In order to protect yourself and others from the spread of all respiratory viruses currently circulating, please take the following actions:
- Complete hand hygiene frequently using soap and water or hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home if you are sick, and cover your coughs and sneezes.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
Coronavirus Update Lecture
March 6, 2020
Dan Fulton, MD of McFarland Clinic Infectious Diseases presented a one-hour lecture on the coronavirus and preparations at McFarland Clinic and Mary Greeley Medical Center.
A COVID-19 response team is meeting regularly to ensure proper planning is in place and to respond to any new developments. Clinical staff will be informed of any new measures that may be necessary.
McFarland Clinic has implemented travel and symptom screening at all public entry points to our facilities. Screening questions focus on a person's current health condition, whether they have recently traveled internationally, or whether they have had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case. If a patient should meet screening criteria as a potential case, staff will follow specific procedures, which include:
- Place a mask on the patient and ask them to complete hand hygiene.
- Move the patient to a private room.
- Notify appropriate clinic officials and Iowa Department of Public Health.
- Use established precautions to limit contact, including use of gowns, gloves, masks, and face shield equipment.
Iowa Department of Public Health
McFarland Clinic is working closely with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) on the response to the coronavirus. If we are investigating a potential COVID-19 case, we will work with IDPH to complete a thorough clinical assessment and will determine whether lab specimens are to be collected and the need for further monitoring or self-quarantine. We are also in contact, as needed, with state, county, and city officials in our communities.
Protective Measures at the Clinic
The health and safety of our staff is vital to the health and safety of our communities. Staff are trained in prevention measures when treating patients who have potentially infectious conditions. McFarland Clinic actively promotes hand hygiene for clinical staff.