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COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 Testing

Beginning May 24, 2021 you can make an appointment to be evaluated or tested for COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses at the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic (located within Ringgold County Hospital). Call 641-464-4470 to make an appointment.

COVID-19 testing is available for anyone who has:

  1. Had direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 AND/OR
  2. Developed any new symptoms of COVID-19 in the last five days including:
    • Sore throat
    • Loss of taste and smell
    • Muscle aches
    • Vomiting
    • Headache
    • Fatigue
    • Diarrhea
    • Trouble breathing
    • Cough
    • Fever of 100° F or higher or shaking/chills

Pre-Operative COVID-19 Testing

Patients who are preparing for an upcoming medical procedure can receive COVID-19 testing at the Ringgold County Hospital laboratory. Contact the Lab for more information at 641-464-4411. Providers can fax pre-op testing orders to 641-464-4412.

If you are experiencing severe shortness of breath, call 911 or go to the Emergency Entrance and call 641-464-4405 for immediate assistance.


Frequently Asked Questions

I found out I was exposed to someone positive for Covid-19. What should I do?

Ringgold County Hospital encourages everyone that is contacted by Public Health to be evaluated. Contact Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic to schedule testing by calling 641-464-4470. Stay home and self quarantine until you are tested and receive your results (typically results are received within 2-5 days).

I am experiencing possible symptoms of Covid-19. What should I do?

Ringgold County Hospital encourages everyone that is experiencing symptoms to contact their primary care provider to be evaluated. The provider may evaluate and treat upon their discretion or suggest you be tested. Testing is available by appointment at the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic by calling 641-464-4470. Stay home and self quarantine until you are tested and receive your results (typically results are received within 2-5 days).

What kind of test will I receive?

You will have a choice of tests based on current availability of testing supplies. All situations are individual, and you may want to consult with your primary health care provider with any questions.

Why did I receive a bill after being tested for COVID-19?

Testing supplies were initially provided by federal and state funding at no cost. Facilities are now purchasing their own testing supplies and COVID-19 testing is becoming a routine part of health care, similar to influenza or bacterial infections. It is possible that symptoms may also be related to cold and flu illnesses, including COVID-19 exposure. Providing the best plan of care may include evaluating our patients to better understand your symptoms. Ringgold County Hospital does charge a $80-100 fee to cover associated testing costs, insurance will be billed or you can pay the fee out of pocket.

Someone else I know got their results back the same day, but my results still haven’t come back. When will I get my results?

Ringgold County Hospital understands how important receiving your results are to determine how long you stay home. If you receive a State Hygienic Lab nasal swab test, it will be sent to an outside laboratory to process results. Their results typically take 2-3 days, but wait time may increase due to a greater demand for testing. If you receive a Rapid Test, you will receive your results by the end of the business day. 

COVID-19

Ringgold County Hospital is following all the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Iowa Department of Health in response to the Coronavirus pandemic affecting the nation. In order to protect the safety and well being of all our patients and staff, we are pre-screening everyone prior to entering the hospital for fever, chills or sweats, cough, shortness of breath,  nausea/diarrhea, or other symptoms of COVID-19. The hospital has made changes both physically and operationally to ensure the safety of patients and healthcare workers. Please call prior to making a visit to the hospital 641-464-3226 or the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic 641-464-4470. You will be directed to the appropriate department for assistance or to make an appointment. We continue to utilize mitigation efforts to help slow the spread of infectious diseases:

  1. Social distancing to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
  2. Encouraging frequent hand washing.
  3. Following IDPH and CDC guideance regarding cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain like grocery stores and pharmacies. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected.
  4. Call “211” in Iowa, or 877-435-8411 in Missouri, to receive general information on COVID-19 and testing options.

Visitor access to the hospital has been restricted and entry to the building is limited to the two main entrances. The main entrance is open between 6:30am and 5:00pm Monday – Friday, and the Emergency Room entrance is open at all times. Anyone who enters the hospital will be pre-screened for temperature and other COVID-19 risk factors. No public walking is allowed until further notice.
Additionally, we are instituting visitor restrictions.

Visitor Restrictions
Visitors are allowed for inpatients in Acute Care, Skilled Care, or Observation patients. We are currently limiting visitors for patients being seen in the Emergency Room to minimize spread of infectious diseases. Exceptions will be made for extenuating circumstances.

COVID-19 Testing
Ringgold County Hospital is conducting COVID-19 testing by appointment at the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic. Please call 641-464-4470 to report symptoms and schedule testing.

Patients who are preparing for an upcoming medical procedure or travel requirements can receive COVID-19 testing at the Ringgold County Hospital laboratory. Contact the Lab for more information at 641-464-4411. 

Medical Providers can fax Covid testing orders to 641-464-4412.

COVID-19 Vaccine
Ringgold County Hospital is partnering with Ringgold County Public Health and encouraging everyone who is interested in being vaccinated for COVID-19 to contact Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic at 641-464-4470, Ringgold County Hospital at 641-464-3226, or Ringgold County Public Health at 641-464-0691.

RCH will be offering vaccine administration after clinic hour and on weekends.

For the latest information on COVID-19, visit the Iowa Department of Health: www.idph.iowa.gov and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www. cdc.gov.

 

Hospital is Prepared for COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Ringgold County Hospital is following all the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Iowa Department of Health in response to the current Coronavirus pandemic affecting the nation. In order to protect the safety and well being of all our patients and staff, we are pre-screening everyone wishing to gain entry to the hospital for fever, chills or sweats, cough, shortness of breath, or nausea/diarrhea. The hospital has made changes both physically and operationally to ensure the safety of patients and healthcare workers. A dedicated entrance to the hospital has been created for those experiencing breathing issues. The dedicated entrance is on the north end of the hospital next to the Emergency Room entrance. In addition, car-side triage and services have been implemented to add to the safety of both patients and healthcare providers. Patients can have simple services like blood drawn without ever leaving their cars! Some routine exams and wellness visits at the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic have been rescheduled to reduce the potential spread of this virus. The hospital advises the community:

  1. Call prior to coming into the hospital 641-464-3226 or the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic 641-464-4470. You will be directed to the appropriate department for assistance. Some tests and visits may be conducted at your vehicle.
  2. Whether you are sick or not, stay home. Social distancing will slow down the spread of COVID-19.
  3. Wash your hands frequently and clean all the surfaces in your home.
  4. Wear a cloth face covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain like grocery stores and pharmacies. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected. Learn more about cloth face masks.
  5. Call “211” in Iowa, or 877-435-8411 in Missouri, to receive general information on COVID-19 and testing options.

Visitor access to the hospital has been restricted and entry to the building is limited to the two main entrances. The main entrance is open between 6:30am and 5:00pm Monday – Friday, and the Emergency Room entrance is open at all times. Anyone who enters the hospital will be pre-screened for temperature and other COVID-19 risk factors. No public walking is allowed until further notice.
Additionally, we are instituting strict visiting restriction. For the immediate future, NO visitors will be allowed in our facilities.

Visitor Restrictions
NO visitors will be allowed in our facilities.
Some exceptions will be made for extenuating circumstances.
Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for:

  • Children admitted to the hospital
  • Patients receiving end-of-life care

For approved exceptions, only one visitor per patient will be allowed. They must be:

  • 18 or older
  • Either immediate family members, powers of attorney, guardians or patient representatives

Checklist to prepare and protect yourself and your family (DOWNLOAD AND PRINT)

PLAN AND PREPARE: TAKE EVERYDAY PREVENTIVE ACTION: TAKE CARE OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD’S
EMOTIONAL HEALTH:
• Get up-to-date information about local
COVID-19 activity from public officials and
departments.
• Create a list of important organizations and providers your household can call in case of emergencies.
• Choose a designated room that can be used to separate family members who are sick or under quarantine.
• Stay in touch.
• Stay informed about the local outbreak situation.
• Notify your work or school if your schedule or arrangements need to change.
• If you live alone, ask family, friends, and health care providers to check on you during the outbreak.
• Stay in touch with family and friends with chronic medical conditions.
• Wash your hands frequently.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Let family members who are sick or have underlying issues stay at home and away from the office, school or crowded places.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
• Avoid sharing personal items.
• Outbreaks are stressful for both adults and children. Find resources here.
• Children may respond differently to stressful situations.
• Talk with your children and answer their questions. Let them voice out their fears or worries.
• Practice meditation.
• Stick to a schedule.

For the latest information on COVID-19, visit the Iowa Department of Health: www.idph.iowa.gov and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www. cdc.gov.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – What you need to know

Ringgold County Hospital, an affiliate of MercyOne, continues to closely monitor the international situation concerning COVID-19. COVID-19, originally referred to as 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCOV), recently discovered in Wuhan, China. Cases of COVID-19 are appearing across the globe, and we are monitoring the virus to help keep our communities healthy.

At Ringgold County Hospital, we are following guidance provided by the CDC and Iowa Department of Public Health to screen patients for symptoms including fever and respiratory signs as well as the patient’s travel history and exposure to those who have traveled. If a person is found to have symptoms and travel history, Ringgold County Hospital will isolate the patient and alert the Iowa Department of Public Health to coordinate testing. 

If you begin to experience symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19, call your primary care provider before coming in.

What are COVID-19 symptoms?
Coronaviruses are respiratory, meaning most people who have a Coronavirus will have a cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, and fever. 

In 80% of patients, COVID-19 causes only mild cold symptoms. The elderly, and those with pre-existing medical conditions appear to be more vulnerable to the virus.

If you begin to experience symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19, call your primary care provider (contact Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic at 641-464-4470) before coming in.

How do people get Coronavirus?
COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, similar to the flu – through the air from a cough or sneeze of someone who has the virus.

It may be possible a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object which has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. 

How can we prevent the spread of COVID-19?
To help prevent the spread of all viruses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth. 
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

Should we wear facemasks to prevent COVID-19?
The CDC now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain like grocery stores and pharmacies. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected. Learn more about cloth face masks.

If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community:

  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor
  • Stay home except to get medical care
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
  • Wear a facemask
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Clean your hands often
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday
  • Monitor your symptoms

10 ways to manage respiratory symptoms at home – print instructions

Additional Information
More information about the spread of COVID-19 in Iowa can be found on an IDPH website dedicated to the outbreak. Iowans can also call 2-1-1 to get answers to questions about COVID-19. The hotline is staffed 24/7. For the latest CDC guidelines, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

Women’s Health & Mental Health Month

Everyone who has ever flown on an airplane has heard these instructions: “Secure your own oxygen mask before trying to help others.” It’s also true when it comes to your health. You can’t take care of your loved ones if you haven’t cared for yourself first. Women have traditionally filled the roles of caregivers for their families, which makes it even more important to attend to their own health. 

Erin Leonard, ARNP

As women move through the different stages of life, there are screenings and routine exams based on age that can potentially be lifesaving. Erin Leonard, ARNP at the Mount Ayr Medical Clinic, encourages the basics, “A healthy diet and exercise is so important for women of all ages.” Erin recommends a wellness exam every year. Wellness visits can include breast exams, pelvic exams, lab work, and immunizations. The healthcare providers at the Mount Ayr Medical Clinic encourage younger women and girls to discuss what’s happening with their bodies during well child and well adolescent visits. Beginning at age 21, a pap smear is recommended every three years until the age of 30. “After 30, we do a Pap smear with HPV testing.  This can be done every 5 years, as long as previous testing has been normal,” says Erin. Screening intervals can change depending on previous results. “One size does not fit all. The best approach is shared decision making between a woman and her primary care provider. As women age, they need to add mammograms and colonoscopies to the list, too!” 

Top of mind this year is how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone, especially women who are pregnant, or may be trying to get pregnant.  “There have been a lot of questions surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine, and whether or not women should get it,” said Erin.  The CDC, World Health Organization, and American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommend vaccinating pregnant women against COVID-19 due to the increased risk of complications should they contract the virus.  Additionally, the vaccine has not been tied to adverse outcomes related to pregnancy or fertility.  Recent studies have shown immunity passed on to babies in moms who have been vaccinated during pregnancy and lactating mothers.  Erin added, “If you have any concerns, you should discuss these with your healthcare provider.”

No matter your age, particularly in stressful times like a pandemic, mental health is as important as physical health. “We screen for depression and anxiety in all our annual visits,” said Erin. “Mental health concerns can span across our entire lifetime. We’re here to help when it’s needed.” 

According to Morgan Drake, Director of Ringgold County Hospital’s Senior Life Solutions, women are twice as likely as men to experience symptoms of depression. “There are a variety of reasons,” said Morgan. “But often it’s related to hormones. Women’s hormones change at the onset of menstruation, with pregnancy, if they’re experiencing infertility, or going through menopause.”

Although these hormonal changes may be inevitable, they don’t have to lead to depression. “Physically taking care of ourselves with a healthy diet and some exercise is a great place to start,” she said. “Studies show that even 30 minutes of walking each day can be as effective as taking anti-depression medication.” Morgan added that the walks can be broken up into 10-minute bursts and be equally beneficial.

Along with basic diet and exercise, it’s important to get adequate sleep and practice keeping stress in check. “We suggest learning relaxing techniques and making time to do things you enjoy. Even caring for a pet can relieve stress,” said Morgan.

Morgan invites the entire community to participate in Wear Green Day on May 21 to bring attention to Mental Health Awareness.

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