County health experts concerned about COVID spread

by Travis Fischer

Cerro Gordo health experts pleaded with the public to be conscientious about the spread of COVID-19 at a joint press conference between MercyOne and Cerro Gordo Public Health on Monday, Nov. 9.

Dr. Paul Manternach, Chief Medical Officer at MercyOne, and Brian Hanft, the county’s Director of Public Health, spoke on Monday about the rapid spread of the disease and the impact it is having on the area’s healthcare system.

“In the past week, MercyOne has had the highest number of COVID-19 confirmations our hospital has had since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Manternach, who noted that one-third of Mercy’s hospital beds are currently occupied by COVID-19 patients and that they’ve seen a sharp increase in patients needing out-patient care.

As a result of the spike in COVID-19 cases, MercyOne is adjusting how urgent care patients will be seen.

Starting Tuesday, MercyOne’s Urgent Care is limited to patients suffering from possible COVID-19 symptoms; such as fever, respiratory illness symptoms, or gastro intentional issues, during the week. People that need urgent

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