Mercy Responds to COVID-19

Additional Information

A novel coronavirus (COVID-19) team with Mercy’s top experts is working every day to make sure Mercy is prepared and ready to care for our communities. Mercy is also working closely with local and state health departments, as well as with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to ensure we have the most up-to-date information about a rapidly changing situation.

Due to a limited number of COVID-19 testing supplies across the U.S. and consistent with other health care providers, only patients who are very ill and meet COVID-19 criteria are currently being tested. For those with symptoms, we recommend staying home and away from others and taking care of yourself as you would with other viruses. If symptoms escalate, patients should contact their primary care physician.

To get tested, contact your primary care provider or use our interactive risk assessment.

In these times, we’re grateful for our doctors, nurses, care teams and those working tirelessly behind the scenes—all to ensure that Mercy continues to provide safe, quality, compassionate care to those entrusted to us. We pray that our communities be granted wellness and healing, and that our co-workers be blessed with courage, stamina and fortitude.

Latest Updates

Mercy Adapts to Protect Patients

As the world continues to make unprecedented decisions related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) illness, Mercy is moving quickly to make changes as well. We will be transitioning processes in our Mercy clinics and hospitals to protect our patients and caregivers. Learn more.

Mercy Clinic Visitor Restrictions

Mercy Clinic locations across the ministry will no longer allow visitors to accompany adult patients to their appointments. This restriction is effective immediately. 

This restriction does not prevent patients from having interpreters, medical decision-makers, or others necessary to receive medical care present at their appointment. Young children may also accompany parents/guardians if child care is not available.  

Clinic & Hospital Screening Policy

Mercy has implemented a new screening policy across all clinics and hospitals to protect our patients while meeting the needs of our communities. Patients and visitors will be asked the appropriate screening questions provided by Infection Prevention and have their temperature taken:

  • Patients who screen positive for fever (100+) or any other symptom recommended by Infection Prevention will be asked to wear a facemask for the duration of their visit.
  • Visitors who screen positive will be asked to remain outside the clinic or hospital unless they are necessary for care or children without other child care. They will also be asked to wear a mask for the duration of their visit.

Mercy Postpones Elective, Non-Urgent Surgeries, Procedures and Imaging

Mercy continues to prepare our co-workers and facilities for a possible influx of patients. The next critical step in those preparations is to begin postponing non-urgent, elective procedures and surgeries as well as all non-urgent imaging services in compliance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Learn more.

Where to Find More Information

Frequently Asked Questions

What is COVID-19 a.k.a. Coronavirus and how does it spread?

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person, mainly when they are in close contact with one another (less than 6 feet).  When an infected person coughs or sneezes this spreads respiratory droplets that can then infect another person nearby.  It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that 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.

What are the symptoms? 

People with COVID-19 don't have a runny nose or nasal congestion. 90% of patients will have fever and 70% will have a dry cough. Some will have diarrhea although by itself this is not usually a sign of COVID-19.  Those who become acutely ill will experience shortness of breath.

Most patients who have the virus will have symptoms but in most cases (about 80%) the symptoms will be mild.  People who are older, have chronic diseases, or have a weakened immune system are at higher risk of complications if infected.

If you have difficulty breathing - call ahead to your nearest emergency room and let them know your symptoms and that you’re on your way. That will help them prepare for your arrival.

I want to get tested. Where can I go to do that? 

Not everyone should be tested.  Since the levels of infection are low in Mercy areas, for now this should only be done at the direction of a health care provider.  Mercy is working to set up testing sites at Mercy facilities and elsewhere. If you have symptoms but they are only mild, stay home and contact your health care provider by phone or via MyMercy for guidance.

How can I help protect myself?

People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness with everyday preventive actions.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

You may also want to avoid large public gatherings or meetings if you can avoid them.  Masks are not currently recommended for everyday use.

If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

What should I do if I recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19?

Contact your health care provider. They will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness. While sick, avoid contact with people, don’t go out and delay any travel to reduce the possibility of spreading illness to others.

Is there a vaccine?

There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to take everyday preventive actions, like avoiding close contact with people who are sick and washing your hands often. 

What You Need to Know
The Mercy Mission

As part of our mission and heritage for almost 200 years, we care for those in our community regardless of the illness or circumstance. It’s what we do. It’s who we are. Our Sisters of Mercy, long known as the Walking Sisters, have always turned and walked toward those in need. Whether it was a cholera or typhoid epidemic in Dublin, Ireland, in the early 1800s, or a smallpox outbreak in Springfield, Missouri, at the turn of the century, the Sisters were many times the first to serve, without hesitation, whenever needed. 

Today, Mercy’s mission remains unchanged. We serve our communities with compassionate care, dignity and medical expertise.

Visitor Restrictions

Mercy is working across our four states to respond to each of our community’s needs. View specific information in your community below.
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