COVID-19 Updates

Previous Updates

March 20, 2020: Drive-Through Test Collection Sites

With more cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) appearing, Mercy has plans to open three additional drive-through COVID-19 test collection sites in the St. Louis region, located in South St. Louis County, Washington and Hillsboro. Find more details here.

March 17, 2020: Helping Kids Cope

Children are particularly succeptible to anxiety during a global pandemic. Find some helpful tips on ways to talk to your kids here.

March 13, 2020: Test Collection Sites

St. Louis, Mo: Mercy opened its first drive-through novel coronavirus (COVID-19) test collection site in an effort to create more widely available testing resources in our communities. The first site opened Saturday, March 14 at the Mercy Virtual Care Center, 15740 S. Outer Forty Road in Chesterfield, Missouri.

Mercy also plans to open additional test collection sites across Mercy’s four states.

“This drive-through test collection site will prevent unnecessary exposure to our patients and caregivers in our hospitals and clinics,” said Donn Sorensen, Mercy’s executive vice president of operations who is leading COVID-19 response across Mercy. “By directing at-risk people to this site, Mercy will limit the traffic to our hospitals and clinics. The safety of our patients, visitors and co-workers is of the utmost importance.”

Patients in St. Louis are required to call Mercy’s clinical support line at 314-251-0500 to be screened, and if appropriate, proceed to the test collection site. Find more details here.

Springfield, Mo: The Springfield-Greene County Health Department launched a drive-through testing site Monday, March 16. The site assesses community disease prevalence of mildly affected patients in efforts to reduce the volume of patients seen in local clinics and emergency departments.

This testing site is only available to patients referred by a physician. Members of the public will not be able to respond onsite for screening on their own.

Mercy, along with Cox Health and Jordan Valley Community Health Center, is working with the health department to staff the site. Find more details here.

March 12, 2020: Hand Washing

Hand washing regularly and properly is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of infection. Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Find out how it's done here.

March 8, 2020: First Positive COVID-19 Patient

Mercy’s first positive COVID-19 patient was sent home for self-quarantine immediately following the well-coordinated testing at Mercy Hospital St. Louis’ emergency department. With concerned calls coming in from the public, as well as from our own co-workers, we want to emphasize that no one – co-workers, patients or visitors – was ever at risk of exposure due to the extraordinary preparation of our Mercy team.

It’s important to remember that there are currently only three confirmed positive cases in the states that Mercy serves, one in St. Louis, Missouri, one in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and one in Johnson County, Kansas, which is in the Kansas City area.

While COVID-19 is spread from person to person, the risk is relatively low in our communities. More than 80% of the patients who develop it will only become mildly ill. The concern is for those with underlying medical conditions and the elderly, who are more likely to need hospital-level, supportive care. If you have questions about travel exposure or symptoms, please call your local county or state health departments.

March 4, 2020: Severity of Illness

While COVID-19 is spread person to person, the risk is relatively low in our communities. More than 80% of the patients who develop it will only become mildly ill. The concern is for those with underlying medical conditions and the elderly, who are more likely to need hospital-level, supportive care.

In addition, here are some of the steps Mercy has taken in response to the COVID-19 cases in the U.S.:

  • Mercy’s supply chain team has diligently worked to make sure we have the supplies we need to care for our patients and co-workers. We have an ample supply of personal protective equipment, including N-95 masks. 
  • All patients are screened for recent travel history and symptoms at any Mercy facility. Mercy’s electronic health record prompts our front desk staff to ask specific questions. If the patient has traveled to any heavily affected area, and has symptoms like fever, cough, etc., we will take steps to ensure the patient’s safety as well as others.
  • Co-workers are completing additional training (refresher courses) in proper use of personal protective equipment. It’s critical for our co-workers to stay healthy so they can continue to care for patients.
  • Mercy has completed a comprehensive inventory of all intensive care units and equipment across Mercy. 

There are things you can do to keep the risk of COVID-19, or any respiratory illness, to a minimum:

  • Practice hand hygiene all the time. (It’s crucial.) Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Using hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol is an effective alternative. Both should be done frequently.
  • Avoid any hand to eye, hand to nose, or hand to mouth contact.
  • Be considerate when you are sick. Stay home if you are feeling ill. You should be fever free for 24 hours before returning to work. Cover coughs and sneezes using the crook of your arm (inside elbow).
  • Practice the 6-foot rule. If you must be in a public space and notice someone ill, keep that distance to lessen your risk.
  • Get appropriate rest, eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly in order to maintain a healthy immune system. 
Mercy's Response

Historical updates from the Mercy team can be found on this page. Our most recent updates will always be available on our main page.

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