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Media Contact: 
Aaron Scheinblum, Communication Strategist
319-358-2627 or e-mail: aaron.scheinblum@mercyic.org

Thursday, March 18, 2021 - Mercy Iowa City partnering to host free COVID-19 testing at Johnson County Fairgrounds

Mercy Iowa City has partnered with Rural Health & Safety of Eastern Iowa to host free COVID-19 testing at a mobile clinic for those who qualify, while supplies last. Leaders with Mercy Iowa City say it is important to continue to make every effort to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19 while community members are starting to receive the vaccine.

On Tuesday, March 23 from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m., the Johnson County Fairgrounds, located at 3109 Old Highway 218 South in Iowa City, will host the COVID-19 testing clinic in Building C. This will be a drive-through clinic, allowing patients to stay in their car during the testing process. Community members will be tested on a first come, first serve basis.

This is not a COVID-19 vaccination clinic and will only provide COVID-19 testing. Community members will not receive a vaccine at this event.

The March 23 event marks the seventh clinic Mercy Iowa City and Rural Health & Safety of Eastern Iowa have partnered to provide. Mercy Iowa City leaders involved in planning the COVID-19 testing clinic say hosting this event now is increasingly important as more people receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“While most people wait for their turn to get the COVID-19 vaccine, we as a community need to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Stephen Scheckel, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Mercy Iowa City. “COVID-19 continues to be prevalent with emerging variants that are even more transmissible and deadly, so there is a strong need to be aggressive with testing. As we move closer to herd immunity, now is not the time to let our guard down.”

Testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, anyone who works in close association with many others or people who have taken part in activities that put them at higher risk for COVID-19 because they cannot socially distance as needed.

Potential symptoms include:

High Risk: New cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell

Low Risk: Fever, headache, muscle/body aches, fatigue, sore throat, runny nose, congestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea

People are encouraged to call Mercy On Call at 319-358-2767 or Rural Health & Safety of Eastern Iowa at 319-530-6002 for more information. Thank you to the State Hygienic Lab, Johnson County Emergency Management Agency, Johnson County Public Health and the Johnson County Fairgrounds and Rural Health and Safety of Eastern Iowa for their leadership and willingness to help.

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About Mercy Iowa City

Mercy Iowa City is an acute care hospital and regional referral center for southeast Iowa. Mercy has received: the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) 5 Star Rating as a Top 2% of all hospitals for the 4th consecutive year, the only hospital in Iowa to do so; the Fortune IBM/Watson Health 100 Top Hospital ranking; the accredited Chest Pain Center with the American Heart Association Gold Plus Achievement Award for Stroke Care; the Top 100 Community Hospitals Award in 2018 and 2019 from Becker’s Review; the Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award for Mercy’s Emergency Care Unit by achieving 95 percent for patient experience for 13 consecutive years; and the Center of Distinction Award from Healogics for Mercy’s Wound and Vein Center. Mercy has 234 acute care beds, 25 private rooms for outpatient surgery, a 26-bed nursery with Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, 28 primary and specialty care clinics, a medical staff of 250 physicians representing all major medical specialties and most subspecialties, and 1,350 employees. It was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1873 and became an affiliate of MercyOne in 2017. To learn more visit www.mercyiowacity.org