MASON CITY, Iowa - With a surge of cases in Cerro Gordo County, health leaders in the area laid out just how impactful the virus currently is on healthcare in the county.
Paul Manternach, with MercyOne North Iowa, said more than one-third of in-patient beds are occupied by positive COVID-19 patients.
"I'm asking you as a doctor, a husband and a father to wear a mask when in public and refrain from large gatherings," he said.
Brian Hanft with Cerro Gordo County Public Health said "now is not the time to relax safety measures. Based on recent numbers the virus is at our doorstep and is knocking loudly."
Elective surgeries will be postponed for a while, according to Dr. Manternach. Patients will be contacted for rescheduling.
Starting on Tuesday, MercyOne's Mason City urgent care will be used as a clinic for any patients who have symptoms that fall in line with COVID-19. People who need urgent care for more minor issues can contact their primary care provider or MercyOne's Regency Family Medicine.
Dr. Manternach also urges the public to keep following the COVID precautions, so our health care system does not end up strained.
"We really need to bend the curve to slow the spread of this disease, by following those precautions that will allow us in health care to provide all the services people are seeking, including the non-emergency surgeries that people are waiting for," he said.
He also urged folks to keep holiday gatherings to immediate family to help prevent the spread of the virus.
You can watch the full press conference here.