January 1, 2022

As the region experiences the third significant COVID surge, area hospitals — including HCA Midwest Health hospitals — are faced with emergency rooms nearing capacity, record admissions, and nearly full hospital units.

Now, more than ever before, it is critically important to unite as a community and do absolutely everything we can individually, and collectively, to help reverse this trend.

Below are healthcare tips and reminders to keep you and your family healthy, and guidance to help find the most appropriate level of healthcare:

Hospital emergency rooms (ERs) are designed for emergencies and currently are very busy providing life-saving emergent care for patients.

Hospital ERs are not COVID testing sites.

If you or a loved one are experiencing mild COVID symptoms or have been exposed, please follow updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):


If you need a COVID test, please check with your local health department, pharmacy or go online for a testing site close to you.

If you are unable to see your primary care physician, telemedicine may be an alternative.

Simply go to www.hcamidwest.com/carenavigator.com, answer a few short questions about your medical condition, and a nurse will provide care convenient, immediate care options customized to your needs.

The vast majority of hospitalized COVID patients — more than 95% — are unvaccinated.

The best way to reverse the third surge, and stop the spread of COVID, including the Omicron variant, is to get vaccinated, and boosted, immediately.