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Polk County Medical Coordination Center Encourages Patients to Visit Healthcare Provider for Routine Health Needs

(Des Moines, IA) – The Polk County Medical Coordination Center would like to remind our community that it is safe to schedule a visit with your medical provider for critical health visits or to seek care at the emergency room or urgent care. As partners in healthcare, we believe it is important for our patients to address their health concerns.

Each hospital system and clinic in the metro have put in place screening protocols for all employees, patients and visitors. All facilities have implemented even more stringent cleaning and safety measures citywide. Safety measures could include:

  • Screening patients and visitors upon entry into the hospital or clinic.
  • Separating patients out spatially and/or limiting time spent in waiting areas.
  • Scheduling routine visits and sick visits at different times of the day or different locations.
  • Using virtual visits for non-urgent health concerns.

Every patient and visitor who enters a hospital and clinic will be asked to wear a facemask to protect themselves and the individuals around them.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, well child visits have declined significantly. This can cause a delay in required and recommended vaccines and health screenings and referrals. Parents and guardians are encouraged to schedule their children’s well visits, back-to-school and sports physicals now. Many children are required to have vaccines before entering school and without the proper medical documentation of vaccines; this can hinder students from starting school on time.

In addition, the Polk County Medical Coordination Center is also reminding the community if you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of cardiac arrest or stroke: do not hesitate to call 911 or come to the emergency department. Emergency departments in the metro are designed to keep COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients in separate areas. Each facility is fully equipped to provide care for all patients in all situations.

The following are symptoms of a heart attack or stroke:


Heart Attack

  • Chest Pain
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Discomfort in chest, arms, back, neck shoulder or jaw



  • Weakness, numbness or loss of movement in your face, arm, or leg, especially if it’s only on one side
  • Trouble speaking, understanding others or confusion
  • Loss of balance


For COVID-19 information, please visit the Polk County Health Department’s COVID-19 website.



If you think you need to get tested for COVID-19 or have been exposed, call your clinic FIRST. DO NOT go to the ER or clinic. You could potentially expose others to COVID-19 or be exposed to COVID-19.