Coronavirus 19 (COVID-19) Information & Resources

Updated - March 31, 2022

Additional Boosters Recommended for More People

On March 29, the CDC announced expanded eligibility for additional COVID-19 booster vaccinations for certain individuals who may be a greater risk of complications from COVID.

The CDC recommends certain immunocompromised individuals (visit with your doctor to determine if right for you) and people over the age of 50 who received an initial booster dose and at least four months has transpired since the most recent MRNA booster dose. 

Boosters are available through Clay County Public Health or your local pharmacy. To schedule online with Clay County Public Health, use this link: COVID-19 Vaccination Scheduling

Iowa Dept. of Public Health Updates COVID-19 Stats Weekly

The Iowa Department of Public Health has shifted to reporting positive cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population over a seven-day period. Data is updated each Wednesday. Here is a link to the current data: Iowa Department of Public Health  Please remember, this data does not include people who had positive COVID test results using home testing kits. 

Iowa Hospital Association Chooses Local Physician to Share Her Story

Dr. Sonia Sather, long-time local practitioner and hospitalist for Spencer Hospital, was asked by the Iowa Hospital Association to share her thoughts on the importance of being vaccinated and protected against COVID-19, to prevent serious health complications. Watch the video below -

Visitor Guidelines as of Feb. 9, 2022

Welcome, patients and visitors!  Visitor guidelines are designed to provide our patients the benefit of having support from their loved ones while continuing to manage the infection risks created by numerous people in and out of our facilities each day where immune-compromised people are receiving care. 

In accordance with CDC requirements, masks must be worn by all patients and visitors within hospitals and clinics. 

Inpatient Visitation: 

  • Two visitors per patient at a time. May rotate visitors throughout the day.
  • Behavioral Health patients may have two visitors daily by appointment.
  • No visitors for patients being treated for a COVID-19 infection.
  • Exceptions permitted for end-of-life circumstances as determined by physician.
  • Vaccinated clergy member can visit once daily.

Outpatient Visitation:

  • Outpatients may be accompanied by up to two people.

Additional COVID-19 Info & Vaccine Updates

Thanks for checking the Spencer Hospital website and Facebook page as news is changing frequently.

  • There is an informational webpage on this site specific to COVID-19 Vaccine Information, which will be updated as new information becomes available. Click on this link to access: COVID-19 Vaccination Information
  • To access the Iowa Department of Public Health's information page on vaccination progress across the state, click here:  Vaccination Progress
  • For current Visitor Guidelines, please click on the link: Visitor Guidelines

Watch this page for updated information from Spencer Hospital and Clay County Public Health regarding the novel coronavirus 19, known as COVID-19. The impact of the disease can cause situations to change rapidly and we will strive to keep you informed.

State of Iowa COVID-19 Information Line - 211

COVID-19 Call Center - For questions regarding testing options, exposures and quarantine recommendations, please call our local COVID-19 Call Center at 712-264-6514 or Toll Free at 1-800-848-0638.

COVID-19 Diagnostic Laboratory Testing Price

The price of a COVID-19 test (CPT 87635) at Spencer Hospital is $156.25 (inclusive of supplies, lab equipment and staff time to perform the test). Many insurance companies, as well as government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, have taken steps to ensure coverage to eliminate any out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing. Also, for any self-insured patients, there will not be a bill at this time. Spencer Hospital will seek reimbursement from any applicable government programs which may provide coverage for the test.

COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

  • COVID-19 is similar to other viruses you might get during cold and flu season, and most people can recover at home without needing medical attention. Current treatment recommendations are to manage individual symptoms.

    Common symptoms can include:

    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue, Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea

    Managing fever

    Use over-the-counter medications, such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol, to manage a fever or pain.

    Managing cough and shortness of breath

    Over-the-counter medications used for upper respiratory infections may help alleviate symptoms.

    Those medications include guaifenesin (Mucinex), pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) and dextromethorphan (Robitussin, Delsym).

    Some medications include multiple drugs; contact your physician if you plan to take more than one medication to manage your symptoms.

    Other treatments that may help include:

    • Using a humidifier
    • Using a nasal rinse
    • Using a chest rub, such as Vicks VapoRub
    • Taking a hot shower
    • Propping yourself up with pillows
    • Practice slow, deep breathing in through the nose, out through the mouth

    Maintaining healthy habits

    Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. In general, you should drink 8-12 8oz. glasses of fluid each day. If you are experiencing stomach upset, you should drink even more by continuously sipping smaller amounts of salt containing fluids such as sports drinks. Get plenty of rest, and wash your hands frequently. Incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet.

    • Spinach and nuts are rich in vitamin E.
    • Citrus fruits, cantaloupe, watermelon and berries are rich in vitamin C.

    Incorporate exercises as you’re able.

    Eliminate stressors as best you can; keep connected to your friends and family through phone calls or other technology.

    Call your physician or the emergency department

    Please call your physician or the Spencer Hospital Emergency Department at 712-264-6100 if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

    • Respiratory distress: Monitor your breathing by asking yourself, “How is my breathing? Do I feel comfortable?” If you cannot talk in full sentences, you need to see your physician.
    • Gastrointestinal distress: If you cannot keep fluids or food in your system due to vomiting or diarrhea.
    • Fever or 100.4 or higher that is not responding to acetaminophen (Tylenol).

  • This handout provides helpful information for parents to help take care of their children at home while experiencing symptoms from COVID-19.

    Caring for Your Child with COVID-19

  • Test Iowa, the state’s free COVID-19 testing program, has transitioned from offering COVID-19 testing at drive-through locations regionally to providing Iowans access to free, self-administered test kits, which are sent into Iowa’s State Hygienic Lab for results. Locally, take-home testing kits will be available to pick up in Spencer Hospital’s emergency department. For complete details plus a "frequently asked questions" update from the Iowa Department of Public Health, check out this article: Free COVID-19 Home Test Kit

State & Federal Resources:

COVID-19 in Iowa - Iowa Department of Public Health's website that shares comprehensive information regarding novel coronavirus 19 (COVID-19) in Iowa. 

Iowa Department of Public Health - Up-to-date information on diagnosed cases in Iowa, news bulletins and prevention tips.

Updates from Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds' office 

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention - The CDC is monitoring the spread of COVID-19 across the United States, and serves as a source for the latest information.

Valuable Information from the CDC:

A Message from Bill Bumgarner, Spencer Hospital President

Please click on the video below to view a special video message from hospital president Bill Bumgarner. 

Information & Prevention Tips from Spencer Hospital & Clay County Public Health