If you have COVID-19 symptoms and visit an area hospital, what happens? Although it will obviously vary some depending on what medical establishment you go to, a video at Mercy Medical Center shows what happens at this Cedar Rapids hospital.

After contacting your doctor, if you have respiratory symptoms that are mild to severe, you'll begin in a special tent that was set up outside the hospital after the outbreak started. The tent is designed to be an emergency room for people dealing with respiratory problems.

You start by being asked a series of questions and then, after hand-sanitizing, move to a room where you can be tested for things like the flu and, of course, COVID-19.

Dr. Matthew Aucutt of Mercy Medical Center tells KCRG,

We take a nasopharyngeal swab and it’s applied through the nose. It goes pretty far back. We then send it to the Iowa Department of Public Health for testing.

Each patient sees a doctor and if symptoms are severe enough, the person is then moved to a special area of the hospital, away from others. The doctor eventually decides if the patient can go home while awaiting test results or if they should stay on the 8th floor of the hospital. Test results are usually back from the Iowa Department of Public Health within 24 hours.

Aucutt says that if a patient tests positive for COVID-19, they're moved to specially-equipped rooms on the hospital's 9th floor.

Aucutt explains what Mercy is seeing,

The number of people who are really sick with COVID symptoms are gradually increasing. We’re trying to protect everybody from the virus with social distancing and staying home. All of those measures are to stop the spread of this infection. This is just another step that we have taken to ensure the safety of our patients and the safety of the community.

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