During the coronavirus pandemic, we've heard so much about businesses closing left and right, either temporarily or permanently, because they can't get enough people to work. The good thing is people are taking better care of themselves and calling in for the sick time when they need it, but what happens when too many of those who take care of the sick get sick themselves?

UnityPoint Express Clinic in Hiawatha, which is located in the new Peck's Landing development at 1904 Blairs Ferry Road NE, is closing its doors for this very reason, until January 23.

KCRG learned this from a patient who had stopped by the clinic only to discover they weren't open. Deborah Roberts took the discovery in stride, saying she's thankful to "live in a city where there are plenty of choices". In fact, there are so many choices, with a number of other UnityPoint "urgent care" clinics available in Cedar Rapids, that the still-healthy staff from the Hiawatha location are being temporarily re-routed to those other clinics while theirs is closed.

Between all of them and even before the temporary closure in Hiawatha, UnityPoint officials say the patient traffic in their clinics is three times the norm for this time of year.

What we can do as patients, says UnityPoint Vice President for Clinic Operations Stacey Barrett, is to first call your primary care provider to discuss your symptoms and get suggestions from them. Then, you can call the clinic for an appointment. History tells a lot of folks that the nature of an "urgent care" clinic means not needing an appointment, but these days, you can make one to avoid both the crowd and wait time to get in.

If you're looking for a COVID test without feeling any symptoms, Test Iowa is your best resource so the clinics can focus on those feeling unmistakably sick. Finally, they urge you to get vaccinated against COVID-19 if you are eligible.

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Here are some tips for self-care during the pandemic: