May 15, 2021

Fever and respiratory pop-up clinic opens Monday at Newton Clinic

Patients asked to call to make appointment beforehand

Newton Clinic patients with a fever, flu-like symptoms or respiratory symptoms — such as a cough or shortness of breath — will be able to utilize a temporary pop-up clinic for treatment, health care officials announced Friday in a press release.

This action is in direct response to the United States COVID-19 pandemic.

The fever and respiratory clinic opened at noon Monday in the parking lot of Newton Clinic, 300 N. Fourth Ave. E., and will be operated out of a 10-feet-square tent near the east side of the building’s main entrance. The tent is equipped with space heaters.

Those who are experiencing the aforementioned symptoms are not to come inside the Newton Clinic, the release said.

Instead, patients are asked to call 641-792-2112 to make an appointment before being seen in the external clinic. Staff will be based in a large adjacent trailer, which is the former sports concession vehicle loaned by the local school district. Nurse practitioners Sarah Neal and Christy Lester will lead the clinic.

Both Neal and Lester are regular providers at the Newton Express Care Clinic based inside the local Hy-Vee, which is temporarily closed until further notice. Visits to the fever and respiratory clinic will be billed like a standard visit.

Health care providers will likely wear masks, gowns and other personal protective equipment at the clinic.

Mark Thayer, the clinic administrator, said the tented clinic “will be a place for evaluation, testing and treatment of conditions like strep throat, influenza and COVID-19.” For now, even something as seemingly simple as a common cold should be seen in the external clinic.

“For the safety of our community, our goal is to separate those who may be at elevated risk of COVID-19 from those in need of other medical treatment,” Thayer said.

Newton Clinic will still remain open for “non-contagious health conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, mental health checkups, pain management, medication follow-up visits, non-emergent injuries such as sprains and minor lacerations, OB visits and well-adult and well-child exams.”

Staff are also looking into offering telemedicine exams, allowing patients to consult their doctors remotely from their homes using a computer.

Once fully operational, the fever and respiratory clinic will be open for scheduled appointments between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Walk-up hours for the weekends are planned 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays and noon to 3 p.m. Sundays.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or cbraunschweig@newtondailynews.com