HomeNewsImportant updates regarding COVID-19 policies, testing, and vaccines

Important updates regarding COVID-19 policies, testing, and vaccines

Updated October 22, 2021

Due to the rise in COVID-19 in our area, we are implementing additional health and  safety measures for our employees, patients, and visitors: 

•  Masks are required for all persons entering our facilities – hospital, clinics (Orange City, Hospers, Mill Creek, Walk-In Clinic), Medical Office Building (MB1), Aspire Therapy and Wellness, Home Health & Hospice (Downtown Campus), Landsmeer Ridge Retirement Community, and Prairie Ridge Care Center. 

•  Patients and visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms when they check in at the admissions desk or at the department nurses station. 

•  Our hospital cafeteria (PuddleJumper Grille) is currently closed to the public 

COVID-19 testing: 

•  Rapid COVID-19 tests available by making an appointment with one of our providers at our all of our clinics or at our Walk-In Clinic.   

•  You can also pick up a saliva test at our admissions desk at the Orange City clinic location or at the ER desk. The test gets sent to the Test Iowa lab with results returned in about 24-48 hours.


•  Moderna vaccine is available at our Orange City Family Medicine Clinic to those 18 and older. Call to make an appointment to get vaccinated. You do not need to see a provider in order to get the vaccine. 

•  Pfizer vaccine is available for those 12 and older at local Hy-Vees, Walgreens, CVS, and Lewis Drug. Contact the specific store to check on availability. 

• We encourage all those who are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine

• Note: With the flu season approaching, it is important to get your influenza vaccine. Influenza and COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time in different injection sites.  

Third dose COVID-19 vaccines:

• Booster doses (of both Pfizer and Moderna) are currently recommended for people with moderate to severely compromised immune systems. People who are immunocompromised may not build the same level of immunity to the 2 dose vaccine series compared to people who are not immunocompromised. The additional dose is intended to improve your response to the vaccine series. 

• The booster dose should be given at least 28 days after the second dose of your vaccine series. 

• The third dose should be the same mRNA vaccine as the original series. If you received two doses of Moderna, your booster dose should also be Moderna. 

• Orange City Area Health System only has Moderna vaccine available. If you received Pfizer in your original vaccine series, you will need to find a location that has the Pfizer vaccine (Hy-Vee, Walgreens, Lewis Drug). It is recommended you contact the specific location to check availability. www.coronavirus.iowa.gov also has vaccine provider information available.

COVID-19 Booster Vaccine Dose information
As of October 21, 2021

The CDC has endorsed the ACIP’s recommendation for a booster shot of COVID-19 vaccine in certain populations. A booster shot is now available for all three COVID-19 vaccines (Moderna, J&J and Pfizer) with the following criteria:

  • The use of a single booster dose of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine that may be administered at least 6 months after completion of the primary series to individuals:
    • 65 years of age and older
    • 18 through 64 years of age at high risk of severe COVID-19
    • 18 through 64 years of age with frequent institutional or occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2
  • The use of a single booster dose of the Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) COVID-19 Vaccine may be administered at least 2 months after completion of the single-dose primary regimen to individuals 18 years of age and older.
  • The use of each of the available COVID-19 vaccines as a heterologous (or “mix and match”) booster dose in eligible individuals following completion of primary vaccination with a different available COVID-19 vaccine.
  • To clarify that a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine may be administered at least 6 months after completion of the primary series to individuals 18 through 64 years of age with frequent institutional or occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2.

• Talk to your healthcare provider about whether a booster dose is right for you.

Delta variant information: 

•  The Delta variant is more contagious than the previous versions of the virus (you can infect 6-8 people compared to 2-3 with the original version) 

•  The symptoms are the same: cough, fever, headache, fatigue, shortness of breath., sore throat, muscle aches, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell. 

•  The vaccine is effective against the Delta variant. Those that are getting infected after vaccination generally have milder symptoms and don’t end up in the hospital. 

•  The majority of severe illness and hospitalizations we have seen here at OCAHS are among people who are unvaccinated.