DES MOINES, Iowa — Polk County hospitals are being forced to operate at limited capacity. According to the Polk County Medical Coordination Center, the demand for patient beds is greater than the number of beds available. Staffing shortages in hospitals across the county are also affecting the amount of patients that can be cared for.

To help lessen the strain on hospitals the Polk County Medical Coordination Center is encouraging people to visit their primary healthcare providers or urgent care clinics if they are not experiencing life threatening illnesses or injuries.

Urgent care clinics can be used when you feel terrible or are in pain and are unable to wait several days to see your primary care physician. You may also seek urgent care services when your health issues need immediate attention. There are several urgent care clinics in Polk County that offer night and weekend hours.

If you are unsure about where to seek care you can contact your primary care clinic or doctor as a starting point. Your primary healthcare physician’s knowledge of your health history makes them the best suited to get you the care you need.