COVID-19 Testing in Mayo Employees

Posted by jaygee @jaygee, Apr 18, 2020

I know that the USA is way behind other countries in testing, but am wondering about Mayo Clinic employees, because I know a few people who work there and none of them have been tested. Since asymptomatic infections are so prevalent in COVID-19, it would seem prudent to have all employees who are in contact with patients to be tested frequently.

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You ask a good question, @jaygee. Whether an employee at a hospital (any hospital) is tested or not for COVID-19 depends upon whether that employee is at high-risk of exposure. Not all hospital employees are in contact with patients. It goes without saying that not all patients in a hospital are COVID-19 patients. Instead, health care facilities are developing protocols to identify exposure, and who has been exposed.

Here is an explanation of how Mayo Clinic has implemented a streamlined process to quickly assess employee and visitor risk of contraction, which is critical for the safety of individuals as well as help prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

– Army of Mayo employees come together to identify COVID-19 exposures within hours

This process includes notifying potentially exposed staff, who then complete an individual risk assessment with the help of a provider. They are triaged by risk level the potentially exposed employees, who are advised on testing, quarantining, or any other precautions that need to be taken.

"All Mayo employees working on campus are required to wear a mask, check their temperature twice per day, monitor themselves for other COVID-19 symptoms, and contact Occupational Health and stay home if they are exhibiting symptoms."

Throughout the article the term "contact tracing" is used. Contact tracing is a used to slow community spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19. Contact tracing is the process of finding and reaching out to the people who have been in contact with an infected person. Then close contacts of a person who might have COVID-19 can be isolated or quarantined to lessen further spread of the virus. On this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group, explains contact tracing and discusses other current news related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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