Mask guidance when visiting Mayo Clinic

Posted by Laurie @roch, Dec 30, 2021

FYI – If you have future visit to Mayo, they have updated their mask policy.

You are now required to wear surgical/procedural, N-95 or KN-95 mask. Surgical mask are the disposal mask. No cloth mask, mask with exhalation valves, gaiters, or bandanas.

But do not worry, if you do not have a surgical mask, they will provide one during screening at hospital / clinic entrances.

See news announcement: Dec 29, 2021
https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-asks-all-patients-and-visitors-to-wear-surgical-procedural-masks/
Laurie

++++UPDATED++++
Note from the Community Director

Mayo Clinic regularly updates their information about COVID safety protocols. As you prepare to come to Mayo Clinic, check these sites:

– Visiting Mayo Clinic safely during the COVID-19 pandemic https://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide/preparing-for-your-visit/visiting-mayo-clinic-safely
– Acceptable masks at Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide/preparing-for-your-visit/covid-19-acceptable-face-masks

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Visiting Mayo Clinic group.

KN 95 and surgical masks that filter the smallest particles have been my mask of choice since the beginning of the pandemic. I would wear 2 surgical masks or one K N-95 mask which has a tighter fit. The new Omicron variant is so infectious extra protection is necessary. We still need to avoid close contact as best we can even with a mask on. Mayo is leading the way with policy.

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@jenniferhunter

KN 95 and surgical masks that filter the smallest particles have been my mask of choice since the beginning of the pandemic. I would wear 2 surgical masks or one K N-95 mask which has a tighter fit. The new Omicron variant is so infectious extra protection is necessary. We still need to avoid close contact as best we can even with a mask on. Mayo is leading the way with policy.

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Don’t the surgical masks need to be properly sealed to the face to be effective?

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@bernese53

Don’t the surgical masks need to be properly sealed to the face to be effective?

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Yes they do and because of the design of surgical masks, most can be adapted quite well to anyone’s face. The nose piece easily conforms to the bridge of the nose creating a good seal there.

If the mask is too loose with the ear loops, you can twist them before stringing behind the ear. That way there is less slack between ear and mask along the face. I wore a surgical mask 8 hours a day x 4.5 days a week for 30+ years.

Masks, worn properly, do work to help keep the spread of diseases to a minimum. It’s a very simple way to stop the progress of Covid 19…if everyone wears them!

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@loribmt

Yes they do and because of the design of surgical masks, most can be adapted quite well to anyone’s face. The nose piece easily conforms to the bridge of the nose creating a good seal there.

If the mask is too loose with the ear loops, you can twist them before stringing behind the ear. That way there is less slack between ear and mask along the face. I wore a surgical mask 8 hours a day x 4.5 days a week for 30+ years.

Masks, worn properly, do work to help keep the spread of diseases to a minimum. It’s a very simple way to stop the progress of Covid 19…if everyone wears them!

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I have been wearing a cloth mask. One of my friends, a retired physician, told me that a poorly fitted surgical mask did little to stop the spread.

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@bernese53

I have been wearing a cloth mask. One of my friends, a retired physician, told me that a poorly fitted surgical mask did little to stop the spread.

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Your friend is right. The mask has to fit properly. ☺️ But even if it’s not snug it will still prevent most aerosol from escaping when talking or laughing. That’s the goal to cut down on the amount of virus that circulates in the air. The virus itself is smaller than the filtration capacity of most masks, however, it generally attaches itself to larger droplets, making it easier to capture in the mask filtration.

Cloth masks are ok if they are at least 3 layers of a finely woven fabric. And even better if a 4th layer of a N-95 filter fabric is added.

The reason Mayo is now expecting people to wear surgical masks in lieu of fabric is that there are so many variables in the types of fabric masks. There are single, double, triple layers of fabric, or single layer bandanas. Mayo and other medical establishments are looking for a product with predictable results, such as medical grade surgical masks, when people are entering their clinics. It’s for everyone’s safety.

One of my specialty background certifications was in Infection Control, which was one of my roles for the large dental practice where I worked. So I’ve done extensive research on masks for years for the protection of our workers and our patients.

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I totally understand why Mayo has changed mask requirements. I am concerned about figuring out how to wear a surgical mask properly but am more than willing to comply with mask requirements.

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@bernese53

I totally understand why Mayo has changed mask requirements. I am concerned about figuring out how to wear a surgical mask properly but am more than willing to comply with mask requirements.

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If you’re more comfortable you can actually use your fabric masks that you know fit well, and then put a surgical mask over the top when you’re out and about.
For my oncology appt this past week, I wore my fabric mask and then put the surgical mask they offered at the door over the top of my mask. That way my fabric mask wasn’t contaminated and I didn’t have to wash it right away when I got home. Kinda like belts and suspenders. ☺️.

My daughter and husband are visiting this week. We have been wearing N-95 masks that fit well and are the preferred masks for protection. But we played around with a few surgical masks to custom fit them by taking little tucks on the bottom edge of the mask, making it tighter around the face. I’d been doing that with the fabric masks I’ve made during the pandemic.
Where are the problem areas for you with the surgical masks? Have you tried doing a little nip and tuck here and there to make them fit more snugly?

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@loribmt

If you’re more comfortable you can actually use your fabric masks that you know fit well, and then put a surgical mask over the top when you’re out and about.
For my oncology appt this past week, I wore my fabric mask and then put the surgical mask they offered at the door over the top of my mask. That way my fabric mask wasn’t contaminated and I didn’t have to wash it right away when I got home. Kinda like belts and suspenders. ☺️.

My daughter and husband are visiting this week. We have been wearing N-95 masks that fit well and are the preferred masks for protection. But we played around with a few surgical masks to custom fit them by taking little tucks on the bottom edge of the mask, making it tighter around the face. I’d been doing that with the fabric masks I’ve made during the pandemic.
Where are the problem areas for you with the surgical masks? Have you tried doing a little nip and tuck here and there to make them fit more snugly?

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@loribmt, and all… I switched from my wonderful collection of cloth masks, several I bought online from the Mayo Store, that had a pocket into which I inserted a surgical piece for additional protection. I used them for both years,, until a Connect friend told me about the KN95 mask. I can't wear the N95 at all since it's so tight, hurts my face, head and neck. The straps go over the entire head, not just the ears, so my son and I both can't use them, ever.

But, the KN95 is wonderful, not too tight, fits quite well around the face and mouth and the nose They stand away from the face/nose so I can breathe better and don't get as hot.

I pray this year we will all frame our masks as a momentum of these frightful years with covid. Either frame or have a huge community bonfire in the street!
Blessings all and be covid free. elizabeth

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I have multiple cardiac problems and I am on oxygen. I recently flew from the west to Minneapolis with my NIOSH certified N95 mask. I experienced a twelve flight delay and plane change. I lost my first class seat and was crammed into coach in a packed plane. There was a huge delay in collecting my luggage in Minneapolis due to staffing shortages, and baggage claim was crowded with people looking for their luggage, which was scattered everywhere. I booked a town car through Mayo Travel to pick me up and the driver was there to help me. I learned recently that I was exposed to Covid by a family member before Christmas. My N95 NIOSH certified made in the US mask by Demetek has worked for me. I have no CoVID symptoms and and several Covid tests are negative.

The N95 masks also worked during the terrible fires that occurred in the west. The cloth mask did not filter out all those toxic fumes.

In my opinion, the KN95 masks are not as protective. A friend gave me one that came from China and it did not compare to the US made NIOSH certified one I had.

Stay safe everyone. I have confidence in traveling , even though I am high risk, with my N95 mask and good hygiene practices. I am glad I made it to Mayo for my testing and consultations.

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@janet23

I have multiple cardiac problems and I am on oxygen. I recently flew from the west to Minneapolis with my NIOSH certified N95 mask. I experienced a twelve flight delay and plane change. I lost my first class seat and was crammed into coach in a packed plane. There was a huge delay in collecting my luggage in Minneapolis due to staffing shortages, and baggage claim was crowded with people looking for their luggage, which was scattered everywhere. I booked a town car through Mayo Travel to pick me up and the driver was there to help me. I learned recently that I was exposed to Covid by a family member before Christmas. My N95 NIOSH certified made in the US mask by Demetek has worked for me. I have no CoVID symptoms and and several Covid tests are negative.

The N95 masks also worked during the terrible fires that occurred in the west. The cloth mask did not filter out all those toxic fumes.

In my opinion, the KN95 masks are not as protective. A friend gave me one that came from China and it did not compare to the US made NIOSH certified one I had.

Stay safe everyone. I have confidence in traveling , even though I am high risk, with my N95 mask and good hygiene practices. I am glad I made it to Mayo for my testing and consultations.

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@janet23, @loribmt and all…Sounds like you had a horrid trip to MN. Flying has become a real trial and so difficult for us older folks. I have serious edema issues and flying creates lots of problems for me for days after landing. The last time I flew, I arrived in London very ill, years ago w/no masks and I'm sure no advanced air clarifications as we have now. It was rough. But, hopefully, you did well and are will have a good visit with your Mayo folks. Enjoy your visit.
My KN95 masks are made in the USA, bought online and searched for that purpose. So far, so good.

Be well and safe with many blessings. Elizabeth

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Hi Elizabeth, Can I still wear my KN95 masks, made in the US? This is what I wore to Mayo, in Rochester, last Aug., Sept., Oct., snd Nov. I go back to the Mayo, on 3/16-17/22. If not what do you wear now? Wear can I purchase them. Want to follow guidelines and be prepared. Thank you, for your help! Lisa

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@lisagraber

Hi Elizabeth, Can I still wear my KN95 masks, made in the US? This is what I wore to Mayo, in Rochester, last Aug., Sept., Oct., snd Nov. I go back to the Mayo, on 3/16-17/22. If not what do you wear now? Wear can I purchase them. Want to follow guidelines and be prepared. Thank you, for your help! Lisa

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Yes, you may wear your KN95 masks. They are appropriate. The masks not allowed now are fabric masks which have so many variables that they’re unpredictable for protection. Some fabric masks are just one layer while others are 3 with filters.
So for right now the KN95 and N95 Masks are preferred. When you go return for you appt at Mayo, you’ll go through the checkpoint at the entrance. There they will also hand out appropriate masks for anyone not having one. No worries. ☺️

Here’s a link with all the details. https://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide/preparing-for-your-visit/covid-19-acceptable-face-masks

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