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.

@jeanern01

I was not saying I disagree with everyone who doesn’t wear a mask. Hospitals have to be extra cautious however because people are there because they have health issues. I am not saying regulations need to be the same at for example grocery stores. But when you are visiting somewhere like mayo it is because there is a medical problem- so it is MY OPINION that if they feel extra precautions should be taken then that is fine with me. I was not trying to argue or be difficult- merely discuss. Sorry if my statements came across the wrong way- was not my intention. I as much as anyone am tired of Covid- trust me.

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Sure, thanks so much for your comment. I guess I would like to add to the conversation a bit. There are a number of people that can't wear masks because of medical reasons and/or reasons of conscience. I know one young lady with a severe chronic disease who has been unable to receive care. For her masks are a life and death issue. Because of the mask policy at Mayo and other places she is dying. I think sometimes people like this are forgotten. Myself, I am not "tired of covid," for me personally that is not what it's about. I am very concerned though for those who have been neglected and are suffering because of it. God bless, please let me assure you I took no offense whatsoever.

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@jeanern01

I was not saying I disagree with everyone who doesn’t wear a mask. Hospitals have to be extra cautious however because people are there because they have health issues. I am not saying regulations need to be the same at for example grocery stores. But when you are visiting somewhere like mayo it is because there is a medical problem- so it is MY OPINION that if they feel extra precautions should be taken then that is fine with me. I was not trying to argue or be difficult- merely discuss. Sorry if my statements came across the wrong way- was not my intention. I as much as anyone am tired of Covid- trust me.

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@jeanern01 Medical facilities including hospitals and medical offices have the added burden to provide as much protection to vulnerable patients/visitors/people as they can. Like so many here on Mayo Clinic Connect, I fall into that "vulnerable" group, and appreciate what is done to urge protection for everyone. And like so many here, I am tired of Covid, but more scared what might happen to me if I get exposed and fall victim to it, even with my vaccinations and booster!

What is tough is all we see (members, mentors, moderators, and general readers alike) is words on a page. We cannot hear the inflection in words, nor see another person's facial expression, to "get" the full meaning of those words! It is a true enough negative when it comes to reading posts here. I have learned to read with a blank slate in my mind, and try to see how someone else might have sounded like or expressed in facial movements, plus their words. In the end, we are communicating, and that is always good, don't you think?
Ginger

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@lindes

I don't think I can get any enlightenment from your comment, but simply wonder why people are so against mask wearing?

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That could well be (your not getting "enlightenment from (my) comment). My questioning masks certainly triggered something. I think for many masks are quite literally an existential issue, so anything that might question it is perhaps upsetting. The thing I would add to the conversation is simply that on the other side people are dying from lack of care. As I said in another comment, I know a young lady who cannot wear masks and she is suffering from not being able to receive care at any of our Minnesota hospitals. She is dying in fact. I hope that the other side is also recognized. It seems that her story and the stories of many others like her are not heard. This is what saddens me.

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@berdyaev11

That could well be (your not getting "enlightenment from (my) comment). My questioning masks certainly triggered something. I think for many masks are quite literally an existential issue, so anything that might question it is perhaps upsetting. The thing I would add to the conversation is simply that on the other side people are dying from lack of care. As I said in another comment, I know a young lady who cannot wear masks and she is suffering from not being able to receive care at any of our Minnesota hospitals. She is dying in fact. I hope that the other side is also recognized. It seems that her story and the stories of many others like her are not heard. This is what saddens me.

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This is terrible! Being originally from Minnesota and having worked there in Health Care, I think this should not happen! One can always find a way to safely help those, who have medical reasons not to wear a mask. I feel someb ody dropped the ball here, and should be held responsible.

REPLY

Thank you everyone for the respectful debate about masks and their effectiveness for reducing the spread of COVID-19 and for other medical purposes.

Several studies and information have been referenced in the course of the conversation. Allow me to post links and information:
– Effectiveness of Adding a Mask Recommendation to Other Public Health Measures to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Danish Mask Wearers (2020) https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/m20-6817
Q: Did a recent study in Denmark show that face masks are useless for COVID-19?
A: No. The study found that face masks did not have a large protective effect for wearers — not that masks provide no protection at all or don’t offer benefits to others.
https://www.factcheck.org/2020/11/danish-study-doesnt-prove-masks-dont-work-against-the-coronavirus/
– The curious case of the Danish mask study (2020) https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4586/rr-6

– The Impact of Mask Distribution and Promotion on Mask Uptake and COVID-19 in Bangladesh (2021) https://www.poverty-action.org/study/impact-mask-distribution-and-promotion-mask-uptake-and-covid-19-bangladesh
– Q&A: The Massive Bangladesh Mask Trial, Unmasked https://www.globalhealthnow.org/2021-09/qa-massive-bangladesh-mask-trial-unmasked

From Mayo Clinic
Face masks combined with other preventive measures, such as getting vaccinated, frequent hand-washing and physical distancing, can help slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
– How well do face masks protect against COVID-19? https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-mask/art-20485449

Our policy on campus as of March 2022 https://www.mayoclinic.org/covid-19#mask-policy
Mayo Clinic requires all patients, visitors and staff to wear masks while on our campuses to guard against COVID-19 transmission.

Patients and visitors will be offered Mayo Clinic-provided surgical/procedural masks when they go through the screening process or when they check in. Patients with unacceptable masks, which are those with exhalation valves, neck gaiters or bandanas, will be required to wear medical-grade masks (surgical/procedural, N95 or KN-95), whether they are provided by Mayo Clinic or patients provide them.

To stay up-to-date with masking policy at Mayo Clinic and our research and guidance on COVID 19, please visit this regularly updated website: https://www.mayoclinic.org/coronavirus-covid-19

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@lindes

This is terrible! Being originally from Minnesota and having worked there in Health Care, I think this should not happen! One can always find a way to safely help those, who have medical reasons not to wear a mask. I feel someb ody dropped the ball here, and should be held responsible.

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It was upsetting when I heard her story and of course she and her family are…well, it's difficult to describe. Also, I have personally known 4 people who were unable to get proper care and died because of it. Many, so-called "elective" surgeries were cancelled and the result was death. Thanks for your expression of sympathy. I truly appreciate it.

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@gingerw

@jeanern01 Medical facilities including hospitals and medical offices have the added burden to provide as much protection to vulnerable patients/visitors/people as they can. Like so many here on Mayo Clinic Connect, I fall into that "vulnerable" group, and appreciate what is done to urge protection for everyone. And like so many here, I am tired of Covid, but more scared what might happen to me if I get exposed and fall victim to it, even with my vaccinations and booster!

What is tough is all we see (members, mentors, moderators, and general readers alike) is words on a page. We cannot hear the inflection in words, nor see another person's facial expression, to "get" the full meaning of those words! It is a true enough negative when it comes to reading posts here. I have learned to read with a blank slate in my mind, and try to see how someone else might have sounded like or expressed in facial movements, plus their words. In the end, we are communicating, and that is always good, don't you think?
Ginger

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Absolutely agree. There is a lot of pain on both sides of the mask issue. As I have written before, it's so upsetting to me that people are denied care because they cannot wear a mask. At the same time I am hearing that many who do support masks are doing so in order to protect themselves and others. There's a high level of emotion on both sides. Both sides view it as a life and death issue in many cases. However, we all have to see the forest for the trees. We have to find a way to talk about it and hear one another. The goal at the end of the day is reconciliation and unification. We can't be divided like this as a nation.

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Thank you everyone for the respectful debate about masks and their effectiveness for reducing the spread of COVID-19 and for other medical purposes.

Several studies and information have been referenced in the course of the conversation. Allow me to post links and information:
– Effectiveness of Adding a Mask Recommendation to Other Public Health Measures to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Danish Mask Wearers (2020) https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/m20-6817
Q: Did a recent study in Denmark show that face masks are useless for COVID-19?
A: No. The study found that face masks did not have a large protective effect for wearers — not that masks provide no protection at all or don’t offer benefits to others.
https://www.factcheck.org/2020/11/danish-study-doesnt-prove-masks-dont-work-against-the-coronavirus/
– The curious case of the Danish mask study (2020) https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4586/rr-6

– The Impact of Mask Distribution and Promotion on Mask Uptake and COVID-19 in Bangladesh (2021) https://www.poverty-action.org/study/impact-mask-distribution-and-promotion-mask-uptake-and-covid-19-bangladesh
– Q&A: The Massive Bangladesh Mask Trial, Unmasked https://www.globalhealthnow.org/2021-09/qa-massive-bangladesh-mask-trial-unmasked

From Mayo Clinic
Face masks combined with other preventive measures, such as getting vaccinated, frequent hand-washing and physical distancing, can help slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
– How well do face masks protect against COVID-19? https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-mask/art-20485449

Our policy on campus as of March 2022 https://www.mayoclinic.org/covid-19#mask-policy
Mayo Clinic requires all patients, visitors and staff to wear masks while on our campuses to guard against COVID-19 transmission.

Patients and visitors will be offered Mayo Clinic-provided surgical/procedural masks when they go through the screening process or when they check in. Patients with unacceptable masks, which are those with exhalation valves, neck gaiters or bandanas, will be required to wear medical-grade masks (surgical/procedural, N95 or KN-95), whether they are provided by Mayo Clinic or patients provide them.

To stay up-to-date with masking policy at Mayo Clinic and our research and guidance on COVID 19, please visit this regularly updated website: https://www.mayoclinic.org/coronavirus-covid-19

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Thanks so much Colleen. I hope that people would also read the studies themselves. https://www.poverty-action.org/sites/default/files/publications/Mask_RCT____Symptomatic_Seropositivity_083121.pdf and https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6817 Sadly, one must go back to the original sources. But perhaps that's not sad at all! Perhaps that's what we should have been doing this entire time. I think it's better to be positive about the matter. God bless

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@berdyaev11

Thanks so much Colleen. I hope that people would also read the studies themselves. https://www.poverty-action.org/sites/default/files/publications/Mask_RCT____Symptomatic_Seropositivity_083121.pdf and https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6817 Sadly, one must go back to the original sources. But perhaps that's not sad at all! Perhaps that's what we should have been doing this entire time. I think it's better to be positive about the matter. God bless

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Thank you @berdyaev11. I also posted links to the original studies. I think it is vital to refer to the original source and to read the studies.

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@colleenyoung

Thank you @berdyaev11. I also posted links to the original studies. I think it is vital to refer to the original source and to read the studies.

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Hmmm… I clicked on all the links and couldn't find the original Bangladesh study…but that is a bit hard to find. Perhaps I missed a line in your post?

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I would talk to the patient service function at Mayo, they have something like patient advocates, and they might find a solution for this dilemma

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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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AGREED! There needs to be more public encouragement to wear N95/KN95 masks. I have contacts in Italy and have subscription to Italian TV from Comcast, and everyone in Italy is wearing KN95 masks. Government made a rule about it. Just recently on Italian news it showed their President in front of an honor guard on horseback. The horses were black, the men dressed in very white pants, black decorated jacket, fancy hat, and VERY WHITE KN 95 MASKS! Very stylish!!!! And they were outdoors! How is that for compliance with public health rules!!!!

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