Tips: Traveling to Mayo to get medical care safely during COVID-19

Medical needs don’t go dormant and wait for the current pandemic to pass. People still need cancer treatment, heart surgery, diagnostic procedures, joint replacements, lung assessments, wound care and compassionate care. Some medical needs can be met through telemedicine, but certainly not everything.

Compassionate care at Mayo Clinic COVID-19

Postponing nonessential appointments and surgeries in March allowed time to increase Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 testing capabilities. Mayo Clinic hospital and intensive care capacity meets and exceeds the current projected needs for COVID-19 patients, due to a revised, smaller expected COVID-19 peak. With these important favorable developments, Mayo Clinic is ready to safely treat patients whose care was delayed, in adherence with federal and state executive orders and guidance. Mayo is also welcoming new patients, and able to offer more phone and video visits to new and established patients. Read more about the new precautions Mayo added to minimize risk of COVID-19 transmission

What can you do to stay safe when:

  • Going to the hospital for appointments
  • Traveling to a hospital out of your local area
  • Staying at a hotel
  • Getting food

What are your tips?


Does the hydrogen peroxide bleach fabrics?

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The hydrogen peroxide purchased in stores has a concentration of 3% which can bleach fabrics. Diluting it might reduce its effectiveness in terms of being a disinfectant.


so hydrogen peroxide is a good disinfectant or sanitizer that one could use against this Covid-19?

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Yes, it is a good disinfectant at full strength, but make sure it is FRESH from a new sealed bottle. Hydrogen peroxide breaks down quickly from light or heat or air, so put a little at a time in your spray bottle or use a dark opaque one. It can bleach fabrics, so please don't spray it on upholstery without testing.

Also, fabrics are a very poor host for Covid-19, especially when washed with soap & dried in a hot dryer, so I don't worry much about sanitizing laundered towels and bedding, especially in hotels that seal rooms for a day or two between cleaning and occupancy.

In the past few years I have become a big fan of lodgings that are replacing all room carpets with easy to clean vinyl woodlook flooring – very easy to see if it is clean, and far fewer trapped allergens like dust mites. I also appreciate rooms with windows I can open, always asking for one on the quietest side of the building.


Yes, I have high cholesterol. Then they did that calculation of chance of heart attack or stroke in next ten years. That was over 8%. So doctor said that I should be on statin. But I tried statin once and it made my legs hurt. So I didn't want a statin for rest of life. So doc said that I could get a calcium score which indicates plaque. My calcium score was 0 which means no plaque whatsoever which means no atherosclerosis. So that means the chance of heart attack or stroke is actually very low. So I don't need statin. Just because someone has high cholesterol doesn't mean the person has plaque. So I came to conclusion that you can't just put someone on a statin based on blood cholesterol. Calcium score is more accurate. I'm in executive health program so I get a doctor that is a thinking and listening doctor. Plus I can get a CT scan for calcium score. But I don't think everyone is getting a calcium score and their docs are putting people like me on statins unnecessarily. That's my opinion.

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@ihatediabetes, Jennifer I read your post with great interest. I had a stroke a few years ago but had been on Lipitor for hi chol. for several yrs before the stroke. I now take Atorvastatin and while my chlor. numbers have stayed in the normal range for some time, I am becoming more concerned about taking the statin and plan to ask my pcp about discontinuing it at my next annual visit. I hadn’t known of a calcium scan and will ask about that also. Thank you for your very imformative post.


I’m scheduled to be at Mayo Rochester for 2.5 weeks of appointments in November. It’ll be my first time and I’m thrilled to be going, but am really worried about the travel. I live in Florida (Mayo Jacksonville doesn’t have the diagnostic facilities and specialists I need) and the drive is 22 hours, which would be very challenging to do. The flight is 5+ hours with one layover (I’d likely fly Delta). I’m not worried about cleanliness at Mayo, but am very worried about the travel itself. If I drive, then there are hotels and rest stops along the way. If I fly, it’s exposure to everyone at the airport and on the plane. I’m young, but high-risk with multiple preexisting conditions, yet my doctors here think it’s even higher risk for me to stay here and not go to Mayo for further diagnostics/treatment. I’ve read all the guidelines about travel, have face masks, shields, gloves, etc. but I’m curious about people with actual firsthand experience doing this over the last couple months. Has anyone made such a long journey during these COVID times? What’s your experience been like? And does anyone have a hotel/apartment near Mayo that’s totally impressed them in terms of COVID precautions? So appreciative of any suggestions!

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In reply to chiczebra: it looks like you’re getting good travel advice….I have gone to Mayo Rochester during covid and am headed there again in early November for a brief appointment (hopefully). Anyway, if you have the money, I would recommend staying at the Hilton Mayo area hotel. They do an outstanding job of making you feel safe and comfortable.

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