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?

We are going to Mayo Clinic on Monday and Tuesday. They will greet us at the door, ask screening questions, and give us a mask. But what steps are we taking? I called the motel for reservations. The room we will get has been empty for three days. The person taking our card will have a plastic shield between us. We are bringing our air mattress, pillows, sheet, cotton blanket. We are bringing spray bottle of bleach and gloves for both of us. We will clean all hard surfaces. We have a good refrigerator in our car, so we are bringing our own food, drinks, and utensils. We will bring our own glasses. We are bringing a trash bag for our trash and extra toilet paper. We are going to put our tv clicker in a ziplock bag, We will ask that no one come in our room. I’m more worried about enclosed spaces at Mayo. Although all will be wearing masks, who’s to say someone didn’t cough or sneeze in the elevator? Also, the latest Medscape had an article about fecal transmission. Is it safe to go in their bathrooms? I’m looking forward to hearing from others about their tips.

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My husband and I will be at the Rochester Mayo Clinic May 17 – 22/23 for his diagnostic tests etc. our daughter is planning on driving us and picking us up.
We didn’t think we would need as car as nothing is open. We have not been informed about having a COVID test prior to arrival but will ask. We were told masks and temp taking will be necessary every day. Meals are a concern and finding our buildings (2) Gonda and Charlton but hopefully the concierge can help. Do most restaurants deliver?? All of your tips and hints were helpful, thanks so much! Linda S.

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@msherfinski

You need to have a Corona test performed before coming to the Clinic for a procedure , doctor visit or anything. Mayo wants the check done by them and will not accept any other testing results from a different facility. You can have a test in Lacrosse which requires a72hour wait, or in Rochester which requires a 48 hour wait. You need to call for appointment. I needed to get a hotel in my case for 2 nights . Tuesday night (for actual test, another night for waiting period) There's no other way. I was just tested in Milwaukee last week but they won't accept that!! Stinks!!!

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This is news to me. Maybe you are talking about a different campus? We are going to Mayo Scottsdale.

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@mpeters

This is news to me. Maybe you are talking about a different campus? We are going to Mayo Scottsdale.

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I'm going to Rochester

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@lannonvarnum

My husband and I will be at the Rochester Mayo Clinic May 17 – 22/23 for his diagnostic tests etc. our daughter is planning on driving us and picking us up.
We didn’t think we would need as car as nothing is open. We have not been informed about having a COVID test prior to arrival but will ask. We were told masks and temp taking will be necessary every day. Meals are a concern and finding our buildings (2) Gonda and Charlton but hopefully the concierge can help. Do most restaurants deliver?? All of your tips and hints were helpful, thanks so much! Linda S.

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@lannonvarnum

To answer few of your questions:
– It will be easy to find Gonda and Charlton, after you finish entrance screening, ask person to point you in right direction.
– The Mayo cafeteria is open with limited selection.
– The hotel staff where you are staying should be able to give you suggestions on what restaurants are delivering.

This web site has a link to Mayo campus map and other helpful info:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide/minnesota/campus-buildings-maps/mayo-gonda-buildings
Have a safe trip

Laurie

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Mayo Clinic just posted a new video to their COVID-19 website that walks you through what to expect when greeted at the door.
See
– Your safe destination for face-to-face care https://www.mayoclinic.org/covid-19

@mpeters, @jerrynord, @roch fabulous tips for being on the road, finding accommodations, bringing food, and so much more. The travel planning requires so much more from us than before. When traveling with a compromised immune system, one can't be too careful.

@lannonvarnum I think many (most) restaurants near Mayo Clinic, regardless of campus AZ, FL or MN are equipped for take out and possibly also for delivery. For updated information on which restaurants are doing what and how (delivery, curbside pickup, etc.), I suggest contacting Mayo's Concierge Services. Here's how to contact them during Central time business hours.
* Phone: 507-538-8438
* Live Chat: https://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide
* Email: concierge@mayo.edu

Lawrence @lmindela, who works at the Concierge Center can tell you more.

@mpeters, Mayo supports full testing capacity in the event your provider orders additional testing. Some tests or procedures, but not all, may require COVID-19 testing beforehand to ensure safety. These will be arranged at each specific Mayo Clinic location. @danab can tell you more and share his experience at Mayo Arizona.

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@mpeters

We are going to Mayo Clinic on Monday and Tuesday. They will greet us at the door, ask screening questions, and give us a mask. But what steps are we taking? I called the motel for reservations. The room we will get has been empty for three days. The person taking our card will have a plastic shield between us. We are bringing our air mattress, pillows, sheet, cotton blanket. We are bringing spray bottle of bleach and gloves for both of us. We will clean all hard surfaces. We have a good refrigerator in our car, so we are bringing our own food, drinks, and utensils. We will bring our own glasses. We are bringing a trash bag for our trash and extra toilet paper. We are going to put our tv clicker in a ziplock bag, We will ask that no one come in our room. I’m more worried about enclosed spaces at Mayo. Although all will be wearing masks, who’s to say someone didn’t cough or sneeze in the elevator? Also, the latest Medscape had an article about fecal transmission. Is it safe to go in their bathrooms? I’m looking forward to hearing from others about their tips.

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@mpeters HI – as far as safety in using the restrooms, while they have found evidence of covid-19 in fecal matter, I do not believe there is evidence of fecal transmission – you would have to touch the contaminated site and then your face or mouth. So…use good hygiene practices on your part.
That said, we just made a 1500 mile trip, through not only hotels, but many (questionable) truck stops and rest areas. We each carried a little ziploc baggie with sanitizer wipes into every stop, and wiped down surfaces before using. I finished the wipe down in restrooms by wiping the handle and seat of the commode before using. I also carried paper towels because I personally don't think hand dryers are very sanitary.
We (usually) travel extensively, spending many nights in hotels every year, and have always used our own sanitizers on surfaces upon entering. In addition we carry a small bottle of dish detergent to wash things and our own roll of paper towels, this time I added my own towel on which to set them to dry. I have never worried about using the plastic-wrapped glasses, the tissues or tp in hotel rooms and still don't. We do bring our own pillows, but our experience on this trip was that hotels are really working to keep everything clean and everyone safe. May I ask why you are bringing an air mattress?
If you choose to wear gloves, please remember that once worn they are biowaste and removed and need to be disposed of correctly or you risk contaminating yourself and others.
Safe travels!
Sue

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@sueinmn

@mpeters HI – as far as safety in using the restrooms, while they have found evidence of covid-19 in fecal matter, I do not believe there is evidence of fecal transmission – you would have to touch the contaminated site and then your face or mouth. So…use good hygiene practices on your part.
That said, we just made a 1500 mile trip, through not only hotels, but many (questionable) truck stops and rest areas. We each carried a little ziploc baggie with sanitizer wipes into every stop, and wiped down surfaces before using. I finished the wipe down in restrooms by wiping the handle and seat of the commode before using. I also carried paper towels because I personally don't think hand dryers are very sanitary.
We (usually) travel extensively, spending many nights in hotels every year, and have always used our own sanitizers on surfaces upon entering. In addition we carry a small bottle of dish detergent to wash things and our own roll of paper towels, this time I added my own towel on which to set them to dry. I have never worried about using the plastic-wrapped glasses, the tissues or tp in hotel rooms and still don't. We do bring our own pillows, but our experience on this trip was that hotels are really working to keep everything clean and everyone safe. May I ask why you are bringing an air mattress?
If you choose to wear gloves, please remember that once worn they are biowaste and removed and need to be disposed of correctly or you risk contaminating yourself and others.
Safe travels!
Sue

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Thanks, the gloves are cleaning only. I realize gloves are not recommended except in special circumstances like food handlers. I watched a Mayo podcast this morning with Dr. Poland, who is a viralogist. He said unless the toilet lid is down before and after using the toilet, viruses will be all over the room. It was in reference to stool. Air mattress? I would love to give that up. The bed is a soft surface, so virus should be gone within the three days that the room is empty. Do I have that right? I would still bring my own pillows and get rid of the bedspread. Dr. Poland says he sprays the bottom of his shoes when he comes home and they stay in his garage.

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@mpeters

Thanks, the gloves are cleaning only. I realize gloves are not recommended except in special circumstances like food handlers. I watched a Mayo podcast this morning with Dr. Poland, who is a viralogist. He said unless the toilet lid is down before and after using the toilet, viruses will be all over the room. It was in reference to stool. Air mattress? I would love to give that up. The bed is a soft surface, so virus should be gone within the three days that the room is empty. Do I have that right? I would still bring my own pillows and get rid of the bedspread. Dr. Poland says he sprays the bottom of his shoes when he comes home and they stay in his garage.

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I’m replying to myself. Dr. Poland also said use a paper towel to open doors and to turn the water faucet on and off.

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Here's the video that @mpeters is referring to. In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Gregory Poland, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases expert, discusses effective cleaning tactics to combat coronavirus in your home that can also be used when on the road, in public spaces and hotel rooms.

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@colleenyoung I tried to watch the video on enteringMayo, but it was too slow. Kept on stopping. Plus I see the doctor was wearing a ring. I had heard not to wear one it can get the virus in it. Wish the video had worked better. We are driving from the Des Moines area, so 31/2 hours. We usually stop to eat. Don't you think there will be someplace that's ready to serve or at least takeout? I guess we could take food along. We are staying at the Hilton so we will see if there's a place we can drive up to and get food. Thank you. Jeanie

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@lannonvarnum

My husband and I will be at the Rochester Mayo Clinic May 17 – 22/23 for his diagnostic tests etc. our daughter is planning on driving us and picking us up.
We didn’t think we would need as car as nothing is open. We have not been informed about having a COVID test prior to arrival but will ask. We were told masks and temp taking will be necessary every day. Meals are a concern and finding our buildings (2) Gonda and Charlton but hopefully the concierge can help. Do most restaurants deliver?? All of your tips and hints were helpful, thanks so much! Linda S.

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@lannonvarnum Yes there will be delivery of pick up. We are staying at t he Hilton. Check in with wherever you are staying.

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