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

Posted by Colleen Young, Connect Director @colleenyoung, Wed, May 6 4:44pm

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?

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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@lilypaws

@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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Thanks for all the hints and tips on our Mayo journey….so appreciated ❣️ Serranos

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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, Everything will be convenient and the complex of buildings are connected to each other. There are signs everywhere to direct you to your destination. And you can also ask when you leave an appointment, for directions to where you are going.
As you have indicated, the concierge will be helpful and will have the up-to-dare information to help you with your eating options.

A piece of advice from me is to take tote bage of some sort for all of the papers and medical information that you will be receiving. A water bottle and a sweater are a good idea, too,

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@rosemarya

@lannonvarnum, Everything will be convenient and the complex of buildings are connected to each other. There are signs everywhere to direct you to your destination. And you can also ask when you leave an appointment, for directions to where you are going.
As you have indicated, the concierge will be helpful and will have the up-to-dare information to help you with your eating options.

A piece of advice from me is to take tote bage of some sort for all of the papers and medical information that you will be receiving. A water bottle and a sweater are a good idea, too,

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@lannonvarnum Rosemary's suggestion about a bag is great. I have a "go bag" from years of appointments, it also contains a snack or two and either an extra "power brick" for charging up my cell phone and tablet or charger cords.
Sue

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Bring your own pens to use

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Thank you, again, to all who took the time to share their expertise on a Mayo visit esp. during COVID times! 👍🏻
We feel more prepared and ready to take on each day🌷Serranos

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I leave Sunday the 17th of May for Mayo. I am going to have all my tests needed for my surgery on May 18th. I am not scared going to Mayo because they have everything under control. Just the masks and hand sanitizer, that's what I'm taking a long. It's a 31/2 hour drive for us. Now where do we stop to eat? My husband who I swear iidolize (probably not word or sp) would probably not want us to eat in it. So hope it is a nice day and we can pick up something at a to go window and eat outside the car. All you can laugh, but he is a big perfectionist. I feel safe at the Hilton and can have food delivered or curb pick-up. Found out the cafeteria is open at the Mayo Clinic. Oh Boy, food. I feel safe through God's grace.

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Good luck, Lilypaws! May you have strength and healing.

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@zep Thank you for the thoughts. I will have strength and healing, but it's great to hear the word strength. So encouraging.

Liked by zep

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@lilypaws

I leave Sunday the 17th of May for Mayo. I am going to have all my tests needed for my surgery on May 18th. I am not scared going to Mayo because they have everything under control. Just the masks and hand sanitizer, that's what I'm taking a long. It's a 31/2 hour drive for us. Now where do we stop to eat? My husband who I swear iidolize (probably not word or sp) would probably not want us to eat in it. So hope it is a nice day and we can pick up something at a to go window and eat outside the car. All you can laugh, but he is a big perfectionist. I feel safe at the Hilton and can have food delivered or curb pick-up. Found out the cafeteria is open at the Mayo Clinic. Oh Boy, food. I feel safe through God's grace.

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@lilypaws safe travels to Mayo Clinic! Can you look into parks along the way that are open? I have directed some visitors to go to parks instead of sitting in the car for several hours. If you decide to stop at a park be sure to bring your own sanitizing wipes to clean the surfaces. The Hilton hotel where you are staying has a Concierge team that can help you find restaurants offering curbside pickup as well and delivery. Be sure to ask the front desk when you arrive. Stay safe!

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You’ve got this @lilypaws!! Success and healing in the days to come!

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@colleenyoung

Hi @danab @roch @marvinjsturing @lls8000 @lilypaws @jerrynord @fassbinder @leannn @naturegirl5 @seaspray @devehf @ruttgerbay @rosemarya @cmael @karukgirl and @msherfinski
I would like to bring you into this discussion to get your tips on how to protect yourself from COVID-19 while going to the hospital. Some of you have received care during this pandemic, others have been caregivers for someone going to the clinic. Others still are preparing for their first visit to Mayo since the new safety measures.

What precautions did you take while at appointments, in the hotel, getting food, traveling, etc? How are you preparing for an upcoming appointment? As a caregiver, as a patient, what advice would you offer others who are getting ready to step inside a medical facility for the first time since this all started?

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Protocols at the point of care are changing frequently. Call and ask for guidance from a front desk person so you know how to navigate the process as it changes. The last treatment my dad had in Mayo FL (last week), more care professionals were wearing masks. This was comforting to him. Visitors should know that there are signs posted on the road leading into campus that indicate visitors are asked to stay away from the hospital and ER. It's not clear whether visitors are discouraged from accompanying a patient who is receiving outpatient infusions, for example. In the Mangurian building in FL, there is a table set up right by the entrance to query people on their health status, etc. Out of an abundance of caution, I chose to forgo accompanying my dad during his daylong visit. I did not want to be exposed to the virus. Normally I would help him get from labs to in-person clinical encounter to infusion clinic. He is able to handle this on his own for the most part fortunately. I don't know what we would do if he was not able to move under his own power. Perhaps a volunteer would be available to help? Fortunately my dad was able to acquire masks from a local pharmacy. These are hard to come by. It would be nice if Mayo provided PPE to patients with underlying conditions. This may be the case. I did not inquire at the entry checkpoint.

I need to travel back to my home state and return in a week. When I do, I will quarantine for 14 days in a vacation rental. Then I will be available to be the designated driver for the next monthly infusion appointment. Traveling and caregiving is a lot more complicated now. Plan accordingly.

Most other visits are telemed now. This is a huge challenge for both patient and provider. Once the technical hurdles are dealt with, the encounter quality and level of care is just as good as in person from the patient's perspective. We should have been doing this all along.

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After reading many informative and helpful messages, still a little confused. Are our own pillows and blankets necessary at the hotel? We were also told Mayo would take temp and furnish masks every morning before appointments, true?? Thanks so much!! Serranos

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