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?

@lannonvarnum It depends on where you are staying. We are staying at the Hilton and know that has been all cleaned and sterilized. Call the motel where you are staying and ask. I don't think you need your own pillows and blankets, but it depends on where you are staying. We are taking our own masks. They do take your temp. and give you a label. There is hand santizer there too that you should use before you go in. There is a video that shows the you entering and the rest of what mayo clinic looks like at this time. If I was you I would bring your own face masks.

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Thanks! Think we will bring our own pillows, masks, sanitizer…yes checked with our hotel..COVID free and extra measures. Good luck and thanks!! 🌱

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Update on MN Stay at home order.

On May 13 MN governor changed the "Stay at Home" order to a "Stay Safe" order.

If traveling to MN, here is few updates:
– Stores that were closed can open on Monday May 18th at 50% capacity.
– Bars are closed till June 1st. Liquor stores open.
– No groups over 10 people (friends / family), so no church services.
– Restaurants are carry-out or delivery only. Should start dine in service on June 1st.
– No barbers or hair salon till June 1st.
– Golf courses are open.
– All the big box stores (Target, Walmart, grocery stores, etc…) are currently open, but some require masks and have other restrictions. Check individual store's websites for rules.

Hope this helps anyone traveling to Rochester in next few weeks.

Laurie

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This has been a most helpful and informative discussion to me because, as I have previously mentioned I am getting anxious about my own upcoming appointment and travel to Rochester. I have found some information that I would like to share with all of you.

In addition to healthcare travel, we are entering into a new reality where our stay-at-home restrictions are being lifted. You can read about lodging, restaurants, public places, gas stations, and even salons and gyms. I plan to print a copy of this article and keep it handy as an easy reference so that I have it when I need it.
While reading, one thing that jumped out at me, was to wipe down the ATM and the gas pump buttons 'before' using. I am familiar with using my hand cleaner afterwards, but perhaps since I've not been to a bank or gas station in forever, I am not sure if I would have even thought of that. I am also encouraged to know that it is a good idea to call ahead and ask about how a business is maintaining safety practices. Especially important, because not each state has the same restrictions in place.

COVID-19 safety: Tips for travel, restaurants, and the gym
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-safety-tips/art-20485967
What did you read that is going to make you more comfortable and confident as you travel to your medical destination?

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Have plastic bags that you can put your hand in at gas stations for the buttons and gas handle – toss bag in trash. Also for the TV remote put in plastic bag and tie the end.

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I always have some plastic gloves in the car. Like food handlers use. Got a box at Sam’s. Inexpensive. Then just throw away.

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When I go shopping for groceries I always start at the produce department. I tear off 2 of those plastic baggies you put fruit in and put them over my hands. Mainly for touching door handles on dairy products but for anything you touch. At checkout just roll them inside out and put in the cart until you fund a trash can.

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Good idea -For some reason I like the bags instead of gloves. With gloves it feels like your hands and you may touch your face. You’re more aware with the bags.

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Last Monday was the first day I could schedule my August appointment. Understanding was expressed when I stated my hesitation to make the 1,100 mile 3 day trip from south central PA to Mayo in Rochester. The appointment was scheduled as Zoom meeting first week of August. All lab requirements will be collected here at my local Cancer Treatment Center then mailed to the Clinic with materials provided with the requests. We are grateful not to be planning an extended trip with a week of overnights amid all the unknowns. I have had a local phone appointment this spring. Has anyone had recent video appointment at any of the Clinics? Nancy

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@elizaba

Good idea -For some reason I like the bags instead of gloves. With gloves it feels like your hands and you may touch your face. You’re more aware with the bags.

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And bags go up to your elbows. Rubber band helps keep them tight.

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@1nan

Last Monday was the first day I could schedule my August appointment. Understanding was expressed when I stated my hesitation to make the 1,100 mile 3 day trip from south central PA to Mayo in Rochester. The appointment was scheduled as Zoom meeting first week of August. All lab requirements will be collected here at my local Cancer Treatment Center then mailed to the Clinic with materials provided with the requests. We are grateful not to be planning an extended trip with a week of overnights amid all the unknowns. I have had a local phone appointment this spring. Has anyone had recent video appointment at any of the Clinics? Nancy

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@1nan, I'm thrilled that your follow-up appointment in August can be done phone and video. To prepare for your upcoming remote follow-ups, you may appreciate reading the tips other members share in this discussion:
– Telemedicine: How to make the most of a virtual doctor visit https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/covid-19-telemedicine-its-a-brave-new-world/

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Appreciate all the helpful hints we received from this thread. This coming Thursday we leave for Rochester driving the 2200 miles one way. Coming in from the southern Oregon coast. Will be there for a scoping of the esophagus (Barrett's) and a MRI assisted prostate biopsy. Not looking forward to the drive but we are leery of flying currently. Thanks again! Be safe all.

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@dandl48

Appreciate all the helpful hints we received from this thread. This coming Thursday we leave for Rochester driving the 2200 miles one way. Coming in from the southern Oregon coast. Will be there for a scoping of the esophagus (Barrett's) and a MRI assisted prostate biopsy. Not looking forward to the drive but we are leery of flying currently. Thanks again! Be safe all.

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Safe travels and successful procedures that lead to answers and help! 🐝 well!

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@elizaba

Good idea -For some reason I like the bags instead of gloves. With gloves it feels like your hands and you may touch your face. You’re more aware with the bags.

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I haven't driven since 3/13th but have been concerned about gas pumps. Really like your idea of the plastic bags and although I have gloves, think I'll use your idea when I make my first gas refill because it will be an added awareness. Thank you.

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@jerrynord

When I go shopping for groceries I always start at the produce department. I tear off 2 of those plastic baggies you put fruit in and put them over my hands. Mainly for touching door handles on dairy products but for anything you touch. At checkout just roll them inside out and put in the cart until you fund a trash can.

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I'm not shopping in stores yet but really like your suggestion! Thank you.

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