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?

My husband and I returned home yesterday from our trip to Mayo Rochester for my rescheduled annual post-transplant check up. Our experience at the Mayo Clinic was exactly as described in the Mayo Clinic Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID19) Safe in-person and virtual care > https://www.mayoclinic.org/covid-19
Our tempurature was taken and we were asked the routine COVID19 exposure questions. The process went very quickly and we were given a day/date specific sticky tag to wear so that we could, leave/return to the clinic if we had a space ot time between appointments. My appointments were spaced very closely together and we ate n the Mayo cafeteria afterwards.

Everyone in Mayo, staff and patients and the construction workers, wore masks and practiced safe distancing, so we were very comfortable there and even learned that wearing a mask all day was not impossible!
During each of my appointments, I experienced the same care as I would have had on any of my previous visits, hand sanitizer was offered and everyone practicd safe hygeine.

Our trip was thru Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota. The Coronavirus travel advice ( https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-safe-travel-advice/art-20486965 ) that has been shared in this discussion was our travel guide. We also found a very easy at-a-glance list of reopenings by state on – List of Coronavirus-Related Restrictions in Every State. This gave us an idea of how the different states were reopening.
https://www.aarp.org/politics-society/government-elections/info-2020/coronavirus-state-restrictions.html
Needless to say, it was interesting for us as the traffic was lighter than usual, the rest stops were nearly empty, and the gas/food marts were where we saw the most people. Husband wore plastic gloves to pump gas, and we did not go inside or have contact with anyone. We had drinks and snacks in the car.

My take-awy from our trip is that WE are able to control the distance and the number of interactions with others. WE can choose to wear masks and We can practice our hand hygiene and use disinfectants for surfaces.
We have also decided to get tested mid week and to self-isolate due to our travel.

REPLY
@rosemarya

My husband and I returned home yesterday from our trip to Mayo Rochester for my rescheduled annual post-transplant check up. Our experience at the Mayo Clinic was exactly as described in the Mayo Clinic Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID19) Safe in-person and virtual care > https://www.mayoclinic.org/covid-19
Our tempurature was taken and we were asked the routine COVID19 exposure questions. The process went very quickly and we were given a day/date specific sticky tag to wear so that we could, leave/return to the clinic if we had a space ot time between appointments. My appointments were spaced very closely together and we ate n the Mayo cafeteria afterwards.

Everyone in Mayo, staff and patients and the construction workers, wore masks and practiced safe distancing, so we were very comfortable there and even learned that wearing a mask all day was not impossible!
During each of my appointments, I experienced the same care as I would have had on any of my previous visits, hand sanitizer was offered and everyone practicd safe hygeine.

Our trip was thru Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota. The Coronavirus travel advice ( https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-safe-travel-advice/art-20486965 ) that has been shared in this discussion was our travel guide. We also found a very easy at-a-glance list of reopenings by state on – List of Coronavirus-Related Restrictions in Every State. This gave us an idea of how the different states were reopening.
https://www.aarp.org/politics-society/government-elections/info-2020/coronavirus-state-restrictions.html
Needless to say, it was interesting for us as the traffic was lighter than usual, the rest stops were nearly empty, and the gas/food marts were where we saw the most people. Husband wore plastic gloves to pump gas, and we did not go inside or have contact with anyone. We had drinks and snacks in the car.

My take-awy from our trip is that WE are able to control the distance and the number of interactions with others. WE can choose to wear masks and We can practice our hand hygiene and use disinfectants for surfaces.
We have also decided to get tested mid week and to self-isolate due to our travel.

Jump to this post

@rosemarya. It is wonderful to hear that you had a great experience even with travel through all the states. Yes, you are correct, we HAVE control over how we act during this stressful time. Statistics have shown that face masks are very important. In US, the death toll is over 116 thousand. In Japan, it's 920. Death per million in US 351 and Japan 7. In Japan its not unusual to see people wearing masks even before covid. It is customary to have it on if one has a cold or not feeling well. This is a courtesy and preventative measure. My county has lifted the mandatory mask requirement, major shopping centers, gym, hair salons and stores are opening. Even Disneyland plans to open next month. I will continue to wear my mask if I have to go anywhere. I don't really care if people give me strange looks. My health is in my hands, and I will continue to do whatever I can to keep myself safe.

REPLY

@rosemarya Thank you for the positive report. When we traveled at the end of April we were similarly careful, and came through the experience just fine.

@mayofeb2020 I would like to report that many things are open here in Minnesota, with more being added each week, but we continue to see many people wearing masks even though not mandatory. I posted my observations of local conditions in preparing for reopening at https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/covid-19-and-cancer-1/?pg=1#comment-402120

Sue

REPLY
@rosemarya

My husband and I returned home yesterday from our trip to Mayo Rochester for my rescheduled annual post-transplant check up. Our experience at the Mayo Clinic was exactly as described in the Mayo Clinic Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID19) Safe in-person and virtual care > https://www.mayoclinic.org/covid-19
Our tempurature was taken and we were asked the routine COVID19 exposure questions. The process went very quickly and we were given a day/date specific sticky tag to wear so that we could, leave/return to the clinic if we had a space ot time between appointments. My appointments were spaced very closely together and we ate n the Mayo cafeteria afterwards.

Everyone in Mayo, staff and patients and the construction workers, wore masks and practiced safe distancing, so we were very comfortable there and even learned that wearing a mask all day was not impossible!
During each of my appointments, I experienced the same care as I would have had on any of my previous visits, hand sanitizer was offered and everyone practicd safe hygeine.

Our trip was thru Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota. The Coronavirus travel advice ( https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-safe-travel-advice/art-20486965 ) that has been shared in this discussion was our travel guide. We also found a very easy at-a-glance list of reopenings by state on – List of Coronavirus-Related Restrictions in Every State. This gave us an idea of how the different states were reopening.
https://www.aarp.org/politics-society/government-elections/info-2020/coronavirus-state-restrictions.html
Needless to say, it was interesting for us as the traffic was lighter than usual, the rest stops were nearly empty, and the gas/food marts were where we saw the most people. Husband wore plastic gloves to pump gas, and we did not go inside or have contact with anyone. We had drinks and snacks in the car.

My take-awy from our trip is that WE are able to control the distance and the number of interactions with others. WE can choose to wear masks and We can practice our hand hygiene and use disinfectants for surfaces.
We have also decided to get tested mid week and to self-isolate due to our travel.

Jump to this post

@rosemary, Rosemary, I am so happy your trip to Mayo Rochester was successful and that you are home again. Goodness, you two covered quite a few miles and probably differences along the way regarding what was open and available. I had read the save travel link earlier but thank you for reposting it and also the one from AARP. My children are hoping for a brief getaway within a day's drive from Boulder, CO. I will share these links with them. I especially appreciate your last paragraph because my children and I so agree that we can greatly control our exposure and risks to the virus by the precautions we are willing to take. Thanks again.

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I traveled to Mayo Rochester and had surgery a week and a half ago for an ankle fracture. We stayed in a hotel room with a kitchen and arrived with our own spray cleaners and paper towels and cleaned every surface. I also brought hydrogen peroxide and a spray bottle and sprayed fabric surfaces like the towels and the inside of the refrigerator and freezer, microwave inside and put, and the sheets on the bed, and the couch. We brought our own pillows and comforter and simply rolled back what was there and put the hotel pillows in the closet. I didn't want to put my face where other people have had theirs, and I don't know if any maid or cleaning staff have infections, so I wanted to avoid soft surfaces unless I had cleaned them myself. The hotel towels are washed well, but who knows if they are contaminated by staff, so I sprayed a specific towel on both sides to use with hydrogen peroxide and hung it to dry. I also brought my own small towel for my hands and face, so I could avoid the hotel towel in my vulnerable places. We cleaned the remote and all the door handles. I travel with my own air filter that is a combination of carbon and HEPA filtration, so that was set up to clean the air. I had masks and we brought all our own food and put out the do not disturb sign, so no one entered our room for the week we were there. I didn't place anything like bags on the floor, but only on surfaces and in storage areas that I had previously cleaned. I presumed the floor may not be sanitary, but that was too much to worry about, so nothing went on the floor and I lived on the couch with my leg propped up on a folding stool that I brought and pillows. We did pass hotel staff in the corridors not wearing masks, who then put one on as we passed.

At Mayo, the entry screening was complete with questions and a "No touch" temperature scan and we got our stickers for access. I was tested for COVID by nasal swab and serum antibody tests as a prerequisite to having surgery, and passed with flying colors. This was my second swab test. I was tested at the emergency room when I had the first procedure for my broken ankle to just stabilize it so the swelling could go down some before reconstructive surgery. There were not many patients at Mayo as compared to my first visit in 2016, and I saw the most patients at waiting areas for testing. I was using one of their wheelchairs and asked, and the chairs are wiped down after every patient use. I had my hand sanitizer with me and used it after pressing elevator buttons. It is kind of strange meeting the surgical team and not knowing what they look like under all the PPE. What you can see is their eyes behind a clear face shield or eye protector and look at their badge to see how they normally look. So the surgeon probably looked just how he does when he's in the operating room, and the anesthesia guy had a beard on his badge, but he had to shave it for COVID so the masks so would fit tightly. What I noticed were the style choices nurses had for their caps to hold their hair with colorful patterns. I did feel safe at Mayo and was wearing my mask. I have never seen Mayo with so few patients and if felt somewhat empty. When I checked in for surgery, there was no one else waiting except one person that finished as I got there, and there were not a lot of patients in the other pre-surgery bays. The first time I had surgery at Mayo, there were probably 20 to 30 people at the check in area when I arrived first thing in the morning. They had hand sanitizer, and after every time I had to sign an electronic form, I got a shot of it.

Our stops at rest areas and gas stations were very brief and we wore our masks and used the buttons that open doors for wheelchair access. I was hobbling along with a walker, and could press that with a hip or elbow, and back at the car, hand sanitizer for hands that touched anything. Some people held the door open for me which I appreciated at a gas stop before we left Rochester. I also spray my outside and inside car door handles and steering wheel as a precaution, but I was in the back seat this time with my driving leg on medical leave. I would also hold my breath if someone passed by closely during these stops. I've also made a practice of washing my hands a lot at the sink and also my face.. why not? Since touching your face can spread germs and maybe I have some on my face that landed there by itself, but not rubbed into my eye, if I wash my face often, I lessen the risks.

REPLY
@rosemarya

My husband and I returned home yesterday from our trip to Mayo Rochester for my rescheduled annual post-transplant check up. Our experience at the Mayo Clinic was exactly as described in the Mayo Clinic Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID19) Safe in-person and virtual care > https://www.mayoclinic.org/covid-19
Our tempurature was taken and we were asked the routine COVID19 exposure questions. The process went very quickly and we were given a day/date specific sticky tag to wear so that we could, leave/return to the clinic if we had a space ot time between appointments. My appointments were spaced very closely together and we ate n the Mayo cafeteria afterwards.

Everyone in Mayo, staff and patients and the construction workers, wore masks and practiced safe distancing, so we were very comfortable there and even learned that wearing a mask all day was not impossible!
During each of my appointments, I experienced the same care as I would have had on any of my previous visits, hand sanitizer was offered and everyone practicd safe hygeine.

Our trip was thru Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota. The Coronavirus travel advice ( https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-safe-travel-advice/art-20486965 ) that has been shared in this discussion was our travel guide. We also found a very easy at-a-glance list of reopenings by state on – List of Coronavirus-Related Restrictions in Every State. This gave us an idea of how the different states were reopening.
https://www.aarp.org/politics-society/government-elections/info-2020/coronavirus-state-restrictions.html
Needless to say, it was interesting for us as the traffic was lighter than usual, the rest stops were nearly empty, and the gas/food marts were where we saw the most people. Husband wore plastic gloves to pump gas, and we did not go inside or have contact with anyone. We had drinks and snacks in the car.

My take-awy from our trip is that WE are able to control the distance and the number of interactions with others. WE can choose to wear masks and We can practice our hand hygiene and use disinfectants for surfaces.
We have also decided to get tested mid week and to self-isolate due to our travel.

Jump to this post

Would you recommend a hotel in Rochester as I have an appointment on July 1st and need to be there so early that I will have to spend the night on 6/30? I usually stay with my in-laws but they do not follow guidelines at a level I agree with for my needs.

REPLY
@mayofeb2020

@rosemarya. It is wonderful to hear that you had a great experience even with travel through all the states. Yes, you are correct, we HAVE control over how we act during this stressful time. Statistics have shown that face masks are very important. In US, the death toll is over 116 thousand. In Japan, it's 920. Death per million in US 351 and Japan 7. In Japan its not unusual to see people wearing masks even before covid. It is customary to have it on if one has a cold or not feeling well. This is a courtesy and preventative measure. My county has lifted the mandatory mask requirement, major shopping centers, gym, hair salons and stores are opening. Even Disneyland plans to open next month. I will continue to wear my mask if I have to go anywhere. I don't really care if people give me strange looks. My health is in my hands, and I will continue to do whatever I can to keep myself safe.

Jump to this post

I wear one too,regardless of the looks I get from others. Health first! Good for you❤️

REPLY
@migizii

Would you recommend a hotel in Rochester as I have an appointment on July 1st and need to be there so early that I will have to spend the night on 6/30? I usually stay with my in-laws but they do not follow guidelines at a level I agree with for my needs.

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@migizii, My husband and I usually stay at the Brentwood Inn on 4th Ave NW. It is clean, quiet, free parking, and has subway access directly to the clinic. An added bonus for us is that it is near the entrance to the Charlton labs where I begin my day.

You might want to contact the free Concierge Service at Mayo Rochester. I used the chat line as I was planning our trip, very helpful with my restaurant questions and other updates that I wanted to know.
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

In advance, be aware that there is lots of road work in downtown Rochester. . Broadway is closed from 2nd St SW to Civic Center Drive. Detours are well marked

You have made me laugh! Along I-39 in Illinois, there were lighted overhead signs with COVID19 messages. Here is one that I remember reading. "You sure look good in that mask".
A tip that I learned from my opthamalogist here at home was to put a small piece of tape on the underside at the top of nose my homemade mask so it would stay in place when I talked. So I tried it, I took a small piece of some surgical tape and doubled it over so it was sticky on both sides, and It worked! No more slipping down my face.

REPLY
@migizii

Would you recommend a hotel in Rochester as I have an appointment on July 1st and need to be there so early that I will have to spend the night on 6/30? I usually stay with my in-laws but they do not follow guidelines at a level I agree with for my needs.

Jump to this post

@migizii I don't know if you need a hotel room with a full kitchen. The hotels within walking distance of the Mayo campuses are usually a bit more expensive. Most of the hotels have a shuttle service (this hotel does too), although I don't want to be on public transportation with other people. If you have a car and can drive yourself to the Mayo parking ramp, I recommend the Townplace Suites by Marriot. The rate for Mayo patients was $99 per day. It is a couple exits north of Saint Mary's Hospital on Rt 52 and St. Mary's is about a mile from the Gonda/Mayo/Charleton buildings. The rooms were clean and fairly large.

REPLY
@rosemarya

@migizii, My husband and I usually stay at the Brentwood Inn on 4th Ave NW. It is clean, quiet, free parking, and has subway access directly to the clinic. An added bonus for us is that it is near the entrance to the Charlton labs where I begin my day.

You might want to contact the free Concierge Service at Mayo Rochester. I used the chat line as I was planning our trip, very helpful with my restaurant questions and other updates that I wanted to know.
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

In advance, be aware that there is lots of road work in downtown Rochester. . Broadway is closed from 2nd St SW to Civic Center Drive. Detours are well marked

You have made me laugh! Along I-39 in Illinois, there were lighted overhead signs with COVID19 messages. Here is one that I remember reading. "You sure look good in that mask".
A tip that I learned from my opthamalogist here at home was to put a small piece of tape on the underside at the top of nose my homemade mask so it would stay in place when I talked. So I tried it, I took a small piece of some surgical tape and doubled it over so it was sticky on both sides, and It worked! No more slipping down my face.

Jump to this post

@rosemarya, Not planning a trip to Mayo, but the covid overhead sign brought a smile! Thanks too, for the sticky tape idea to hold the mask in place on the nose…no surgical tape on hand but have some electrical I will try…don't think masking or painter's tape would be strong enough.

REPLY

I am traveling to Mayo hopefully this month and these suggestions help so much. Thank you

REPLY
@nw945

I am traveling to Mayo hopefully this month and these suggestions help so much. Thank you

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It's great to hear that the first-hand, personal experiences shared are helpful. @nw945 will you be traveling to Mayo by car or plane? Do you need to stay overnight?

REPLY

We are driving by car it is a four and half hour drive. Going day early to have the Virus test and two days of testing and doctor's visits. I wasn't crazy about riding a shuttle bus, with so many people. We have been there two times and buses have been almost full. So staying downtown at the Brentwood Inn & Suites. I was happy with the price, thought it would be a little higher. Wondering if anyone has stayed there, supposely you can walk to Clinic in subway entrances. Hoping that this will work out for us.

REPLY
@nw945

We are driving by car it is a four and half hour drive. Going day early to have the Virus test and two days of testing and doctor's visits. I wasn't crazy about riding a shuttle bus, with so many people. We have been there two times and buses have been almost full. So staying downtown at the Brentwood Inn & Suites. I was happy with the price, thought it would be a little higher. Wondering if anyone has stayed there, supposely you can walk to Clinic in subway entrances. Hoping that this will work out for us.

Jump to this post

@nw945, Last week my husband and I stayed at the Brentwood. We like it because it is convenient, quiet, and we have always found it to be clean. This time I called in advance and had a conversation with housekeeping and was satisfied with what i was told. There is no restaurant or pool or workout area, and some people think the rooms are small. Wheelchairs are available if needed. They have free parking, too!

You are correct, it is connected to the subway so you don't even have to go outdoors if you choose. There was a entry statioin setup inside the subway so you are able to be screened before you proceed into the Mayo complex.

Mayo Clinic Rochester has a free Conceirge Service if you are wondering about additional resources for your visit. I used the chat line and it was very helpful for my specific needs.
* Phone: 507-538-8438
* Live Chat: https://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide
* Email: concierge@mayo.edu

What else can we do to help you as you prepare to drive to Mayo?
I hope your trip will go well for you

REPLY
@rosemarya

@migizii, My husband and I usually stay at the Brentwood Inn on 4th Ave NW. It is clean, quiet, free parking, and has subway access directly to the clinic. An added bonus for us is that it is near the entrance to the Charlton labs where I begin my day.

You might want to contact the free Concierge Service at Mayo Rochester. I used the chat line as I was planning our trip, very helpful with my restaurant questions and other updates that I wanted to know.
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

In advance, be aware that there is lots of road work in downtown Rochester. . Broadway is closed from 2nd St SW to Civic Center Drive. Detours are well marked

You have made me laugh! Along I-39 in Illinois, there were lighted overhead signs with COVID19 messages. Here is one that I remember reading. "You sure look good in that mask".
A tip that I learned from my opthamalogist here at home was to put a small piece of tape on the underside at the top of nose my homemade mask so it would stay in place when I talked. So I tried it, I took a small piece of some surgical tape and doubled it over so it was sticky on both sides, and It worked! No more slipping down my face.

Jump to this post

Thanks for the information! I will look into I!😊😊😊

REPLY
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