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?

@migizii

@sueinmn That’s a good idea to discuss at my follow up appointment. Right now I’m struggling with a fever and increased pain. I hope it’s nothing too concerning.

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@migizii Oh, fever is not good! PLease let me know how you're doing over the next few days.
Sue

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@sueinmn

@migizii Oh, fever is not good! PLease let me know how you're doing over the next few days.
Sue

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@sueinmn Thanks so much for your concern. It seems to be going up and down now in the normal to mid 99’s, which is progress, so they are less concerned now. However, pain continues at a high rate so will need to continue pain medication until I have name follow up next Thursday. I’ll let you know if anything changes for the worse, but hopefully it will get better from here!

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Hello, my father and I are scheduled to come to Mayo Rochester in March and then rescheduled to July 5-11 because of Covid. The visit is for my father and his chronic leg pain – he is 65 and has Stage 3 chronic kidney disease and high blood pressure, but otherwise healthy. We are from Texas, and given the increase in cases in our area, I am highly concerned about us traveling (by plane on American Airlines) to Rochester. His PCP and Kidney Specialist say all should be fine with precautions being taken.

I am not worried about our actual visit at Mayo due to the amazing feedback I have read on this forum, but have apprehensions about the flight. It seems most that posted on this forum have driven, but that's not an option for us. I'm not sure what feedback I'm looking for (ha!), but any is appreciated. Should we postpone again given the flight, are there opportunities for remote evaluation until we do ultimately make a plan to drive or go once Covid cases trend down? Thanks for any help and feedback!

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@vap91179 Hi and welcome to connect. I think if it were me I would try and get at least a flight where you and your Dad could sit together and be the only ones in that row. Maybe a plane type that has 2 seats on a side. Plus facemask and lots of sanitizing. I would also inquire as to the airlines and what they are doing to help with sanitizing and precautions. I would also weigh the benefits and or concerns waiting any longer. This seems like it may be the best time frame due to the regular flu season starting up again in a few months.
Have an awesome Blessed Day
Dana

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@vap91179

Hello, my father and I are scheduled to come to Mayo Rochester in March and then rescheduled to July 5-11 because of Covid. The visit is for my father and his chronic leg pain – he is 65 and has Stage 3 chronic kidney disease and high blood pressure, but otherwise healthy. We are from Texas, and given the increase in cases in our area, I am highly concerned about us traveling (by plane on American Airlines) to Rochester. His PCP and Kidney Specialist say all should be fine with precautions being taken.

I am not worried about our actual visit at Mayo due to the amazing feedback I have read on this forum, but have apprehensions about the flight. It seems most that posted on this forum have driven, but that's not an option for us. I'm not sure what feedback I'm looking for (ha!), but any is appreciated. Should we postpone again given the flight, are there opportunities for remote evaluation until we do ultimately make a plan to drive or go once Covid cases trend down? Thanks for any help and feedback!

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@vap91179 We have been to Mayo about 5 times, since the Covid 19 you do have to wear a mask and you have your temperture taken. We drove since we are only 31/2 hours away, but it is hard on my back, which I had surgery 3 weeks ago We go see the surgeon next Tuesday.
My niece flew from Denver to Des Moines and had no problems. They seated everyone apart and of course she wore her mask. I also heard to turn your air all the way on. I hope this helps. Mayo is wonderful with great doctors.

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@vap91179

Hello, my father and I are scheduled to come to Mayo Rochester in March and then rescheduled to July 5-11 because of Covid. The visit is for my father and his chronic leg pain – he is 65 and has Stage 3 chronic kidney disease and high blood pressure, but otherwise healthy. We are from Texas, and given the increase in cases in our area, I am highly concerned about us traveling (by plane on American Airlines) to Rochester. His PCP and Kidney Specialist say all should be fine with precautions being taken.

I am not worried about our actual visit at Mayo due to the amazing feedback I have read on this forum, but have apprehensions about the flight. It seems most that posted on this forum have driven, but that's not an option for us. I'm not sure what feedback I'm looking for (ha!), but any is appreciated. Should we postpone again given the flight, are there opportunities for remote evaluation until we do ultimately make a plan to drive or go once Covid cases trend down? Thanks for any help and feedback!

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I also will be at Mayo the week after the 4th of July. I am flying from Michigan on the 4th, the only time I could get a flight. I have to take a shuttle from Minneapolis on Sunday. Not concerned about the Mayo visit, just the process of getting through the airport, plane etc. Delta has messed with my plane connection a couple of times, thus my need to stay overnight in Minneapolis and get a shuttle on Sunday. Be glad when I make my way to hotel in Rochester!

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@vap91179

Hello, my father and I are scheduled to come to Mayo Rochester in March and then rescheduled to July 5-11 because of Covid. The visit is for my father and his chronic leg pain – he is 65 and has Stage 3 chronic kidney disease and high blood pressure, but otherwise healthy. We are from Texas, and given the increase in cases in our area, I am highly concerned about us traveling (by plane on American Airlines) to Rochester. His PCP and Kidney Specialist say all should be fine with precautions being taken.

I am not worried about our actual visit at Mayo due to the amazing feedback I have read on this forum, but have apprehensions about the flight. It seems most that posted on this forum have driven, but that's not an option for us. I'm not sure what feedback I'm looking for (ha!), but any is appreciated. Should we postpone again given the flight, are there opportunities for remote evaluation until we do ultimately make a plan to drive or go once Covid cases trend down? Thanks for any help and feedback!

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Hi @vap91179, I agree with @danab and @lilypaws, travelling now might be better than later in the fall when you may also have to deal with flu season and increased use of air travel by others. Mayo Clinic provides this information about safe air travel. Also see the links to additional information by CDC and TSA included on the page.
– Coronavirus travel advice https://www.mayoclinic.org/coronavirus-safe-travel-advice/art-20486965

I also invite you to follow these groups related to your father's condition:
– Kidney & Bladder https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/kidney-conditions/
– Heart & Blood Health https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/heart-blood-vessel-conditions/

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@vap91179

Hello, my father and I are scheduled to come to Mayo Rochester in March and then rescheduled to July 5-11 because of Covid. The visit is for my father and his chronic leg pain – he is 65 and has Stage 3 chronic kidney disease and high blood pressure, but otherwise healthy. We are from Texas, and given the increase in cases in our area, I am highly concerned about us traveling (by plane on American Airlines) to Rochester. His PCP and Kidney Specialist say all should be fine with precautions being taken.

I am not worried about our actual visit at Mayo due to the amazing feedback I have read on this forum, but have apprehensions about the flight. It seems most that posted on this forum have driven, but that's not an option for us. I'm not sure what feedback I'm looking for (ha!), but any is appreciated. Should we postpone again given the flight, are there opportunities for remote evaluation until we do ultimately make a plan to drive or go once Covid cases trend down? Thanks for any help and feedback!

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If possible, I would opt for an airline that more strictly adheres to distancing guidelines as much as they can. American Airlines is now filling all seats on their planes, while Delta continues to keep spacing. Also, of course, masks, gloves, sanitize and bring whatever you need on the plane yourself. Just my ideas. I just got home from Rochester. We stayed at the Hilton, Mayo area, and it was wonderful. Couldn’t have asked for more!

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@migizii

@sueinmn Thanks so much for your concern. It seems to be going up and down now in the normal to mid 99’s, which is progress, so they are less concerned now. However, pain continues at a high rate so will need to continue pain medication until I have name follow up next Thursday. I’ll let you know if anything changes for the worse, but hopefully it will get better from here!

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@migizii I guess my typing was pretty bad last week…..anyway, I had my follow up appointment for my foot surgery, stitches were removed and I was transferred to a boot (to walk on my heel only for the next 4 weeks). Everything looked real good and there were no signs of infection, so the fever I had was unrelated to the surgery and the antibiotics alleviated that and some of the foot pain…..progress in increments😊

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Happy 4th of July! Thank you for the great suggestions listed here about travel to Mayo Rochester. We are leaving this morning, driving to Sacramento to board a non-stop flight on Delta to MSP. From there we use a shuttle for the hour and half drive to Rochester. I spoke with the PA in the Cardiovascular Surgery Dept on Wednesday this week to go over Covid-19 questions. They have changed the appointment schedule for Pre-Op patients. Now all Pre-op lab work is done through one 'stick' at your Covid test. Both nasal and blood are tested. Your companion is only screened by questions and has to wear a mask, as all who enter do. So consolidating the labs with Covid was a good idea. Less stress. And those who face surgery surely are stressed.
We are taking hand sanitizer, wipes for surfaces, wearing masks and will practice the 6 ft social distance to the best of our ability. I would hate to get exposed to this virus in the airport after three months of being stuck at home and not going anywhere. So first trip out 'there' for us. Lots of testing ahead. And then the big surgery on the 8th. This site has been great for information and encouragement. I'll be thinking about the others here who are going to Mayo this month. God Bless America! Happy 4th of July!

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Best of luck, you are headed to the best possible facility! We have been there twice this summer with one more visit. You are in good Hands! Safe travels, there will be many along the way who will keep you safe!

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@karukgirl

Happy 4th of July! Thank you for the great suggestions listed here about travel to Mayo Rochester. We are leaving this morning, driving to Sacramento to board a non-stop flight on Delta to MSP. From there we use a shuttle for the hour and half drive to Rochester. I spoke with the PA in the Cardiovascular Surgery Dept on Wednesday this week to go over Covid-19 questions. They have changed the appointment schedule for Pre-Op patients. Now all Pre-op lab work is done through one 'stick' at your Covid test. Both nasal and blood are tested. Your companion is only screened by questions and has to wear a mask, as all who enter do. So consolidating the labs with Covid was a good idea. Less stress. And those who face surgery surely are stressed.
We are taking hand sanitizer, wipes for surfaces, wearing masks and will practice the 6 ft social distance to the best of our ability. I would hate to get exposed to this virus in the airport after three months of being stuck at home and not going anywhere. So first trip out 'there' for us. Lots of testing ahead. And then the big surgery on the 8th. This site has been great for information and encouragement. I'll be thinking about the others here who are going to Mayo this month. God Bless America! Happy 4th of July!

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@karukgirl, Enjoyed reading your post and what you are taking with you for your Mayo visit. I can certainly empathize with you as you make your "first trip out there" after being stuck at home for three months!

I just made my first in-store shopping visit this morning after having been self-quarantined since early March. I felt some anxiety, covered up like a mummy, found few shoppers even though I'd been told wrong that this morning was the private time for elders and most vulnerable folks. Our gov. just mandated that masks would be required by all and today was the very first day. Glad to see all employees and shoppers adhering to the mandate and being courteous along aisles.

Have heard nothing but the greatest reports on treatment from all of the Mayo clinics. Long before discovering Mayo Connect, I used Mayo online for my "go to" site for any questions/concerns about medical issues. Hope you'll report back after your experience and will be wishing you the best during your time at Mayo and return home.

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@karukgirl

Happy 4th of July! Thank you for the great suggestions listed here about travel to Mayo Rochester. We are leaving this morning, driving to Sacramento to board a non-stop flight on Delta to MSP. From there we use a shuttle for the hour and half drive to Rochester. I spoke with the PA in the Cardiovascular Surgery Dept on Wednesday this week to go over Covid-19 questions. They have changed the appointment schedule for Pre-Op patients. Now all Pre-op lab work is done through one 'stick' at your Covid test. Both nasal and blood are tested. Your companion is only screened by questions and has to wear a mask, as all who enter do. So consolidating the labs with Covid was a good idea. Less stress. And those who face surgery surely are stressed.
We are taking hand sanitizer, wipes for surfaces, wearing masks and will practice the 6 ft social distance to the best of our ability. I would hate to get exposed to this virus in the airport after three months of being stuck at home and not going anywhere. So first trip out 'there' for us. Lots of testing ahead. And then the big surgery on the 8th. This site has been great for information and encouragement. I'll be thinking about the others here who are going to Mayo this month. God Bless America! Happy 4th of July!

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Hello, This is Team Mayo #1 Happy 4th to you too. I do have a question, why are you not going to the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix AZ?. I also live on the west coast and I am just wondering . Best to you and your family.

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@teammayo1

Hello, This is Team Mayo #1 Happy 4th to you too. I do have a question, why are you not going to the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix AZ?. I also live on the west coast and I am just wondering . Best to you and your family.

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Hello there,
I am not certain, but I think Mayo Rochester is the center of excellence for heart procedures like mine. I’m having a septal myectomy on Wednesday.
Only a few places in the nation perform these procedures so choice is important for outcome. I believe Mayo is one if not the top in our great Country.

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I just returned from Mayo Clinic in Rochester for my first in-person visit since Covid-19 started and I felt perfectly safe! Until now I have been able access most of my care through video chats but today I had a dermatology appointment which requires an in-person visit. Thank goodness I went in because they discovered a small spot that needed to be biopsied to check for cancer.

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