COVID-19 referral and testing Q&A

Dec. 19, 2020

How is Mayo Clinic addressing patient and staff safety?

The safety of patients and staff is Mayo Clinic's No. 1 priority. Mayo Clinic takes every precaution, including universal masking, adequate personal protective equipment, heightened safety protocols, enhanced screening processes and COVID-19 testing for all patients who are without symptoms (asymptomatic) but could be at risk of a poor outcome if found to be COVID-19 positive.

Beyond these precautions, Mayo Clinic employs a robust screening process for all patients based on the services to be provided and an enhanced cleaning process for patient care, staff and waiting spaces.

Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Health System sites partner with local businesses that support patients and visitors, such as hotels and restaurants, to create a safe community environment.

A number of states have issued a travel advisory requiring people arriving from states with high coronavirus rates to quarantine for 14 days. Review your state's requirements in preparation for your return home from Mayo Clinic.

How is Mayo Clinic handling nonurgent and elective procedures?

Mayo Clinic supports federal and state mandates and employs Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and the advice of Mayo Clinic experts regarding safety measures within our communities to ensure that our health care system has sufficient capacity and equipment to meet the needs of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Careful evaluation of government mandates, facility readiness, staffing, capacity to treat patients and supply availability is ongoing. Appointments are scheduled as follows:

  • Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, is scheduling all appointments, including elective procedures.
  • Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, is scheduling all appointments, including elective procedures.
  • Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, is scheduling all appointments, including elective procedures.

All Mayo Clinic locations continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic response closely and make adjustments as needed. Local site circumstances continue to be considered as well. These precautionary measures keep the needs of patients and staff first, and help ensure that Mayo Clinic has capacity to care for the patients who need it most.

Is Mayo Clinic fully prepared to handle an influx of COVID-19 cases?

Mayo Clinic is prepared to treat patients with COVID-19 both individually and at a pandemic level. Mayo Clinic sites treat patients as part of a communitywide plan in coordination with public health authorities in the communities served.

Mayo Clinic requires all patients and visitors to wear masks. Patients who appear at Mayo Clinic with symptoms are asked to answer a series of questions about their health and travel. Based on their answers and vital signs, they are isolated from other patients while COVID-19 test results can be verified. Isolation and verification may take several days.

Patients who test positive for COVID-19 at Mayo Clinic are isolated and treated. Specific interventions are taken to treat patients who have more-severe cases of COVID-19 and with patients with compromised immune systems or complex illnesses.


Does Mayo Clinic accept referrals for treatment of patients with COVID-19?

Mayo Clinic does not currently accept referrals for treatment of patients with COVID-19. Only Mayo Clinic primary care physicians are able to order treatment for Mayo Clinic patients.

Does Mayo Clinic accept referrals unrelated to COVID-19 and emergent referrals at this time?

Providers can send referrals to Mayo Clinic. Referrals unrelated to COVID-19 and emergent referrals are triaged according to acuity. Mayo Clinic medical staff decides when the patient can be seen.

Outpatient visits to Mayo Clinic are rescheduled into the future depending on the severity of the diagnosis. Does this policy lead to more denials for referred patients?

Mayo Clinic's rescheduling policy may result in delayed scheduling for referrals, but does not result in an increase in denials. Every already-scheduled appointment or request for referral is reviewed by Mayo Clinic medical staff to determine medical urgency.

Mayo Clinic has significantly increased the use of telehealth options to accommodate appointment requests.

Mayo Clinic providers still see patients who need urgent care face-to-face as deemed necessary by the medical staff. Mayo Clinic also tracks those appointment requests that cannot be accommodated at this time, and reaches out to affected patients to schedule future appointments.

Can providers be certain that when a patient with an urgent case is referred to Mayo Clinic, the patient will be seen? What if the patient is displaying signs of COVID-19?

Referrals are triaged accordingly based on acuity. An appointment is provided if care is deemed urgent by Mayo Clinic medical staff and if the patient is asymptomatic for COVID-19 and has not been exposed to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.

If a patient has COVID-19 symptoms or has been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, local COVID-19 testing is required. The patient should not travel and will not be seen at Mayo Clinic until he or she has been tested and the results are confirmed negative for COVID-19.


How does Mayo Clinic employ telehealth in its COVID-19 pandemic response?

Mayo Clinic expanded its telehealth delivery options to assist in caring for patients remotely, when clinically appropriate. Patients presently scheduled for appointments, as well as new patient appointment requests, are triaged based on clinical assessments to determine whether patients should be seen on campus, via telephone or via telemedicine — or whether their appointments should be deferred.

Some telehealth services are provided directly to patients. Other telehealth services include remote connections to other health care facilities under preexisting contracts.

Visitor restrictions

What restrictions apply to people visiting Mayo Clinic locations?

Restrictions related to COVID-19 vary from campus to campus and across Mayo Clinic Health System. Review visitor restrictions for each location:

Appointment and visitor restrictions: Arizona

Appointment and visitor restrictions: Florida

Appointment and visitor restrictions: Rochester

Mayo Clinic Health System COVID-19: Latest updates and local care options

Vaccine resources

COVID-19 vaccine safety

Testing and supplies

Does Mayo Clinic provide COVID-19 triage and testing for local individuals who request it?

Mayo Clinic provides testing options to all existing Mayo Clinic patients. Testing turnaround time for COVID-19 samples is generally 24 hours.

When a Mayo Clinic patient meets the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention patient under identification (PUI) criteria to be tested for COVID-19, what is the process to order testing? What should the patient do?

The patient should call the nurse triage line at 507-293-9525. This telephone number applies across the United States and internationally (U.S. country code and 1-507-293-9525).

The triage line applies the COVID-19 criteria and then directs the patient to a mobile testing site. When results are available, Mayo Clinic medical staff posts the results to the patient's portal, calls the patient if the results are positive and calls the patient if the patient doesn't use the portal.

Is Mayo Clinic Laboratories' COVID-19 test available for distribution to primary care offices not affiliated with Mayo Clinic for patient testing?

Due to capacity limitations, Mayo Clinic Laboratories coordinates closely with state and federal officials to offer testing in the areas with the greatest need. Mayo Clinic Laboratories will communicate proactively as more testing capacity becomes available.

Can providers not affiliated with Mayo Clinic purchase COVID-19 testing and treatment-related supplies from Mayo Clinic?

Mayo Clinic does not have the capacity to provide supplies to providers not affiliated with Mayo Clinic.

Does Mayo Clinic Laboratories offer any blood testing to evaluate COVID-19 immunity?

Mayo Clinic Laboratories offers the COR2G test, which can be used to detect IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Mayo Clinic Laboratories advises that COR2G testing should only be performed on individuals at least 10 days after initial symptom onset or at least 10 days after initial known exposure. For most patients, IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 develop approximately eight to 11 days post-symptom onset (seroconversion). The presence of IgG antibodies indicates that the patient has been infected with the coronavirus.

COVID-19 news and updates

Visit Mayo Clinic News Network COVID-19 for up-to-the-minute coverage, trends and updates.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus (COVID-19) for information on protection, symptoms and preparation activities.

Linked content is shared as educational material only to assist with mitigation efforts during the current COVID-19 pandemic and does not constitute the practice of medicine. With information changing real-time, Mayo Clinic expressly states that information is provided “as is” and “with all faults” and will have no liability for outcomes from use of such information.