COVID-19 Referral and Testing Q&A

May 06, 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 is taking every precaution, including universal masking, adequate personal protective equipment, heightened safety protocols, enhanced screening processes and COVID-19 testing for all patients who are asymptomatic but could be at risk of a poor outcome if found to be COVID-19 positive.

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

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

Is Mayo Clinic postponing 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 now being scheduled as follows:

  • Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, is scheduling all appointments, including elective procedures, in accordance with Arizona's executive order.
  • Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, is scheduling all appointments, including elective procedures, in accordance with Florida's executive order.
  • Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, will start scheduling appointments for elective procedures on or after May 11, 2020, in accordance with Minnesota's executive order.

All Mayo Clinic locations will continue to monitor the situation closely and will make adjustments as needed. Local site circumstances will continue to be considered as the situation evolves. 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 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 will 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 will be asked to answer a series of questions about their health and travel. Based on their answers and vital signs, they will be 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 in more-severe cases and with patients with compromised immune systems or complex illnesses.


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

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

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

Providers can still send referrals to Mayo Clinic. Referrals unrelated to COVID-19 and emergent referrals will be triaged according to acuity. The practice will decide when the patient can be seen.

If outpatient visits to Mayo Clinic are rescheduled into the future depending on the severity of the diagnosis, will the policy lead to more denials for referred patients?

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

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

Mayo Clinic providers are still seeing patients needing 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 will reach out to patients after the COVID-19 pandemic response stabilizes to schedule appointments.

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

Referrals will be triaged accordingly based on acuity. An appointment will be provided if a case 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 a COVID-19-positive individual, local COVID-19 testing will be 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 is Mayo Clinic employing telehealth in its COVID-19 pandemic response?

Mayo Clinic is expanding 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 for visitors to 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 COVID19: Latest updates and local care options.

Testing and supplies

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

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

If 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?

Have the patient 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 will apply the COVID-19 criteria and then direct the patient to a mobile testing site. When results are available, Mayo Clinic medical staff will post the results to the patient's portal, call the patient if the results are positive and call the patient if the patient doesn't use the portal.

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

Due to capacity limitations, Mayo Clinic Laboratories is coordinating 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 currently offers the COR2G test, which can be used to detect IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of 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 exposed to COVID-19.

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.