Patients encouraged to call local clinic first

Published 1:35 pm Monday, March 30, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

To best prepare for and prevent transmission of COVID-19 in the community, Mayo Clinic Health System encourages all patients to call first before coming to any clinic or hospital, according to a press release. When calling first, people will be triaged to the right setting of care based on their symptoms and medical need. In the event of a medical emergency, patients should always call 911.

In order to reduce the risk of infection for all patients, there are now designated clinic areas for caring for patients with respiratory symptoms in several clinic locations across southeast Minnesota, including Albert Lea, Austin, Owatonna, Rochester and Red Wing.

The purpose of the respiratory clinic is to create a single point of entry and care for patients, in isolation from other patients to reduce the risk of exposure and potential infection (COVID-19, influenza or other conditions). Patients will remain in their vehicles until directed to enter through a designated door, and will be escorted directly to an exam room. This process will help protect both employees and patients and keep patients who need non-respiratory care, such as a sprained ankle or an immunization, in a separate physical environment, the release stated.

Email newsletter signup

Patients are encouraged to call their primary care clinic provider first or log into their Patient Online Services account and message their care team for direction on where to seek care.

To create a Patient Online Services account on

• Go to Patient Online Services and select “Create your account.”

• Complete the online form to begin an account creation. Patients will need their individual Mayo Clinic number, which can be found on letters from providers, appointment reminder letters or billing statements; or call 1-877-858-0398 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to get the number.