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Streamlined process for testing for COVID-19, other respiratory illnesses

As fall and winter begin, patients will increasingly experience illnesses with symptoms similar to COVID-19. Mayo Clinic wants to help patients get answers quickly and easily.

Starting this past Tuesday, Mayo Clinic combined the triage and testing process for COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

For some children, the process also will include group A Streptococcus (strep throat). There will be a single process for screening, testing and sharing results at Mayo locations across the Midwest.

Patients experiencing symptoms will call the COVID-19 Nurse Line at 1-507-293-9525 or answer questions about their symptoms using the Check Symptoms assessment tool in Patient Online Services. This tool is available to Mayo Clinic patients 18 and older with a home address in Iowa, Minnesota or Wisconsin. If people do not have insurance or are unable to cover the test cost, they should call the COVID-19 Nurse Line and inquire about billing options.

Mayo Clinic will:

• Determine what tests patients need based on their symptoms.

• Direct them to a local testing site if they meet criteria for testing.

• Provide instructions for scheduling their test.

At the test site, Mayo Clinic staff will collect specimens using appropriate precautions. If a patient requires more than one test, staff may need to collect more than one specimen.

Specimens will be sent to a Mayo Clinic lab for analysis, with results expected in 24 to 72 hours.  Mayo Clinic will contact patients who are positive for any of the illnesses that they are tested for and advise as to the appropriate next steps.

Results will all be available on Patient Online Services or by calling an automated phone line at 877-838-2050. Patients should have their Mayo Clinic number and date of birth ready when they call.

Please visit our Mayo Clinic Health System COVID-19 online resource site for contact information and the most up-to-the-minute information about COVID-19 and what to do if you have symptoms, unrelated health care needs, or need to visit someone at the clinic or hospital. You can also view updates via Mayo Clinic Health System’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels.