Mayo Clinic responds to increased COVID-19 activity

Published 12:15 pm Tuesday, August 24, 2021

 In response to the recent significant increase of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota, Mayo Clinic Health System (MCHS) is implementing new visitor restrictions and enhancing the availability of COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. 

  We’re testing hundreds of people each day for COVID-19. In southeast Minnesota counties outside of Rochester, 15 to 20 percent of tests are coming back positive, said Robert Albright, Jr. D.O., regional vice president, Southeast Minnesota Region, Mayo Clinic Health System in a press release. Nearly all patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 are unvaccinated people. For our part, Mayo will continue to vaccinate as many people as possible, give antibody infusions to prevent hospitalizations, encourage masking and educate our communities on the threat of another surge. Our communities can, in turn, help us keep medical professionals available for non-COVID-19 care by getting vaccinated and wearing masks to reduce the spread of the virus.

MCHS’s Southeast Minnesota Region will reduce the number of visitors allowed in its hospitals and clinics to one designated visitor per patient, beginning Wednesday, Aug. 25. This change affects hospitals in Albert Lea, Austin, Cannon Falls, Lake City and Red Wing, Minnesota, as well as all Mayo Clinic Health System clinics in the region. 

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MCHS is making this change in response to increasing cases of COVID-19 in the communities it serves, largely due to the delta variant. All visitors must comply with masking and safety requirements. Visitor restrictions are subject to change, depending on the presence of COVID-19 in each community. 

The latest guidelines can be found at Mayo Clinic Health System website.

MCHS is also relocating COVID-19 testing from its main clinics to off-site COVID-19 testing sites due to increased demand. 

The off-site testing sites will be open for appointments weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.. Beginning Sept. 4, weekend hours will also be 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to provide expanded access to testing.

These clinics will be located at:

  • Albert Lea East Annex
    This location on St. Mary Avenue will open Aug. 25.
  • Austin 510 Building
    This location on Second Street Northwest will open Aug. 25.
  • Owatonna Southview Building
    This location at 134 Southview Street will open Sept. 1.
  • Red Wing
    The Red Wing location will be announced within the next week.

COVID-19 testing appointments also will be available in Rochester in the 41st Street Professional Building, 4115 W. Frontage Road. This location is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. CDT and weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CDT.

Appointments are required for all COVID-19 testing. Patients can call 507-434-9929 to schedule a COVID-19 test in Albert Lea, Austin, Owatonna or Red Wing, or call 507-293-9525 to schedule a COVID-19 test in Rochester.

Patients with symptoms who are unsure if they need a test can continue to call the Mayo Clinic COVID-19 Nurse Line at 507-293-9525 or use the Check Symptoms assessment tool on Patient Online Services. If a test is needed, patients can schedule one.

Vaccinations during all primary care and medical specialty appointments can be arranged in Albert Lea, Austin, Cannon Falls, Faribault, Lake City, Owatonna and Red Wing. 

Patients who only want an appointment to be vaccinated for COVID-19 can make those appointments through Patient Online Services, or by calling 507-434-9929 (Albert Lea, Austin, Owatonna or Red Wing) or 507-538-4040 (Rochester). 

The locations for COVID-19 vaccination appointments across Mayo Clinic Health System are:

  • Mayo Clinic Health System – Albert Lea Hospital and Clinic
    This location at 404 W. Fountain St. is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CDT.
  • Mayo Clinic Health System – Austin Hospital and Clinic
    This location at 1000 First Drive NW is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CDT.
  • Mayo Clinic Health System – Owatonna Clinic
    This location at 2200 26th St. NW is open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CDT. 
  • Mayo Clinic Health System – Red Wing Hospital and Clinic
    This location at 701 Hewitt Blvd. is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CDT and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. CDT.

The locations for COVID-19 vaccination appointments in Rochester are:

  • 41st Street Professional Building
    This location at 4115 W. Frontage Road is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 7 p.m. CDT.
  • Siebens Building, 100 Second Ave. SW
    This location in Phillips Hall on the first floor is open Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. CDT.

Additional vaccine doses are currently available for immunocompromised patients who have already received two doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. People are immunocompromised if they have a health condition or are taking medication that suppresses their immune system. At this time, immunocompromised patients who received the Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine do not require an additional dose. 

Patients who are immunocompromised will receive an email through Patient Online Services with a link to schedule a vaccination appointment. Eligible patients and people who are not Mayo Clinic Health System patients also can call 507-434-9929 to schedule an appointment to receive an additional dose of vaccine.