ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic has significantly expanded its capacity to test clinical samples for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. With new equipment that went online Tuesday, Mayo Clinic Laboratories now has the capacity to process COVID-19 test samples from all Mayo Clinic sites. In addition, it has begun processing test samples from its clients across Minnesota, including eight major health systems.
"Our purpose for creating a group dedicated to COVID-19 is to help people stay socially connected, virtually," says Colleen Young, Mayo Clinic Connect Community Director. "We want to help reduce isolation and anxiety, and to provide a place where people can find purpose and action to care for themselves and stay healthy."
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, many people worry about contracting the virus by touching surfaces, such as public sinks, cellphones or computer workstations. Dr. Clayton Cowl, chair of Mayo Clinic's Division of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine, says that while the virus that causes COVID-19 may live on surfaces for hours to days, people can reduce their risk of contracting it by practicing certain hygiene strategies.
Mayo Clinic has opened a second location to collect specimens for COVID-19 testing for patients who are unable to travel to the Mayo Clinic drive-thru location at Mayo Family Clinic Northwest. The new specimen collection location, which is called the Downtown Evaluation Center Mobile Unit, is in a Mayo Clinic parking lot at the corner of Third Street Southwest and Third Avenue Southwest.
Growing concerns over COVID-19 have health care organizations worldwide making vast changes ― from postponing procedures to visitation restrictions. Consumers are being asked to limit emergency room visits.