- By Rick Thiesse
Mayo Clinic Health System COVID-19 test site to move indoors Nov. 2; patients to be prescreened before arrival
LA CROSSE, Wis. —The COVID-19 test site at Mayo Clinic Health System ― Franciscan Healthcare in La Crosse will move indoors, beginning Monday, Nov. 2.
In March, Mayo Clinic Health System began testing symptomatic patients for COVID-19 at a drive-thru test site in La Crosse. More than 37,000 patients have been tested so far.
The La Crosse test site will continue at the same location at the corner of 10th and Ferry streets, but it will now be inside the former Occupational Health Building. Patients who call ahead to be screened will park in the parking lot and asked to text an email address notifying staff that they've arrived. At that time, Mayo Clinic Health System staff will respond with a text message welcoming them to the test site. This message will provide an estimated wait time. A follow-up text or phone call will be sent when staff are ready for patients to enter the building for testing.
"Our drive-thru test site has worked well for patients by allowing them to remain in the comfort of their vehicles," says Benjamin G. Anderson, nurse administrator at Mayo Clinic Health System. "However, with winter fast approaching and the need to continue COVID-19 testing for the foreseeable future, we felt this was the best option for patients and our test site staff at this time."
The test site will be open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. The COVID-19 test site at Mayo Clinic Health System in Sparta, Wisconsin, continues to operate at its current location.
Patients need to call Mayo Clinic Health System to be screened before coming to the test site. Mayo Clinic Health System also is working with county health departments and other health care facilities if a patient who fits the criteria needs to be tested.
"We ask that patients who are concerned about symptoms consistent with COVID-19 contact their clinic, their provider, or contact the Mayo Clinic Nurse Triage line for appropriate screening. If testing is needed, they will be referred to the appropriate to the test site," says Kevin Fitzgerald, M.D., chair of the Division of Family Medicine at Mayo Clinic Health System. "Providing this dedicated testing location away from other clinical spaces will help limit possible exposures for staff, patients and visitors in other patient care areas."
Patients experiencing symptoms should take these steps:
- Call their Mayo Clinic Health System clinic or the COVID-19 Nurse Line at 507-293-9525 for a phone screening. Those who are not a Mayo Clinic Health System patient also can call any clinic location and say they would like to be screened for COVID-19. Then staff will register the patient.
- Those who meet the criteria for testing will be directed to the test site.
- At the test site, Mayo Clinic Health System staff will collect specimens using appropriate precautions.
- Then specimens will be sent to a Mayo Clinic lab for analysis, with results expected in 24 to 72 hours.
- Patients who are positive will be advised of next steps. To receive results in a timely manner, patients can set up a Patient Online Services account on the Mayo Clinic Health System website or through the Mayo Clinic App. Patient Online Services is Mayo's patient portal.
Mayo Clinic Health System wants patients to know that it is safe to be seen at its facilities and continues to coordinate with local and regional partners to take the necessary precautions for everyone's safety.
Rick Thiesse 608-317-4325 (cell) firstname.lastname@example.org
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Mayo Clinic Health System consists of clinics, hospitals and other facilities that serve the health care needs of people in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The community-based providers, paired with the resources and expertise of Mayo Clinic, enable patients in the region to receive highest-quality physical and virtual health care close to home.