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Mayo to transition COVID-19 testing sites indoors

Mayo Clinic Health System will transition its COVID-19 testing sites to new indoor locations on Wednesday, Oct. 28, for the safety of patients and staff during the winter.

“As we move COVID-19 testing indoors, we are continuing to prioritize the safety of all patients and staff members,” says Sarah Crane, M.D., Mayo Clinic’s director of Primary Care in Southeast Minnesota. “Patients can expect some process changes to account for the new environment and subsequent new safety precautions, but our dedication to providing our communities with the testing they need remains unchanged.”

The initial process for patients showing signs of COVID-19 symptoms will remain the same:

• If patients have life-threatening COVID-19 symptoms, such as trouble breathing, chest pain or pressure, confusion, or blue lips or face, they should call 911.

• If patients have COVID-19 symptoms that are not life-threatening, they should contact their primary care provider or call the Mayo Clinic COVID-19 Nurse Line at 507-293-9525 first. Patients meeting testing criteria will be directed to a new indoor testing location.

One change for patients who meet testing criteria is that an appointment time for their COVID-19 test will be now scheduled for them at the new indoor testing sites.

Patients will arrange their appointment time during the screening process. This change will maximize parking availability at the new testing locations and minimize waiting during peak hours.

Mayo Clinic Health System’s new indoor COVID-19 testing locations are:

• Albert Lea: East Annex, 210 St. Mary Ave.

• Austin: 510 Second St. NW

• Owatonna: Southview Building, 134 Southview St.

• Red Wing: Professional and Community Building, 1407 W. Fourth St.

The hours of operation at these four testing sites will remain the same: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekends..

The new Albert Lea, Austin and Red Wing indoor testing locations are immediately next to the current drive-thru testing locations. Owatonna’s new indoor testing location at the downtown Southview Building is approximately four miles from the current drive-thru test site at the Owatonna clinic.

Once patients arrive at the testing location, they will be asked to remain in their vehicle and check in for their appointment by phone. The phone numbers for check-in will be communicated to patients during their screening process and posted outside the testing locations.

Patients will be required to wear masks throughout their appointment, except as directed by Mayo Clinic Health System staff. Visitors will only be permitted if patients require their assistance during the appointment.

The new indoor locations for COVID-19 testing will keep everyone safe from inclement weather and ensure testing remains uninterrupted. The drive-thru test sites have been a highly successful method for responding to the COVID-19 public health crisis, and reopening them as the seasons change will be kept as a possibility.

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