In March, Mayo Clinic Health System locations in Minnesota deferred all elective care in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, initial modeling projected a surge that would exceed capacity for hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) beds and ventilators. Mayo Clinic also had a limited amount of personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing capabilities.
Upon careful review of patient needs and our practice, and in alignment with the executive orders from Governor Walz and the Minnesota Department of Health, Mayo Clinic Health System locations in Minnesota will begin to resume elective visits, procedures and surgeries on May 11, 2020. “In many circumstances, care that was deferred two months ago which was elective is now becoming more urgent and we know that patients need care now,” says James Hebl, M.D., regional vice president, Southwest Minnesota Region.
The projected COVID-19 peak for Mayo Clinic’s sites has now lessened, and the plateau is extended — making hospital and ICU bed capacity no longer an issue at Mayo Clinic Health System. Mayo Clinic has developed and increased COVID-19 testing capabilities in Minnesota. In addition, PPE supplies are tracked carefully and Mayo Clinic continues to support appropriate conservation of PPE.
Surgical teams at Mayo Clinic Health System have safely increased semi-urgent, urgent and emergent surgeries to meet patients’ needs. “We have confidence in our ability to expand care to patients whose surgeries were delayed because of COVID, while continuing to be capable of quickly shifting our practice to address a more aggressive COVID environment should circumstances change,” says Sandy Kopp, M.D., chair of community anesthesiology at Mayo Clinic.
Officials with Mayo stated that enhanced screening processes are in place for all patients based on anticipated services to be provided for surgery, procedures, therapies, outpatient visits and hospitalizations.