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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Your health is our number one priority. We understand the uneasiness that everyone is feeling during these uncertain times, and we are working around the clock to help prevent the spread of the virus and to protect our patients, our staff, and the community.

While this situation is rapidly evolving, Hennepin Healthcare is committed to providing the information you need to stay healthy.

A Message from our CEO

Symptoms and Prevention of COVID-19

The symptoms of COVID-19 can vary from very mild to severe and include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing

Some people may also experience headaches, muscle aches, sore throat, and diarrhea. These symptoms are also found in many other common illnesses such as the flu, so having these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have COVID-19.

The time between when people are infected and start showing symptoms can be anywhere from 2-14 days.

We are continuing to follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to evaluate patients for COVID-19. If you think you have been exposed to Coronavirus (COVID-19) or if you are experiencing symptoms, the safest first step to finding out if you need to get tested is by calling 612-873-6963.

You and your family’s best defense against COVID-19 is the same as with the flu or any other virus. Remember to:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Throw away any used tissues and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Please visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health websites for the latest information available.

What You Need to Know about COVID-19

Preventive Measures for Flu & COVID-19

Coronavirus (COVID-19), Cold and Flu – How to Tell the Difference

Tips for Handling COVID-19 Anxiety – Do’s & Don’ts

If you think you might be infected

The best thing you can do to protect you and your family from COVID-19 at this time is to stay home and isolate yourself. If you have mild symptoms, please do not seek COVID-19 testing at this time.

Only seek medical attention if you have severe symptoms like difficulty breathing. If you are experiencing trouble breathing, please call our Nurse Telehealth line at 612-873-6963. If this is a life-threatening emergency please call 911. We also strongly encourage you to request an e-visit. 

Request an e-visit

If you have any questions about whether or not you should be seen, you can call us at 612-873-6963, or we encourage you to request an e-visit by logging into your MyChart account.  If you do not have a MyChart account, you can sign up for one here, or call 612-873-5600.

Appointments & Procedures Announcements

All non-essential/non-emergency visits to our facilities are canceled until further notice. Your provider will determine what is best for your care and you will be contacted by the clinic or hospital if it is necessary to cancel.

Hennepin Healthcare is excited to now offer Video Visits as an option for your care. Video visits are a safe and convenient way to receive care for a variety of conditions, and a great way to stay connected to your provider for ongoing care during this time. To find out if a Video Visit is appropriate for you at this time, please call 612-873-6963 or access the Video Visits page to learn more.

Downtown Entrances: Changes & Current Restrictions

Please note that the entrances to our main campus downtown are currently restricted to the following:

  • 730 S. 8th Street Red Entrance - open 24/7
  • Purple Skyway from parking ramp - open 24/7
  • Clinic & Specialty Center, 715 S. 8th St. - open weekdays until 6 pm
  • 913 S. 7th Street Blue Entrance – for symptom-free patients only – open weekdays from 6 am-6 pm
  • 900 S. 8th Street Blue Entrance – for Viral Screening Clinic patients only – open weekdays 8 am-8 pm; Sat 8 am-12 pm
Visitor Policy: Changes & Current Restrictions

Effective Saturday, March 14, Hennepin Healthcare is implementing visitor restrictions on our downtown campus to protect our patients and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

No visitors who are ill will be allowed to visit patients.

Thank you for your understanding.

  • Emergency Department / Urgent Care: Visitors are only allowed for pediatric patients, vulnerable adults, and trauma patients. All other visitors will be asked to leave the hospital to prevent infection prevention concerns in hospital waiting areas.
  • Inpatients: Visitors will only be allowed for admitted patients based on compassionate care needs. Please call the unit where your patient located before coming to the hospital.
  • Pediatric Patients: One well parent or guardian at a time.
  • Labor and Delivery Patients – One adult visitor will be allowed in the facility per patient.
  • Clinic appointments: We ask patients to please limit the number of individuals who accompany them to one person. However, we recognize that exceptions apply for children pediatric patients and other unique situations, in which 2 people may be appropriate.
Drop off items for loved ones

We realize that human connection contributes to healing, and our staff are dedicated to ensuring that your loved one is supported and cared for emotionally and physically.

What you can do:

  • Stay connected to your loved one with technology—smartphone, iPad, laptop. We can assist patients who might not be tech-savvy.
  • Send or drop off a card, a special picture or other mementos to help your loved one feel connected to home. We will make sure they get delivered.
  • Drop off personal care items that bring your loved one comfort. Please know that we will do what we can to protect these personal items but we urge you not to leave anything of high value. It is not possible for us to guarantee the security of personal items at this busy time.

How do I drop off items?

From 8 am to 9 pm, drop your items off at the HCMC Parking Ramp on 6th St and Park Ave. Enter from either 6th or 7th St, go to the second-floor patient drop-off/pick-up and staff will be available inside the door. Parking is free if you exit within 20 minutes.
Thank you for your understanding and please be assured that your loved one’s wellbeing is our #1 priority. We are all family in this stressful time. To reach your loved one’s unit and/or room phone, please call 612-873-3000.

Hennepin Healthcare Event Cancelations

To keep our patients, staff, and members of the community safe, all classes, tours, support groups, and other community-based events have been canceled for the immediate future. We will continue to re-evaluate this decision regularly and will resume these activities when deemed safe and appropriate to do so.

COVID-19 State & National Resources

Here’s where you can learn more about COVID-19:

Minnesota Department of Health

MDH COVID-19 Hotline: 651-201-3920

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions – Printable sheet  (PDF)

Here are some questions and answers from your friends at Hennepin Healthcare:

Q. What is COVID-19?
It’s a novel virus that gives you a fever, makes you cough and impacts your breathing. “Novel” means that this particular virus has never been seen before in human populations.

Q. Is there medicine to treat COVID-19?
There is not a specific medication to treat COVID-19. But some over-the-counter medications may help relieve fever and/or cough.

Q. I have diabetes. Should I still come to the clinic for my regular appointment?
It is very important you keep managing your health. Contact your doctor, who will help you decide the best way to get treatment or advice. Hennepin Healthcare doctors are still seeing patients in person. They are also working with patients through phone calls or through video visits.
If you do not have a regular physician, please call our helpline at 612-873-6963 for further information.

Q. What if I have a regularly scheduled appointment at one of your clinics, should I still come?

All non-essential/non-emergency visits to our facilities are being canceled until further notice. Your provider will determine what is best for your care and you will be contacted by the clinic or hospital if it is necessary to cancel, or if they would like to schedule you for a video visit. If you need to make an essential appointment, or if you have questions about a future appointment, please call 612-873-6963.

Q. Is the COVID-19 virus a “Chinese” virus?
No. First, we may not know for certain where the virus originated until the pandemic is over. However, there is no excuse for designating a “nationality” for the virus. Hennepin Healthcare is opposed to this kind of labeling, which can result in blaming and shaming individuals and racial groups. Please don’t do this – we need each other!

Q. What about the practice of “social distancing”? Does Hennepin Healthcare endorse this?
We endorse the concept of “physical distancing” as a way of keeping people safe. This means acting as if you already have the virus, which can serve as a protection for you and others. However, we need to maintain SAFE SOCIAL CONTACT with family and friends. Do your best to use the Internet and other digital tools to stay connected to those who care about you.

For too long, communities of color have been isolated and distanced from each other. This has caused a number of inequities in healthcare – inequities that can be harmful to people of color. We want to use every tool we have to remain connected to family and friends.

Q. I feel sick. Should I come to the emergency room?
Our emergency room is prepared to take care of the most critically sick or injured people in our community. The symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, shortness of breath and muscle aches. These symptoms can often be managed at home. If you have any questions about whether or not you should be seen, you can call us at 612-873-6963.

Q. What if I am experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19? What should I do?
Call your physician or reach out to us at the number above. Most of all, please maintain a positive attitude and do not allow yourself to panic.

Q. How long will this pandemic last?
We don’t know. Pharmaceutical firms, research clinics and highly trained medical personnel are working around the clock to defeat the virus. You can help by staying home and staying away from other people if you are sick.

Q. What about getting a COVID-19 test?
Testing supplies are limited across the state and country. We are not able to test everyone at this time. Our testing is limited to individuals at high risk and healthcare workers.

Q. How much does it cost to get tested for COVID-19?

The gross charge for a COVID-19 lab test is $162.00.  This is the list price, contractual insurance rates or discounts are not included in this amount and they do not indicate out of pocket costs. At this time, Hennepin Healthcare is not collecting copays for these tests. For more information on testing prices, access the Costs of Care page.

Q. Can I go for a walk?
Going for a walk while maintaining 6 feet of physical distancing from others can be healthy. But, please avoid overcrowded beaches and pathways. Do not speak face-to-face with anyone without maintaining a distance of 6 feet. If you follow these guidelines, you may be able to remain healthy.

Q: What if I need food and don’t have money to purchase it?
There are many sources for food support available through Hennepin County and community food shelves. Please see our food resources page.

Q. One of my family members/friends is hospitalized at Hennepin Healthcare. Can I come and visit them?
Unfortunately, you may not be able to see family and friends directly. We have made iPads available so that visitors can maintain a safe distance from those who are ill and still be in touch. While this is not an ideal solution, it is driven by a desire to maintain health and safety.

How You Can Help: Donations

We do not know how long this crisis will last, but we know and are thankful for people like you who want to help and support our healthcare heroes in any way you can. Here are ways you can support our Hennepin Heroes at this time.

Hennepin Heroes Fund

hennepinhealthcare.org/heroesfund

Your gifts will nurture the men and women on the frontlines as they care for us all.  Personal protection equipment, food, technology, supplies, and mental and spiritual care will fortify their capacity to maintain their health during this unprecedented time.

In-kind Donations

In-kind donations are a welcome and powerful way to show support. To streamline the process we have established a specific drop off location and times. Please note that items must be in the original packaging.

Items:  

  • Masks
  • Respirators
  • Face Shields
  • Safety Glasses
  • Gowns, Gloves
  • Hand Sanitizer/Foam

Location:   Purple Building of Hennepin Healthcare -7th Street entrance. Enter the driveway from Chicago Avenue, between 6th Street & 7th Street. The drop off will be open March 23-27, with additional dates added as needed.

Times: Staff are at the main entrance from 11 am – 1 pm. Do not leave unattended items.

Contact: For large scale donations or more information please contact [email protected] or 612-919-9046.

Sharing the Caring 

We are so proud of our staff at Hennepin Healthcare. We also recognize the brave work taking place all over the nation and world. We welcome you to share your words of encouragement and gratitude to those helping battle this worldwide pandemic.  Take a moment to send a THANK YOU message through this special website.

Supporting Pregnant Mothers

A specific fund has been established to support virtual visits with families who are pregnant, to keep them safe and healthy during this critical moment of prenatal care. Your donation will get equipment like blood pressure cuffs and thermometers into the hands of families, to make these virtual prenatal care visits possible. Donate at giving.hcmed.org/obgyn.

Spread the word socially

Please post any of the information above on your social media pages and follow Hennepin Healthcare on Facebook and Twitter for COVID-19 updates.

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