Volume One Special Coverage: Pulling Together While Staying Apart


Mayo Clinic Health System Offers Drive-Through COVID-19 Testing in Eau Claire

V1 Staff

Mayo Clinic Health System's drive-through COVID-19 testing site.
Mayo Clinic Health System's drive-through COVID-19 testing site in Eau Claire.

Mayo Clinic Health System announced this afternoon (Wednesday, March 18) that it had opened a drive-through screening facility in Eau Claire for people showing symptoms of COVID-19. However, there are some important limitations: The service is only open to current Mayo Clinic patients who have been screened after calling their Mayo Clinic Health Systems primary care clinic.

“Tests will not be offered to people who have not pre-screened over the phone,” Mayo Clinic said in a press release. “You should not show up to a testing site without being pre-screened.” In other words, pick up the phone before you pick up your car keys.

In her Wednesday afternoon public briefing addressing the coronavirus pandemic, Eau Claire City-County Health Department Director Lieske Giese said other local health providers are considering similar options for testing. “We know statewide and nationally this is a priority for best practices for testing," she said.

Read the full press release ...

EAU CLAIRE – Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire will begin offering a drive-through screening process for current Mayo Clinic Health System patients  who meet criteria for COVID-19  and are referred for testing, beginning March 18. Transmissions of COVID-19 are increasing statewide and across the nation and other institutions have successfully used the drive-through approach.

As a first step, Mayo Clinic Health System patients must call their Mayo Clinic Health System primary care clinic. A provider or nurse will determine if patients meet criteria and will schedule a test at a designated location. Tests will not be offered to people who have not been pre-screened over the phone. You should not show up to a testing site without being pre-screened. The virus spreads rapidly and this process will help minimize potential exposure to other patients and staff. Again, Mayo Clinic Health System patients must call their provider first in order to be tested.

“In our efforts to make COVID-19 testing more accessible to Mayo Clinic Health System patients in our community, it could not have happened without the pro-active support and resources from the Eau Claire  Police Department, Eau Claire Fire Department and the Eau Claire City Emergency Preparedness Team,” says Jason Craig, Regional Chair of Administration for Mayo Clinic Health System in Northwest Wisconsin. “We are incredibly grateful and we thank them for all of their continued hard work.”

Mayo Clinic Health System patients experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should take the following steps: 

  • First, call their Mayo Clinic Health System primary care clinic/provider for a phone screening. Your provider or nurse will direct you to our dedicated COVID-19 Nurse Line. If you meet testing criteria, you will be directed to a local testing site.
  • If Mayo Clinic Health System patients meet the criteria for testing, patients will be directed to the drive-through testing location.
  • At the drive-through location, Mayo Clinic Health System staff will collect the specimens using appropriate precautions.
  • The specimens will then be sent to Mayo Clinic in Rochester for analysis.
  • Patients will be advised of next steps.

Also, as a reminder, all hospitals and clinics at Mayo Clinic Health System in Northwest Wisconsin have implemented visitor restrictions to protect the ongoing safety of our patients, staff and communities. Visitors are restricted to one visitor per patient at any time. No children under 13 are permitted on the premise unless the child is receiving medical care. Exceptions to this include two visitors for end-of-life patients, pediatric patients and patients who have language barriers. Visitors will not be allowed from 7 p.m.-7 a.m. This policy will remain in place until further notice.

Visitors who are ill should not come to visit patients. Visitors will be asked about symptoms before being allowed to enter hospitals and clinics.

We understand these restrictions will be difficult for patients and their loved ones. We are taking these necessary steps to protect our patients and staff. Mayo Clinic Health System patients who are scheduled for an appointment, hospital procedure or surgery can be assured our facilities are safe. We continue to coordinate with local and regional partners to take the necessary precautions for the safety of patients, staff and our communities. For the latest on getting care locally during the COVID-19 outbreak, visit www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/covid19.

Lasker Jewelers
Lasker Jewelers

Pulling Together Partners

The following organizations are currently supporting Volume One’s work in the community during the pandemic:

Lasker Jewelers

L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire

Downtown Eau Claire Inc DECI

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Pablo Group

Wisconsin Independent Network

Middle West Management

Bon Iver

Royal Credit Union

Silver Spring

Evergreen Surgical

Charter Bank

Chippewa Valley Technical College

The Murty Henriksen Family

The Larry and Marie Past Family

The Dan and Kerry Kincaid Family

Anton and Rae Schilling-Smets

Brady and Jeanne Foust

If your organization is interested in supporting Volume One during this difficult time, nick@volumeone.orgcontact us.