UPDATED: November 24, 2020
We are in this together
Every day more than 1,300 Olmsted Medical Center employees come to work to serve the residents of southeast Minnesota. During this COVID-19 pandemic our staff are working harder than ever to provide a safe environment for your healthcare, to take care of you when you are sick or hurting, and to take care of their own families. Our staff is working around the clock to keep you safe. However, it is important for everyone to take extra precautions to avoid contracting COVID-19 or spreading the disease to others.
Our clinics, the hospital, and the Emergency department are safe because of the extraordinary efforts of our everyday heroes in healthcare who follow the strict measures we have in place for infection control, screening, and testing. You should feel confident when you come to OMC for your healthcare needs. For the safety of our patients and staff, we will continue to use telehealth visits, curbside check in, masking requirements, and COVID testing as we have in the past Our COVID testing site is now located at our OMC FastCare North location on Elton Hills Drive (across from the Rec Center). Information on the hours can be found on this page of our website. In addition, we are once again limiting visitors to our facilities, except in certain situations.
Daily we hear on the news that our country is in the middle of a crisis with the spread of COVID-19, and we are asking everyone in our communities and our OMC family of patients to help stop the spread of this deadly disease. You can help by doing the following:
- Wash your hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer frequently.
- Keep your hands away from your nose, eyes, and mouth unless you have just washed them.
- Wear your mask. Wear your mask properly. It should cover both your mouth and your nose.
- Socially distance. Keep six feet or more away from others, especially when not wearing a mask.
- Avoid social gatherings and large groups.
Avoiding social gatherings is difficult, especially during this holiday season. We understand that. We know you want to be with family and friends, we want to be with ours too. To protect the community, this year we need to celebrate differently and have limits for the upcoming holidays. Perhaps the best way we can express our love for family is not how close we get together, but how far we stay apart. It’s not what we want to do, but we don’t want the anniversary of someone having a bad outcome with a COVID infection to be our lasting memory of that Thanksgiving or Christmas or other holiday.
I invite you to listen to this short video message about the importance of your safety this holiday.
Note to our viewers: Please excuse the slight lag in the video featuring Dr. Randy Hemann. This was videotaped over an online meeting software, with Dr. Hemann and the videographer in two different locations on OMC’s campus. We did this to enable Dr. Hemann to share his message without having to cover his mouth with a mask.
Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise rapidly here in Olmsted County as well as across the state and country. And, it can have deadly consequences. Yes, it is true that some people have experienced only a slight case of COVID-19, with few symptoms, and they bounce back quickly. And others have had no COVID-19 symptoms (asymptomatic). In both cases, however, they can and do spread the disease to others. For people of any age with underlying health conditions or those who are elderly—they typically do not do well when infected with COVID-19. We do not want you or your loved ones to become a statistic among the more than 12 million in the United States who have contracted COVID-19 or the nearly 260,000 who have died from it.
If there is any good news about COVID-19, it is that the vaccines being developed sound promising, and plans are being made for how the vaccine can be delivered throughout our country. As information becomes available, we will share what we know with you.
OMC continues to work closely with Mayo Clinic, Olmsted County Public Health, area nursing homes, and others to ensure we are all doing the best we can to care for our community.
This year is unprecedented in many ways. Our staff has come together not only to care for you, but also to support you. There are many ways I see employees coming together to share a positive, encouraging word to others. Even in song. Here is a link to a cover of George Harrison’s “Give Me Love” that was created by some OMC employees to support our staff, our patients, and our community. I hope it is uplifting to you at this time.
On behalf of our 1,300 employees and 100 volunteers at Olmsted Medical Center, I want to wish you a safe and healthy Thanksgiving holiday. Please be safe and well.
Randy Hemann, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Olmsted Medical Center
Quick Links to Information about COVID in Rochester and Olmsted County:
Quick Links for Patient Information:
What you can expect when you come for an appointment
Wear a mask when in public spaces and when you come to OMC
As you have heard in the local news, residents and visitors to Rochester are now required to wear a mask when in any indoor, publicly accessible space. This includes, but is not limited to bars, restaurants, retail stores, and public transportation. This mandate was approved by the Rochester City Council and has been put in place to help prevent the spread COVID-19. In addition, Governor Tim Walz issued at state mandate requiring all residents of Minnesota to wear a mask when out in public.
OMC’s mask requirement
OMC supports the requirement to wear a mask. When you come to OMC for an appointment or as a visitor, we require that you wear a mask while in our buildings. This requirement is based on CDC and Minnesota Department of Health guidelines. Children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance, are not required to wear a mask.
Requiring a mask at OMC is one of the many ways we are working to keep you as safe as possible. Other ways include:
- Screening patients, visitors, and employees when they enter our buildings.
- Placing stickers on the floor to help indicate social distancing.
- Installing plexiglass partitions in front of the desks where you check in for an appointment.
- Adding directional arrows on the floor in some areas to minimize contact with people coming and going through hallways.
Behind the scenes, we are conducting telephone screenings and, at some locations, providing the ability to check in and wait for your appointment in the comfort of your car.
Why should you wear a mask
It is strongly recommended that you wear a mask anytime you are in a public space. Wearing a cloth masks will protect you from potentially being infected by someone near you as well as protect you from unknowingly spreading the virus to someone else. Numerous studies, referenced on the CDC website, have shown that some people with COVID-19 do not have any symptoms of the virus. As a result, they do not know they could be spreading the virus to those around them.
COVID-19 is a virus that is spread through respiratory droplets. These droplets are the germs that come out of your mouth or nose when coughing, sneezing, talking, yelling, or singing. Wearing a mask helps to reduce the number of respiratory droplets released into the air which lowers the chances the virus will spread to other people in the area.
To help reduce the transmission of COVID-19, remember to follow the three Ws: wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance between people. In addition, you should avoid touching your face and, if you need to cough, cover your cough with a tissue or cough into your elbow.
If you questions about Rochester’s mask mandate, check out the City of Rochester’s FAQ document.