Frequently Asked Questions
What is convalescent plasma therapy, and how can I donate?
People who have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus may have antibodies to the virus in their blood. Antibodies are special proteins produced by the body’s immune system that help defend the body against bacteria, viruses, and other infections.
New research suggests that antibodies from a COVID-19 survivor could help other people fight the virus by boosting their immune system. These antibodies can be given from one person to another through a plasma transfusion. Plasma is the clear, liquid part of your blood. This new treatment is called convalescent plasma therapy.
Those who are in recovery following COVID-19 are encouraged to consider donating plasma through the Red Cross or Memorial Blood Centers. Potential donors must wait at least 14 days after recovering from COVID-19 – or 14 days after the end of their COVID-related fever symptoms – before they are able to donate. This gives time for antibody levels within the body to grow.
What does Gov. Tim Walz’ “Stay Safe Minnesota” order on May 18 mean for M Health Fairview patients?
Gov. Tim Walz’ new Stay Safe Minnesota order, issued May 18, loosens social distancing restrictions put into place earlier this year to slow the spread of COVID-19. “Safe at Home” means continuing to do most of the things we’ve been doing the last several months: practicing social distancing, staying home to the extent possible, and protecting our most vulnerable populations.
For the safety of our patients, families, and healthcare workers, visitor restrictions are still in effect at M Health Fairview clinics and hospitals. All patients, visitors, and staff are expected to wear a mask at all times when in one of our facilities. At this time, we are not resuming classes, support groups, or events.
M Health Fairview is thankful to the Governor for continuing to prioritize the health and well-being of Minnesotans. These efforts will help continue to keep the people of Minnesota safe and our health care workers safe by slowing the spread of the disease and keeping COVID-19 at levels that are manageable for our healthcare system.
I heard M Health Fairview is performing elective surgeries again. Is that true?
We are beginning to restore access to critical,
time-sensitive, and elective surgical procedures across the M Health Fairview
system. This development follows a May 5 executive order from Minnesota Gov.
Tim Walz lifting restrictions on some medical and surgical procedures.
M Health Fairview care providers will be performing urgent and time sensitive surgeries for patients who face increased health risks first and then will begin to reschedule elective surgeries. Our surgical teams are working to prioritize cases according to need and we will continue to ensure patients have a care plan in place while they wait for their procedure to be scheduled. Surgical teams will contact identified surgical patients directly. Patients who do not hear from their providers should assume their surgeries have not yet been scheduled. We will postpone surgeries and procedures only if they can be safely delayed without negative consequence to patients.
Throughout this process, M Health Fairview continues to balance the need for surgery with the need to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE) so that we remain prepared for a sudden surge of COVID-19 patients. Our system is currently monitoring the statewide availability of PPE and we will align our surgical capacity to the existing supply of protective equipment, among other factors. Our top priorities are providing excellent patient care while protecting healthcare workers.
Please note: Our Birthplaces, emergency departments, mental health and chemical dependency services, and other critical services are always open.
I don’t have COVID-19 but have an appointment at one of your locations. What should I do?
To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, some of our clinics have transitioned to virtual care. Click here to learn more about this transition. This means you can meet with our care team from the comfort of your home. We will contact you if an appointment you’ve already made has been changed to a virtual appointment. Patients who still need in-person care will be directed to a clinic, which may not be your current clinic. Please continue to call our appointment line when you need care, and our team will direct you to the best care option for your needs.
If you will be visiting one of our facilities in person, we recommend that you review our new COVID-19 safety policies, which are designed to limit exposure for our families and staff. These include universal masking, visitor limitations, and universal testing for our admitted patients. Thanks for your cooperation as we work together to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Do I need to wear a mask to my appointment?
Anyone entering one of our hospitals, clinics, or other locations is required to wear a mask. This includes patients, visitors, providers, and employees. Wearing a mask is an effective way to prevent disease transmission. Homemade masks, ear-loop masks, and clothing such as a bandana or scarf that covers your nose and mouth are acceptable. Learn how to make a mask. We have a limited supply available for patients who don’t have access to one.
We require you to wear a mask when coming to our facilities. This is to protect you and other patients and staff. You will need to reschedule your visit if you are not wearing a mask, unless it is an emergency.
Do I need to observe social distancing rules inside M Health Fairview hospitals or clinics?
We believe social distancing, also known as physical distancing, is important for reducing the spread of the virus causing COVID-19. However, M Health Fairview recognizes that it may not be practical to observe social distancing guidelines in every setting – particularly during appointments or in-person visits to an M Health Fairview clinic or hospital. Though we cannot make it mandatory, we encourage all patients, visitors, and staff to follow the guidelines as much as possible while at one of our locations.
Can I be tested for COVID-19?
Yes, we are currently conducting diagnostic testing for adults and children who have COVID-19 symptoms at eight drive-up testing sites across the Twin Cities. In Minnesota and nationwide, tests and supplies are limited. M Health Fairview is working quickly to ramp up testing for people who are not displaying COVID-19 symptoms, but national supply shortages require us to continue prioritizing testing for certain groups.
Will the flu vaccine protect against COVID-19?
No, while the flu vaccine will not prevent someone from getting COVID-19, it will help protect you from the flu.
Are M Health Fairview classes, support groups, or events still being held?
All group gatherings, including classes, support groups, and events, are cancelled to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. We will provide an update when it is safe to resume these activities.