As holiday time is upon us, Olmsted County anticipates seeing an increase in colds, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), flu, and COVID-19 infections. In many cases, kids can be safely cared for at home. Parents should contact their primary care team if they have concerns and keep their child at home until symptoms improve. If a child tests positive for COVID-19, follow isolation guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Olmsted County is also seeing an increase in families seeking testing and care in emergency departments for upper respiratory illnesses. Mayo Clinic and Olmsted Medical Center (OMC) are expanding the number of primary care appointments available for people who have children with illnesses. Visiting the primary care provider is preferred over emergency departments which should only be used for true emergencies.
Most children with upper respiratory infections will have a mild illness, including cold-like symptoms, low-grade fever, and cough, that can be managed at home. While differences exist among all viruses, the recommendations for care at home are the same. Have the child rest, keep the child well hydrated, and use fever-reducing medications when needed for children four months or older.
Testing for illnesses like RSV is not always needed or recommended, as it will not change the course of care for managing symptoms at home. It is not recommended to schedule an appointment or go to the emergency department to get a test. It is recommended that parents contact their primary care office to determine if their child should be seen. If so, patients can discuss the need for testing during that visit.
Influenza can worsen chronic health problems, such as asthma and congestive heart failure. Those at an increased risk of influenza-related complications include:
- Younger than 12 months old.
- Pregnant or have given birth in the past two weeks.
- Younger than 19 and receiving long-term aspirin therapy.
- Have certain chronic medical conditions, including lung diseases such as asthma, an airway abnormality, heart disease, diabetes, neurological or neurodevelopmental disease, metabolic disorders, and kidney, liver, or blood diseases.
- Have a weakened immune system due to factors such as long-term use of steroids or other immunosuppressants, HIV, organ transplant, blood cancer, or cancer being treated with chemotherapy.
Mayo Clinic Primary Care in Southeast Minnesota expands appointments
Mayo Clinic Primary Care is expanding appointment availability in Rochester and the surrounding area for children with acute care needs on nights and weekends. Appointments are available during the following hours for clinics in Rochester:
- Primary Care (Adult patients): 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday.
- Primary Care (Pediatric patients): 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday; and 12 to 4 p.m. on Sunday (evening and weekend hours at Baldwin Building only).
- Express Care: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
The Rochester appointment line will open at 7 a.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday for same-day appointments. Expanded hours are not available Wednesday, November 23, or on Mayo Clinic official holidays. Appointments are extended at other clinics throughout the region.
OMC primary care appointments
Primary care appointments are available Monday through Friday at the Rochester Southeast Clinic, Rochester Northwest Clinic, Miracle Mile Clinic, and OMC Branch Clinics. Other options for care include FastCare North, FastCare South, and Acute Care.
Hours for FastCare
- Monday through Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Hours for Acute Care
- Rochester Northwest Clinic: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- Miracle Mile Clinic: Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Patients are able to schedule an appointment at FastCare North and FastCare South by using OMC MyChart’s “Find Care Now.” Beginning Wednesday, November 30, patients will be able to schedule an appointment at Acute Care using “Find Care Now.”