Mayo, UHD, city of Fairmont limiting public access
FAIRMONT — In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many area organizations say they are making changes to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as to respond to economic change.
In a press release, Mayo states it has evaluated the readiness of its facilities, personnel, capacity and supply availability, and assessed community transmission within its regions. Based on this review, Mayo will defer all elective care that can be deferred for eight or more weeks. This will include elective surgeries, procedures and office visits. Semi-urgent, urgent and emergency care will continue in clinic and hospital settings. The deferment will be effective March 23 at all Mayo Clinic locations nationwide. Mayo says the decision is being made to ensure the safest possible environment for patients and staff, and to free up resources to assist in Mayo Clinic’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
An update provided by United Hospital District (UHD) notes it is implementing the following changes:
All UHD sites:
o No visitors allowed until further notice.
o From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, all patients will be screened upon entry to any UHD locations. Patients will be asked a set of short questions and assessed for health concerns prior to being seen by a clinician.
o Winnebago Clinic will remain closed until further notice.
o UHD is not currently offering Urgent Care through its emergency room. People may call the clinic at (507) 526-7388 to schedule a same-day appointment. Through April 1, UHD clinics will only see patients with a high-risk health concern.
o Any patients seen from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. will be considered emergency room patients and will be seen in the emergency room.
City of Fairmont
A press release from the city of Fairmont notes that it will implement temporary changes to city operations effective 8 a.m. today. The changes will be in place through the end of March or until further notice. They are as follows:
o All city facilities, except the Fairmont Liquor Store, will be closed to the public. However, city operations will continue with staff available to provide services and answer questions by phone (507) 238-9461 and email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The liquor store will operate during its regular hours of operation.
o All services requiring in-person visits or public counter assistance will be handled by phone (507) 238-9461, email (email@example.com) and in certain circumstances in-person (appointment only).
o City Council meetings scheduled in March will take place as planned. As an alternative to attending in person, members of the public may view a live stream of meetings by visiting the city’s website at www.fairmont.com. All city boards and commissions will not meet until further notice, unless there is an immediate need.
A news release from the Social Security Administration states that Social Security offices will now only offer phone service. All local Social Security offices will be closed to the public for in-person service. Those who need help from Social Security may use their secure online services available at www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices. People can apply for retirement, disability and Medicare benefits online; check the status of an application or appeal; request a replacement Social Security card (in most areas); print a benefit verification letter; and more. People also may visit the online Frequently Asked Questions at www.socialsecurity.gov/ask.
Those who cannot conduct their Social Security business online may check the online field office locator for specific information about how to directly contact their local office. Local offices still will be able to provide services to help people apply for benefits, answer questions and provide other services over the phone.
Those who have an in-office appointment scheduled will be called to handle their appointment over the phone instead. Those who have a hearing scheduled will be called to discuss alternatives. Those who cannot complete their Social Security business online may call (800) 772-1213 (TTY (800) 325-0778).
Chamber of Commerce
The Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce is offering a special webinar presentation, “Dealing With the Coronavirus: What to do immediately to help save your tourism industry and downtown businesses” at 10:30 a.m. today. The workshop is free. Those interested can register for the workshop through the Chamber of Commerce.