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Guidance for our Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science community about COVID-19

This page will be updated as the situation evolves. Mayo Clinic learners (students and trainees) are following Mayo employee policies and procedures, and should use the COVID-19 information center on the Mayo Clinic intranet (must be on campus or VPN to access) as a primary resource for information.

Symptoms, exposures, testing, and quarantine

Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science learners follow the same protocols as Mayo Clinic employees, utilizing the services of Mayo Clinic Occupational Health Services, in determining when a learner must not come to campus and when it is safe to return to campus.

All campuses

CDC, local public health, and Mayo Clinic guidance continues to change rapidly. Information related to COVID exposures, quarantine, and illness can be found on Mayo Clinic's COVID-19 information page (must be on campus or VPN to access). Questions specific to your individual situation should continue to be directed to Mayo Clinic Occupational Health Services through the self-assessment form, using the link below.

Follow the steps below if you:

  • Develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or
  • Are exposed to a person confirmed to have COVID-19 while not wearing the appropriate protective equipment, or
  • Are under quarantine as directed by a public health or government entity

1. Stay at home.

2. Contact Mayo Clinic Occupational Health Services at 833-558-0757 or through the online form:

  • If accessing through Mayo VPN, use this link.
  • If not on Mayo VPN:
  • If you do not have internet access, call Occupational Health Services at 833-558-0757.

Take good care of yourself: See our well-being resources.

3. Notify your program director or school administration about your absence and communicate any resulting restrictions you are given, which may or may not include a self-quarantine period. Your program faculty will work with you to determine if you can continue to participate from home in the program during quarantine if you are feeling well.

4. Follow guidelines for returning to campus.

  • Work with Occupational Health Services via the electronic form submitted. If you do not have internet access, call Occupational Health Services at 833-558-0757. The occupational health nurses will review your status with you and determine when you may return to campus using Mayo Clinic protocols and in conjunction with local public health guidance.
  • It is the student's responsibility to share this information with their program director or school leadership.

Last reviewed: March 14, 2022

Academic updates

Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Current students should check the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences intranet site for ongoing COVID-19 communications (must be on campus or VPN to access).

Last reviewed: April 18, 2022

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences

Information for current students

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms must not come to campus and should be tested immediately. See the "Symptoms, exposures, testing, and quarantine" section above. Students must notify their program immediately about any absences.

Wearing an appropriate mask covering the mouth and nose while on campus is required for all students at all sites, including in non-clinical buildings, unless eating in a cafeteria or breakroom with appropriate social distancing. Students must follow the institutional guidance regarding masking, protective eyewear, and other preventative measures. Students can expect changes to the guidelines in response to changes in the rates of COVID-19 spread across regions.

Classroom and lab teaching and learning

  • Didactic classes offered in-person must have an option for remote participation for students.
  • Students must always wear a mask properly covering the mouth and nose while on campus, including during any didactic class. The only exception is if a mask must be temporarily removed to complete a practice skill procedure, and then eye protection is required.
  • Students must maintain 6 feet of social distance as much as possible, but shorter distances are allowed when the room cannot accommodate this, such as in classrooms that have fixed seats/tables. Shorter distances are also permitted if students are required to work in pairs or groups during procedural skill building, laboratory training, or using medical equipment. In such situations when 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained, programs should use assigned seating/seating charts or assigned partners or groups.
  • Food and drink may not be consumed during classes.
  • Frequent handwashing and sanitizing surfaces are required.

Clinical and laboratory teaching and learning
Students must observe the PPE standards (e.g., protective eyewear, N-95 masks, etc.) for their respective clinical and laboratory sites consistent with the requirements and equipment for employees in those areas.

Learners are required to provide clinical care to patients who are COVID-19 positive and patients with suspected COVID-19 infections, as appropriate to their education program. Knowledge and experience in best practices to provide safe care to patients with known or suspected COVID-19 infections is a crucial competency. Any learner with a condition they believe prevents them from caring for patients with COVID-19 should contact MCCMS.DS@mayo.edu to request accommodations.

Information for new students

These are the requirements and expectations related to the COVID-19 pandemic for new students (learners) enrolling in Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences.

COVID-19 vaccination
All learners are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Unless participating in a clinical rotation experience only, medical or religious exemptions may be requested. Ten weeks before the program start date, the Student Services office will request proof of vaccination, or requests for medical or religious exemptions, which must be received and approved before beginning the program.

Other COVID-19 precautions

  • Mayo Clinic will provide learners with educational modules regarding preventing the spread of COVID-19 and taking actions to protect themselves and the community, including patients.
  • When on campus, Mayo Clinic enforces precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, such as required masking, wearing protective eyewear, distancing, and regular handwashing. These requirements are subject to change.
  • Learners with risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the clinical setting will be provided necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) and training on appropriate use, equivalent to the PPE and training provided to Mayo Clinic employees in the same clinical areas.

On-campus participation
Most programs utilize a combination of in-person and virtual teaching and learning to optimize the student experience. Currently, didactic/classroom teaching is also available through a virtual option. Learners should expect to attend certain activities in-person, on-campus. Laboratory skill development, clinical experiences, testing, and select other activities will take place on-campus. This is subject to change.

Patient care and COVID-19
Learners are required to provide clinical care to patients who are COVID-19 positive and patients with suspected COVID-19 infections, as appropriate to their education program. Knowledge and experience in best practices to provide safe care to patients with known or suspected COVID-19 infections is a crucial competency. Any admitted learner with a condition they believe prevents them from caring for patients with COVID-19 should contact MCCMS.DS@mayo.edu to request accommodations.

Educational experiences at non-Mayo sites
Several programs require learners to complete educational experiences, such as clinical rotations, at sites that are not owned or managed by Mayo Clinic. The external organizations provide these educational experiences at their discretion, and many of them will only accept learners who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with no allowance for exemptions that might have been granted by Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences. This may prevent the program from providing all the learning experiences needed to meet program graduation requirements. Therefore, Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences cannot guarantee that unvaccinated learners will be able to complete their educational program on-time, or at all.

Last reviewed: March 18, 2022

Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine

Current students should check the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine intranet site for ongoing COVID-19 communications (must be on campus or VPN to access).

Last reviewed: April 1, 2022

Visitor and rotation programs

Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science has re-engaged limited visitor programs. All visitors must be approved by clinical areas before a visit can be processed.

If you have questions about a visitor or clerkship experience, contact:

Last reviewed: Jan. 10, 2022

Well-being

Crisis situation? Text "START" to 741-741 or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 911 or get to an emergency department.

Support resources

Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science offers a variety of resources for learners through Student Services. Included in these services are academic success advising, disability and accommodations support, counseling services, and well-being support resources through a comprehensive learner assistance program.

Academic success advising (email for inquiry and scheduling)

Disability and accessibility resources (email for inquiry and scheduling)

Care resource managers (email for inquiry and scheduling)
If you would like to explore or establish ongoing support for your emotional or physical well-being while at Mayo Clinic, we encourage you to connect with a care resource manager (must be on campus or VPN to access). They are available to identify and connect you to appropriate resources.

Counseling services
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science offers free confidential counseling resources for all learners in the college. Included in these services is access to Mayo Clinic mental health counselors and a Learner Assistance Program with access to counselors 24/7.

  • Mayo Clinic counselors are scheduled based on location and offer confidential short-term and solution-focused counseling services. Services are offered over video or telephone. Our services aim to help learners adjust to and manage their learning environment, cope with personal challenges, gain self-awareness, and address psychological concerns.
  • For anyone in crisis, text "START" to 741-741 or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 911 or get to an emergency department.
  • Learner Assistance Program: WellConnect provides all learners (students and trainees) with a full complement of mental health and wellness resources. Included in this program:
    • Short-term face-to-face, telephonic, or video counseling with a licensed mental health provider
    • Personalized consultations with trained student/life specialists
    • Referrals to local providers and national services
    • Legal and financial consultants, and referral for things like housing, utilities, child care, and other local resources
    • 24/7 support for you and your household members
    Call the WellConnect 24/7 support line at 866-640-4777 or visit wellconnectforyou.com. Use school code MCCMS.

Additional materials and links

Last reviewed: March 14, 2022

Well-being resources and virtual events

Headspace
Learners enrolled in the following schools are eligible for a free Headspace account:

  • Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education
  • Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences
  • Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
  • Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine

The mindfulness/meditation app can be accessed from any device and is free to you. Enroll at Join Headspace.

HELP Program
The Healing the Emotional Lives of Peers (HELP) Program is a peer support program available to all clinical and non-clinical health care professionals who experience emotional and/or physiological impacts after an adverse event, error, or unexpected outcome. Learn how to activate HELP support (must be on campus or VPN to access).

Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) suicide prevention training
QPR is a virtual session to become a trained QPR Gatekeeper and learn how to help someone who is struggling.

  • How to Question, Persuade, and Refer someone who may be suicidal
  • How to get help for yourself or learn more about preventing suicide
  • The common causes of suicidal behavior
  • The warning signs of suicide
  • How to get help for someone in crisis

Registration is required to attend. To register, log into My Learning, search for QPR or the course code 259001EMPL002718 to view course dates, and submit your registration. Registration is limited to 20 participants. Connection information will be sent to registered participants prior to the session.

Other resources

Last reviewed: March 14, 2022

Resources and tips for coping and support

Taking care of yourself during COVID-19 uncertainty
It is completely normal to feel stressed or overwhelmed during these uncertain times. Some normal emotions in response to the uncertainty may include anxiety, fear, anger, sadness, helplessness, discouragement, and occasionally even feeling out of control. In addition, some normal physical responses may include headaches, muscle tension, fatigue, sleep problems, and change in appetite or energy level.

Tips for self-care to promote well-being

Safety

  • Take breaks, eat nutritious food, and get plenty of sleep and exercise
  • Avoid harmful behaviors such as alcohol and/or substance abuse, gambling, or ignoring public health and safety recommendations
  • Use good judgment and social distancing, while staying connected with others through electronic methods and phone calls

Calm

  • Maintain your normal routine whenever possible
  • Above all else, be gentle and kind with yourself and loved ones
  • Identify something to look forward to
  • Use healthy personal distractions, such as music, exercise, cooking, and hobbies
  • Get outdoors for fresh air, while following social distancing guidelines

Connect

  • Maintain your social connections by connecting with your loved ones, supportive people, and friends through recommended and safe methods of contact, which may be electronic
  • Consider a check-in schedule with others to assure safety
  • Take advantage of the altered schedule to focus on your family and friends
  • Help others through blood donation, checking in with elderly friends and neighbors, and taking other steps to support the community
  • Acknowledge and appreciate what others are doing to help

Empowerment and self-efficacy (effective coping)

  • Limit exposure to news and social media about COVID-19 to reduce stress
  • Check only reliable news sources that focus on the facts, avoiding media that sensationalizes emotions
  • Focus on things that you can control
  • Rely on your personal beliefs and faith as a source of support
  • Refocus to the present time if you are pre-occupied with uncertainty about future events that haven’t yet happened
  • Be optimistic about the future — there is hope, and everyone working together can lead to a better outcome

If any of the following become persistent or interfere with your daily functioning, they may be signs that you should seek emotional support or help from a professional

  • Trouble focusing on daily activities
  • Anxiety that turns into feelings of being out of control
  • Strong feelings that interfere with daily activities
  • Feeling out of control or having emotions that become difficult to manage
  • Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness

Resources and more information when further help is needed
See the "Support resources" item above.

Last reviewed: March 14, 2022