COVID-19: Resources for Neighborhood HealthSource patients

The Minnesota Department of Health has confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by 2019 novel coronavirus, in Minnesota as of March 6, 2019. This page offers resources and instructions for patients. If you are sick with COVID-19 or believe you may have been infected, please call the clinic BEFORE coming in, so we can adequately prepare for your visit. This helps healthcare providers protect themselves and other patients and prevent further spread of the disease. Call our main line at 612-588-9411 and someone will assist you.

This page will be updated regularly to reflect changes in the situation and in Neighborhood HealthSource’s policies and procedures around treating and testing for COVID-19.

Please note: Because our staff and resources for testing are limited, Neighborhood Healthsource will only test current patients for COVID-19. To be tested at our clinics you must already be registered in our database, and have established care with us before the coronavirus outbreak began. If you are not an NHS patient but suspect you are sick with COVID-19, please contact your regular health care provider immediately.

Read the letter below for an update from our executive director on how Neighborhood HealthSource is working hard to keep patients safe and provide much-needed healthcare services to our communities during this difficult time.

What to do if you are sick with COVID-19, or suspect you are infected

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath (difficulty breathing). If you displaying one or more* of these symptoms, please:

  • Stay at home except to get medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. This includes public transportation.
  • Separate yourself from people and animals in your home. Avoid physical contact and closeness with others.
  • Call ahead before visiting the clinic. Our staff will help determine the best course of action and instruct you on how to proceed.

*Note: Not all cases of COVID-19 show all three symptoms. If you have any one symptom by itself or any combination of the three symptoms, please take appropriate precautions as listed here.

COVID-19 testing at NHS

COVID-19 testing at Neighborhood HealthSource is limited to patients already in our databse who have established care with us prior to the coronavirus outbreak. We have limited staff and resources; as a result, we CANNOT OFFER testing to people who are not already our patients at this time. If you are not an NHS patient and have symptoms or suspect you are sick with COVID-19, please call your regular health care provider for further instruction.

We have designated Central Clinic as our COVID-19 testing and treatment site in order to limit the number of symptomatic patients at our other clinic sites. If you have cough, fever, and/or shortness of breath, please call our main line BEFORE COMING TO THE CLINIC and speak with a nurse. If necessary, a nurse will redirect you to Central Clinic for testing and/or treatment. Please follow all instructions given to you by Neighborhood HealthSource staff to help minimize the exposure of other patients, staff, and community members.

Clinic visits unrelated to COVID-19

At this time, we encourage Neighborhood HealthSource patients to attend all scheduled appointments and regular clinic visits. We are taking extensive precautions and have systems in place to make sure our clinics remain safe places for patients to get the care they need.

If you have an appointment scheduled and develop fever, cough, or shortness of breath before your appointment, please call the clinic and speak to a nurse BEFORE coming in for your scheduled appointment. You may need to be tested for COVID-19/influenza. This will help us prepare for your visit effectively and keep you, our staff, and our other patients safe.

As of March 19, we will be conducting all behavioral health and diabetes education appointments remotely via HIPAA-compliant phone or video sessions.

Preventing the spread of COVID-19

There are simple yet effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community, which include:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Covering coughs and sneezes
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Staying home from work or school when ill, whether or not you know or believe your illness is COVID-19
  • Clean “high-touch” surfaces often (every day) including tabletops, door knobs/handles, keyboards, phones, toilets, bathroom fixtures, etc.
  • Practice social distancing techniques (avoid shaking hands or other forms of direct contact with others to limit potential spread, stay 6 feet away from others in public spaces, do not attend any gatherings or public spaces if possible)

People ages 65+: Older adults are often more severely affected by COVID-19 and should therefore take extra precautions.

People with underlying conditions: People with chronic health conditions and people with compromised immune systems are more likely to be severely affected by COVID-19. Underlying conditions include diabetes, high blood pressure, and asthma, among others.

Younger adults: There is emerging evidence that adults under 65 are more vulnerable to the effects of coronavirus than previously suspected. Even if you only have mild symptoms, or no symptoms at all, you could still be infected with the virus and therefore pose a risk to those likely to be more severely affected. Social distancing is extremely important in keeping vulnerable people safe. Please limit your time outside the home to help protect others, even if you don’t have symptoms.

Staying informed

There is a lot of information about COVID-19 currently in the news and online. This includes information which may not be accurate. To stay informed, use official sources such as:

From the Minnesota Department of Health (news release, March 17, 2020):

“MDH has set up a COVID-19 public hotline that is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The hotline number is 651-201-3920.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has a hotline to field questions about the issues associated with community mitigation, including school and business impacts. That line is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, and the hotline numbers are metro 651-297-1304, and toll-free 1-800-657-3504.”

Visit this page for the most up-to-date patient information regarding Neighborhood HealthSource’s response to this changing situation.

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Neighborhood HealthSource provides a full range of primary medical and behavioral healthcare services at four clinics in Minneapolis and the north metro. We work hard to make sure everyone in our communities can access the care they need.

We are committed to treating all patients, with and without health insurance, and believe that cost should never be a barrier to care.

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Providing care that our patients can afford is vital to our mission. We have an income-based sliding fee program for patients with and without insurance.

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Neighborhood HealthSource has medical malpractice insurance coverage through the Federal Tort Claims Act (FCTA).

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