This page was updated on August 14, 2020.
Neighborhood HealthSource clinics are open and seeing patients 5 days a week in order to make sure everyone in our communities has access to the care they need during this public health emergency.
This page offers resources and instructions for patient related to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. 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 testing for COVID-19.
Infórmese de como Neighborhood HealthSource ha respondido al brote de COVID-19 en nuestras comunidades aquí (en español).
A Letter from Our Leadership
Please read the letter below for an update from our executive director Steve Knutson 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, among many others. For a full list of symptoms, please visit the Center for Disease Control’s website. If you are displaying any ill 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 known symptoms, or any symptoms. If you have any one symptom by itself or any combination of symptoms, please take the appropriate precautions listed here.
COVID-19 Testing at NHS
We have designated Central Clinic as our COVID-19 testing site in order to limit the number of symptomatic patients at our other clinics. If you have cough, fever, and/or shortness of breath, please call our main line BEFORE COMING TO THE CLINIC and speak with a member of our staff. If necessary, you will be redirected to Central Clinic for testing. Please follow all instructions given to you by Neighborhood HealthSource staff to help minimize the exposure of other patients, staff, and community members.
COVID-19 testing is available at no cost to Neighborhood HealthSource patients. If you wish to be tested or know you have been exposed, please call 612-588-9411 to schedule an initial telehealth screening with a provider. We do not offer unscheduled walk-in testing. Fees associated with COVID-19 testing will be waived, including those associated with the initial telehealth screening visit. To access free COVID-19 testing, you will need to provide your insurance information. Testing is covered by most major insurers. Uninsured patients are still eligible for testing at no cost. Our staff can help you enroll in our free testing program for uninsured patients.
If you are not a current Neighborhood HealthSoure patient, but have a known COVID-19 exposure, you can make an appointment to be tested at Central Clinic. Testing is available if you you’ve been exposed whether or not you have symptoms. You will have to register as a patient and schedule an initial telehealth screening with a provider prior to scheduling your test. Fees associated with COVID-19 testing, including for the initial telehealth visit, will be waived.
Updated clinic hours, policies, & procedures
At this time, all Neighborhood HealthSource clinics remain open for patients to attend regular appointments. We are taking extensive precautions and have systems in place to make sure our clinics remain safe for patients to get the care they need. Telemedicine visits are available for many types of appointments.
If you are coming into the clinic to be seen for an appointment that cannot be conducted via telehealth, please wear a mask if you have one. We are requiring masks in accordance with state and local recommendations. Masking up helps protect our staff and providers, as well as other patients. We are working on providing donated cloth masks to patients as resources allow. Please let us know at the time of scheduling if you need a mask.
Our clinics are making the following changes to our operations to ensure the health and safety of patients, staff, and community.
- Our clinics will remain open to make sure everyone can access the care they need in this difficult time.
- Morning appointments are reserved for wellness visits such as pregnancy/prenatal visits, well-child checks, and annual exams.
- Afternoon appointments are reserved for patients with acute symptoms who need to be seen in-clinic by a provider. Patients with any ill symptoms and/or in need of COVID-19 testing will be scheduled in the afternoon at Central Clinic, our designated testing site. Please call and speak to a staff member BEFORE coming to the clinic and follow all instructions given. Other acute visits that are not COVID-19 related will be scheduled at all sites in the afternoon.
- All patients coming in to the clinic will be met at the door by a greeter who will ask questions to screen for symptoms of COVID-19 and perform a temperature check. Patients with fever, any COVID-19 symptoms, or known exposure will be asked to step back outside the clinic and call in to schedule a telehealth visit with a provider. Patients who do not pass the screening/temperature check who have an urgent need will call our nurse triage line and follow the nurse’s instructions.
- Cleaning protocols for lobbies and exam rooms have been further enhanced to limit spread of the virus and ensure patients can safely get the care they need in our clinics.
Note: While we have made these changes in the interest of keeping our patients safe, we are willing to work with you to meet your scheduling needs. If you need to schedule a wellness visit but do not have morning availability, please call and speak to a scheduler for assistance.
If you are not feeling well or have any ill symptoms, call our main line before coming to the clinic. Please follow all instructions given to you by Neighborhood HealthSource staff to help minimize the exposure of other patients, staff, and community members. You may need to be tested for COVID-19/influenza. Calling ahead will help us prepare for your visit effectively and keep you, our staff, and our other patients safe.
We are currently offering telemhealth visits for many types of appointments. This means you can meet with a provider via secure phone or video chat from the comfort of your home. Telemedicine appointments are currently available for:
- Chronic disease management
- Birth control consultations
- Urinary tract infections
- Upset stomach
- Rashes & skin conditions
- Cold/flu symptoms
- Sore throat/cough
- Mental health & substance abuse concerns
- and more!
With telehealth, you can get the care you need from providers you trust without leaving home. If your appointment requires you to be seen in person at the clinic, please wear a mask to your appointment if you have one. This will help protect our staff and other patients. To learn more about what telehealth options are available and schedule an appointment, call our main line at 612-588-9411.
Already have a telemedicine appointment with a NHS provider? Refer to the document below for instructions on how to connect to your appointment via Zoom on your phone or computer.
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, whether or not you know or believe you are infected with or have been exposed to 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)
- If you must come to the clinic for an appointment, please wear a mask if you have one at home to help protect our staff and other patients.
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.
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:
- Center for Disease Control
- World Health Organization
- Minnesota Department of Health
- State of Minnesota/Office of Governor Walz
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.”
Refer to this page for the most up-to-date patient information regarding Neighborhood HealthSource’s response to this changing situation.
How you can help
Are you looking for ways to support your community while staying at home? Neighborhood HealthSource providers and staff are on the front lines of caring for our community during this public health emergency, and we need all the help we can get. If you are able to, please consider:
- Donating homemade masks for our staff. The CDC provides simple written instructions for how to make masks both with and without sewing. For masks you are going to donate, please stick to sewn varieties. Mask donations can be brought to Central Clinic (2301 Central Ave in Minneapolis) during open clinic hours, where a staff member will accept them.
- Making a financial contribution. The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in many fewer patients coming to regular appointments at Neighborhood HealthSource. While the federal government has passed funding to directly address the need for COVID-19 testing and treatment at clinics like NHS, it has yet to pass more general funding to make up for decreased patient visits and help safety-net healthcare providers cover their operating expenses during this challenging time. Your donation would help us continue our mission to provide affordable, accessible healthcare to all as we continue to weather the ups and downs of this public health emergency.
Thank you for your continued support of Neighborhood HealthSource. We couldn’t do the important work we do without help from our donors, volunteers, and community members.