COVID-19: Learning to Live with It
But as the threat decreases and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines evolve, we’re learning how to live with it. And this means things are changing here at Cleveland Clinic.
What You Need to Know Before You Come In
Your health and safety remain our No. 1 priority. But you’ll find we’re doing things a little differently in this new phase of the pandemic. From visiting loved ones to wearing masks to getting COVID testing, we have the information you need.
VisitationFor the past few years, we tightened our visitation policies in response to the COVID-19 threat. Now, for the first time since the pandemic began, all of our U.S. locations have returned to open visitation.
What does this mean? You’ll no longer be screened for COVID symptoms when you come to a Cleveland Clinic location. And we’ll no longer have set visiting hours or limit the number of visitors a patient can have — except in some ICU settings.
Why are you opening up visitation? When we first started tightening our visitation requirements, the COVID-19 threat was much different. Now the CDC has changed its position on social distancing and isolation and more advanced COVID treatments are available. Studies also show visitors to healthcare locations haven’t contributed much to the spread of the virus.
What do I need to know? You will still need to wear a mask when you’re at any Cleveland Clinic facility. If you’re sick, we ask that you don’t come to visit patients. And if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who tested positive, you’ll need to wait at least 10 days before visiting a patient in a Cleveland Clinic facility.
We realize that everywhere you go the rules are different. Maybe you’ve gotten used to running to the grocery store without a mask. And that’s OK. But as a healthcare institution, we still require that our providers, patients and visitors wear face masks in our facilities at all times — even if you’ve been vaccinated and boosted.
You’ll need to wear a mask at any of our locations for:
- In-person appointments.
- Procedures without a hospital stay.
- Emergency Department visits.
- Accompanying someone to their appointments.
- Visiting a patient.
If you are staying in the hospital, we strongly encourage you to wear a mask unless you have a health or behavioral condition that makes it hard for you to wear one. And if you’re visiting someone with COVID-19, we’ll have you wear not only a mask, but also eye protection, a gown and gloves.
COVID-19 is still here – and you can still get it. Thankfully, it’s usually more mild if you’ve been vaccinated. Whether you have non-urgent symptoms or were exposed to someone with COVID, it’s important to take a test.
- Schedule a testing appointment. If you have a MyChart account and a Cleveland Clinic primary care provider, you can schedule to get a PCR COVID-19 test online. If you need a provider and have non-urgent symptoms, you can schedule an online virtual visit to see a provider who can order the test. We test for COVID at multiple Cleveland Clinic locations.
- Find other testing near you. Wondering where to go for a test? The Ohio Department of Health website and the Florida Department of Health’s COVID-19 website feature maps of testing locations across both states.
- Take a self-test. If you have private health insurance, Medicaid or Medicare, your insurer must pay for eight at-home tests each month for each person enrolled in your health plan. You can also get free self-tests at libraries, health clinics or order them through the USPS website. They’re also now easy to find at many stores.
Getting an oral antiviral medication
If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19, your symptoms started less than 5 days ago and you’d like to receive an oral antiviral medication, please schedule a virtual visit with your primary care team or one of our providers through the MyClevelandClinic® app on your smartphone or computer. The general Nurse On Call line cannot prescribe oral antivirals. You may also call 866.320.4573 to schedule.
When you’re scheduled for surgery or another procedure, you already have a lot on your mind. One thing you might need to do is test before surgery. Our requirements for pre-surgical COVID-19 testing have changed — for both adults and kids. If you’re age 14+ and don’t have symptoms, you’ll no longer need a COVID-19 test before surgery that requires you to stay in the hospital overnight. But if you’re scheduled for surgery and have symptoms, you still need to get a test.
Kids ages 12 to 14 without symptoms don’t need to have a COVID test if they’re not staying overnight in the hospital after their surgery or procedure.
We’re still requiring testing before some surgeries and procedures for:
- Children ages 12 to 14 who have COVID symptoms.
- Children under age 12 who are having a surgery or procedure but are not staying overnight in the hospital.
- Children ages 14 and younger who will be staying overnight or admitted to the hospital.