Frequently Asked Questions During COVID-19 Outbreak

How can I best protect myself while getting back to normal?

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way to protect yourself from getting seriously ill from the virus. As variants — like the delta variant — emerge, we must also continue taking other important precautions that slow the spread of COVID-19. This may include:

  • Wearing a face mask to protect yourself and others when you’re out in public.
  • Practicing social distancing. Maintain a 6-foot distance from other people and avoid crowds.
  • Washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 15-20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Staying home when you are sick.
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue. Throw it in the trash when you’re done.

Where can I receive monoclonal antibody therapy for COVID-19?

In Ohio: Cleveland Clinic also provides monoclonal antibody infusions for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 infection to certain patients in Ohio who have a high risk for severe illness. Your healthcare provider can inform you if monoclonal antibody treatment is appropriate for you.

In Florida: Individuals 12 years and older who are high risk, that have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19, are eligible for monoclonal antibody treatment. To find a location near you, please visit the Florida Department of Health’s website.

Appointments & Access

Appointments & Access During COVID-19 Outbreak

What are Cleveland Clinic’s mask guidelines?

As a healthcare system, we require that caregivers, patients and visitors wear face masks in our facilities at all times. For everyone’s safety, your mask should have multiple layers, fit snugly, and cover your nose, mouth and chin. We understand that having different guidelines at various places you go may be confusing, but we touch patients when they are most vulnerable. They trust us to keep them safe and we thank you for also doing your part.

This means that face masks are required for patients at all routine appointments and procedures (without a hospital stay), Emergency Department patients and for permitted visitors, even if they received a COVID-19 vaccine. Face masks are strongly encouraged for patients admitted to the hospital, even if they’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine. Exceptions will be made if they have a health or behavioral condition that prevents them from wearing one.

I have a loved one currently hospitalized with COVID-19 at a Cleveland Clinic location. How can I get an update on their condition?

We know having a loved one in the hospital is stressful for you and your family — and it can be made worse by the COVID-19 precautions in place to limit the spread of the pandemic. But please be assured that caring for our patients is our top priority.

Our teams offer daily Plan of Care visits. We try our best to include your family in these discussions (by phone or virtual meetings) so you're aware of next steps. We also know that sometimes we can't connect at that time. Or you may have questions at other times during the day and call the unit that's caring for your loved one. 

During these unprecedented times, our commitment to the highest-quality patient care may cause a delay in some of our communications. If you call the unit and aren't able to be immediately connected with a provider, this may simply be because they are currently caring for a patient. Our caregivers will make sure you are updated at the next Plan of Care visit, if not sooner. 

Here are some ways to help make the most of these update calls, so that you receive the information that's most important to you:

  • You and your family should identify a single point of contact for our providers to call. It's best if this person is the legally-authorized representative (able to make decisions for your loved one if they are unable). 
  • Have this designated person make sure that everyone in your family learns about any important updates. 
  • Keep a list of important questions so you can make sure nothing is forgotten during the call. 

Read our tips for communicating with a loved one while they are in the hospital.

Please understand that our expert providers are caring for many patients at the same time. While they may not be available at the exact time you call, we know how important it is to keep you updated. If you're not hearing from your loved one’s providers at least once a day, you can reach out to the Ombudsman Office and they can offer assistance at 216.444.2544.

Hearing directly from your loved one when they're able is also important. Besides calling on the bedside hospital phone, we also have instructions for video connection via AmWellNow, Google Hangouts, Facetime and Skype, if they have a personal device. If they don't have a personal device, we can help them schedule a time for a video call using one of our devices. Making sure hospitalized patients connect with loved ones is important for creating a healing environment.

We also have highly trained and compassionate spiritual care professionals available — not just to patients, but also to you during this stressful time. Our chaplains can help you feel connected and can be reached by calling 216.444.2518.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all work toward improving the health and well-being of all of our patients during this pandemic.

I have an appointment at Cleveland Clinic. What do I need to bring?

Please bring your appointment reminder with you (email, MyChart or text message). When entering any Cleveland Clinic location, you and any permitted visitors (see visitor restrictions) will be screened for potential COVID-19 symptoms, including a temperature scan. In some locations, we use no-contact, hand-held thermal scanners. In other places, we use a thermal imaging system you walk through and might not even notice. You’ll be asked to sanitize your hands.

For a routine appointment or procedure (without a hospital stay), and Emergency Department visits, patients are required to wear a mask while inside our facilities, even if they’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine. Exceptions will be made if they have a health or behavioral condition that prevents them from wearing one. Patients admitted to the hospital are strongly encouraged to wear a mask while inside our Ohio and Florida facilities, even if they’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine. Masks from home may be worn, or masks will be provided at entrances.

Visitor Guidelines

Visitor Guidelines During Covid-19 Outbreak

We know you want to be with your loved ones when they are in the hospital. We’ve created these guidelines to help keep you, our patients and our caregivers safe.

Before you arrive

  • Visitation hours in Ohio and Florida remain 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day.
  • Please wear a mask to the hospital. You need to wear a mask that loops over your ears and covers your mouth and nose even if you’re fully vaccinated. If you aren’t feeling well, please stay home.
  • You will need to pass a symptom screen check at the door.
  • Designated visitors must show a photo ID at the entrance to verify their identity.
  • Sanitize your hands upon entering the facility.

You should not visit or accompany a patient if you are sick, have a fever, have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 20 days or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 within the last 14 days.

Visiting a patient

In Ohio: Adults who are staying in the hospital (whether COVID-19 positive or COVID-19 negative) can have one designated visitor (ages 18+) each day. Those coming for routine appointments can also have one person come with them.

In Florida: COVID-19 positive patients who are staying in the hospital cannot have any visitors. Those who are staying in the hospital and are COVID-19 negative can have one designated visitor. People attending routine appointments in Florida cannot have visitors with them unless they need special assistance. Visitors must be over age 18.

patients (PPE provided)
COVID-19 NEGATIVE patients
hospitalized patients icon
Hospitalized patients
Ohio: One designated visitor (ages 18+)*
Florida: No visitors (Compassionate visits only)
One designated visitor (ages 18+)*
appointments icon
Appointments and procedures (without a hospital stay)
Ohio: One visitor (ages 18+)
Florida: No visitors (Compassionate visits only)

Ohio: One visitor (ages 18+)
Florida: No visitors, unless:

  • Special assistance** is required
  • Patient will be under sedation
  • Provider has asked the patient to bring a responsible adult
emergency department icon
Emergency department
Ohio: One designated visitor (ages 18+)*
Florida: No visitors (Compassionate visits only)
Ohio: One designated visitor (ages 18+)*
Florida: One visitor (ages 18+)
Prenatal appointments icon
Prenatal appointments
Ohio: One visitor (ages 18+)
Florida: No visitors (Compassionate visits only)
Ohio: Two visitors (ages 18+) during scheduled fetal ultrasounds. One visitor (ages 18+) for regular prenatal appointments.
Florida: One visitors (ages 18+) during scheduled fetal ultrasounds. No visitors for regular prenatal appointments.
labor and delivery icon
Labor and delivery
One visitor during labor (ages 18+) Ohio: Two visitors (ages 18+)
Florida: One designated visitor (ages 18+)*
pediatric icon
Appointments, procedures and hospitalizations
One parent or guardian Two parents or guardians
emergency department icon
Emergency department
One parent or guardian Two parents or guardians

Please note: A patient's care team may make compassionate exceptions, when appropriate.

*Patients may choose one individual (18 or older) to be their designated visitor through their entire hospital stay. That designated visitor may visit each day.

Visiting a COVID-positive patient

If you have a loved one in the hospital as a COVID-positive patient and they are allowed to have visitors, you will be asked to take extra precautions.

Please put on personal protective equipment before visiting your loved one. This equipment includes a gown, mask, goggles or face shield, and gloves. It’s important to follow the guidelines and wear all parts of this equipment. Cleveland Clinic caregivers will provide this equipment for you and tell you what order to put it on and how to take it off after your visit. Please follow the instructions carefully.

We base our visitation guidelines on data showing how COVID-19 is spreading, including state and county public health information. These guidelines are in place for the safety of our patients, caregivers and the community. They are subject to change if the facility gets crowded and safe physical distancing isn’t possible.

Visitor guidelines for other Cleveland Clinic locations


Testing Information During COVID-19 Outbreak

How do I get tested for COVID-19?

If you think you might have COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has the virus, you can get an on-site test at Cleveland Clinic. To schedule at one of our testing locations:

  • If you have a Cleveland Clinic primary care provider and are experiencing non-urgent COVID-19 symptoms, you can schedule a testing appointment online in MyChart without seeing a provider.
  • If you do NOT have a Cleveland Clinic primary care provider and are experiencing non-urgent COVID-19 symptoms and would like to be tested through Cleveland Clinic, please schedule an online virtual visit to see a provider who can order a test for you.
  • If you do not have symptoms but would still like to be tested for COVID-19 through Cleveland Clinic, please self-schedule a testing appointment through MyChart.

Cleveland Clinic is one of many locations in the community where testing is provided. In addition to testing sites, self-testing kits from the State of Ohio are available free of charge at local libraries and for sale at most retail pharmacies.

If your COVID-19 symptoms are severe, the emergency department is available 24 hours a day for patients who require immediate care.

I have a scheduled surgery or procedure. Do I need a COVID-19 test before my appointment?

For the following surgeries or procedures, you will need a COVID-19 test before your appointment:

  • If you require an overnight stay or admission to the hospital.
  • If you are age 14 or younger.
  • Bronchoscopy.
  • Pulmonary function challenge testing (methacholine challenge, exercise challenge and mannitol challenge).
  • Oral, nasal, pharyngeal and laryngeal procedures (does not include dental procedures).

Additional testing may be required for other procedures based on your symptoms. Your provider will decide when this is necessary.

How do I get a COVID-19 test if required pre-surgery?

If you’re undergoing certain surgeries and procedures (see list above), you will be tested for COVID-19 within three days (72 hours) before your surgery or procedure date. When one of these surgeries or procedures is scheduled, a COVID-19 test will also be ordered.

We have several testing locations, throughout Northeast Ohio and Florida. An appointment for the COVID-19 test will be scheduled at a location and time most convenient for you.

Can I get a COVID-19 test at another, non-Cleveland Clinic location for my surgery or procedure?

Yes, outside testing is accepted but all patients must have written documentation of their test and results that adhere to the three-day, or 72-hour, testing window.

How long will results from a COVID-19 test take?

For patients in the hospital, and those tested in our Emergency Departments who are considered very ill or at risk, results are available within 24 hours (on average).

For patients being tested at one of our testing locations, results are available on average within a few days. Patients are asked to remain at home until their test results are released. Once processed, COVID-19 test results are now available immediately in a patient’s MyChart, our secure online health management tool.

How much does a COVID-19 test cost?

Costs can vary depending on what type of COVID-19 test you get. You can find a list of the tests we offer and how much they cost here. Please check with your insurance company to find out any out-of-pocket costs for your COVID-19 test.