Frequently asked questions

COVID-19 question?

Help us understand what COVID-19 questions you have so we can continue to provide the information that matters most to you.

Testing

You should consider a COVID-19 test if you have:

  • symptoms of COVID-19
  • had close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with someone with confirmed COVID-19
  • been asked or referred to get testing by your health care provider or your local or state health department.

If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 or suspect you may have it, we know you want answers fast. But we want to make sure you get the right test for the right condition—and we don’t want you to be tested unnecessarily. COVID-19 symptoms are similar to other illnesses including flu and strep, so a care provider will determine if a test is right for you.

To see if testing is the right option for you, schedule a virtual visit or an in-person appointment with a primary care provider.

Schedule now.

With your provider’s recommendation, you can get tested in one of two ways:

  1. At an in-person appointment, you can receive a test immediately as part of your appointment.
  2. Following a virtual evaluation, your care team can direct you to one of our convenient locations for your test.

If you believe you may have coronavirus, learn more about your care options.

The Minnesota Department of Health partners with communities to offer COVID-19 testing. Learn more about the MDH testing process and upcoming events, to see if it may be an option for you.

Allina Health uses the COVID-19 RT-PCR in its clinics, and for testing before a procedure. The sample is collected using a nasal swab. The swab is inserted into the back of your nasal cavity. The collection can be a bit uncomfortable. If you think you may have COVID-19, talk with a provider using a virtual or in-person care option to see if testing is right for you.

Allina Health also offers COVID-19 antibody (serology) testing for people who meet certain criteria. This test works by detecting the presence of antibodies in the blood and may tell you if you had a past infection. If you think you meet the criteria, your next step is to schedule a virtual visit with your health care provider, who will decide whether you are a good candidate for antibody testing and who can explain your test results after they come in.

Learn more about COVID-19 testing.

We make every effort to get results processed as soon as possible, but it may take up to a week to receive your test results. Test results are delivered seven days a week.

While you are waiting, you should self-quarantine/isolate at home until you get your test results and follow the advice of your health care provider.

The fastest way to get your test results is through your Allina Health account.

This free online account makes it easier than ever to review your results and communicate with your clinic, hospital and provider. Learn about all of the benefits of an Allina Health account and sign up for an account.

Positive Test Results
If your COVID-19 test result is positive you will be contacted via phone. If you are not able to be reached by phone, a detailed message with the result will be left.

Negative Test Results
Negative COVID-19 test results will be sent via your Allina Health Account (MyChart). If you do not have an Allina Health Account (or MyChart) your results will be sent via mail. Mailed results may take an additional 4-5 business days.

If you have a positive COVID-19 test:

  • Stay home except to get medical care.
    • You should stay home until your symptoms go away.
    • If you need medical care, call your health are provider before you go in to be seen. You can also schedule a virtual visit.
  • Separate yourself from other people.
    • As much as possible, stay away from other people and pets in your home.
    • If possible, stay in a specific room and use a separate bathroom.
    • Do not share food or personal household items.
    • Wear a mask when you are around other people and if you need medical care.
  • Monitor your symptoms.
    • Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines to help you feel better.
    • Call your health care provider if your symptoms are getting worse. Tell him or her that you were tested for COVID-19 and the result was positive. Your health care provider will give you instructions on what to do if you need to be seen.

Learn more about what to do if you have COVID-19 at cdc.gov. If you have any questions or concerns, please call your health care provider.

If you have a positive COVID-19 test and you had symptoms, you can be around others when these three things have happened:

  • at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and
  • you have had no fever for 24 hours without the use of medicine that reduces fever and
  • other symptoms of COVID-19 have improved.

If you had a positive COVID-19 test but had no symptoms, you can be with others after 10 days have passed since you had a positive test.

If you develop symptoms after testing positive, follow the guidance under “What should I do if I have a positive test result?”

Learn more about when you can be around others at cdc.gov. If you have any questions or concerns, please call your health care provider.

If you have a negative COVID-19 test result, you probably were not infected at the time your sample was collected. The test result only means that you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing. Continue to take steps to protect yourself.

If you have any questions or concerns, or develop symptoms of COVID-19, please call your health care provider.

Allina Health now offers COVID-19 antibody (serology) testing for people in the hospital who meet certain guidelines. In addition, antibody testing in at an Allina Health clinic may also be considered for people who:

  • have symptoms of COVID-19 that began more than 14 days ago and:
    • had a past negative COVID-19 test result
    • have never had a COVID-19 test 

If you think you meet the criteria above, your next step is to schedule a virtual visit with your health care provider, who will decide whether you are a good candidate for antibody testing and who can explain your test results after they come in.

Children and COVID-19

Follow the Minnesota Department of Health’s COVID-19 Decision Tree for People in Schools, Youth, and Child Care Programs (PDF).

Because COVID-19 has symptoms similar to flu, strep and other illnesses, a provider can assess your child’s condition and ensure that you get the right care and the right test. Use one of our virtual or in-person care offerings today to see if testing is right for you.

Your child should meet with a provider to discuss getting a COVID-19 test if he or she has one or more “more common” symptoms OR two or more “less common” symptoms.

  • “More common” symptoms include fever (temperature of 100.4 F or higher), new onset or worsening cough, difficulty breathing, or new loss of taste or smell.
  • “Less common” symptoms include sore throat, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, chills, muscle pain, fatigue, headache, or nasal congestion or runny nose.

If your child had close contact (less than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) with someone who has COVID-19, you should consider having your child get a COVID-19 test 5 to 7 days after exposure.

If your child only has one “less common symptom,” your child does not need a COVID-19 test. “Less common” symptoms include sore throat, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, chills, muscle pain, fatigue, headache, or nasal congestion or runny nose.

It is OK for your child to stay in school or a childcare program if the symptom is mild, gets better quickly, and no other symptoms develop.

It is OK for your child to return to school 24 hours after the symptom gets better. Siblings and household members do not need to stay home or quarantine.

Important: Your child’s school or childcare program may have additional guidelines for when your child may stay or is able to return to school or childcare. Please refer to these guidelines or call your child’s school or childcare program for more information.

Read the Minnesota Department of Health’s COVID-19 Attendance Guide for Parents and Families (PDF) to learn more about when your child can attend school, youth programs and child care during COVID-19.

Important: Your child’s school or childcare program may have additional guidelines for when your child may stay or is able to return to school or childcare. Please refer to these guidelines or call your child’s school or childcare program for more information.

Your child needs to quarantine while waiting for a COVID-19 test result.

While waiting for your child’s test result, sibling and household members need to also quarantine.

  • If your child’s test result is negative, siblings may return to school or childcare program.
  • If your child’s test result is positive, siblings and household members need to quarantine for at least 14 days. This quarantine must be completed even if your child has a negative COVID-19 test at some point during the 14-day period.

    Important: If a member of your household tests positive and your family has ongoing exposure to this family member, then the other family members need to quarantine for at least 14 days after the last day that positive household member is no longer contagious. This typically means a total of 24 days in quarantine.

Anyone with a positive COVID-19 test must self-isolate until these three things have happened:

  • at least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared and
  • you have had no fever for 24 hours without the use of medicine that reduces fever and
  • other symptoms of COVID-19 have improved

Your safety

For safety and physical distancing, there are fewer in-person appointments available. Your appointment may need to be scheduled further out than normal so we are able to provide you with the safest care possible.

To make an appointment, you can:

  • schedule online for most care options
  • call 1-888-4ALLINA (1-888-425-5462). Phones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your scheduling needs.

Virtual care visits are still available and offer a safe and convenient way to get care, right from your home.

Learn more about in-person care.

At Allina Health, we have taken many steps to safeguard your health and help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

  • Patient and visitor screening: All patients and visitors are screened before entering our facilities. Anyone who may have symptoms of COVID-19 is taken to a separate area.
  • Everyone wears a mask: Patients and visitors are encouraged to bring a mask, or they receive cloth masks. Staff who have direct contact with patients wear a mask and a face shield.
  • Physical distancing: We practice physical distancing in all of our lobbies, and we have added Plexiglas shields between check in staff and patients.
  • Highest standards of clean: Our already high standards of clean have been enhanced throughout our facilities, with deep cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces and public spaces.

Getting care at Allina Health

If you’re not sure, call your clinic or 1-888-4-ALLINA (1-888-425-5462). We will ask about your symptoms and guide you to the right care.

We have expanded our virtual care options. Virtual care offers a safe and convenient way to get care, right from your home. It can help you with common illnesses and injuries, preventive care, mental health conditions and a range of other medical needs. More often than not, there is a virtual care option for the care you need.

  • Virtual visits allow you to make an appointment to talk with your provider face-to-face using your mobile device and the Allina Health account app. These visits can also take place via telephone if you prefer. A virtual visit usually costs the same an office visit (depending on your insurance coverage), and if your provider decides you should be seen in person, you won’t be charged for the virtual visit. Schedule by signing in to your account or by calling your clinic.
  • Everyday Online uses a brief online questionnaire to gather information about your symptoms. A provider reviews your answers and responds with a care plan within an hour. Available 24/7, Everyday Online is an easy and inexpensive way to be treated for many common health conditions. Cost is $49 or less depending on your insurance. Start a visit.

If you have a medical emergency or life-threatening condition, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Department. Our Emergency Departments are open to all patients and are taking precautions to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

If you have an urgent medical need, you can visit an urgent care location. Our urgent care locations are now designated as respiratory care, non-respiratory care and split care sites. We recommend calling the urgent care location to make sure it is the best option for you. You can also call 1-888-4-ALLINA (1-888-425-5462) and we’ll guide you to the right location.

Allina Health Everyday Online is also available if you need care right away. Our team of board-certified providers treat a variety of common everyday conditions virtually - for children to adults. Just complete a short online health interview and a provider will send you a diagnosis and treatment plan within one hour.

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep our patients, visitors and staff safe; Allina Health has implemented a limited visitor policy. Learn more about the current visitor guidelines and any exceptions to the policy.

Health, wellness and support

To help protect yourself from the coronavirus, you should:

  • Clean your hands often
  • Avoid close contact
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Clean and disinfect

The coronavirus is causing stress and anxiety for many. To help care for yourself during this time, you should eat healthful foods, be physically active and get plenty of rest. Try to take a break from the news and try some relaxation exercises. Read more about how to manage your stress and anxiety.

Additional resources

Healthy lifestyle habits are the best way to support a healthy immune system. These include washing your hands, making sleep a priority, making time to relax, eating healthful foods, checking your mindset, and staying connected.

Read more about how to create healthy lifestyle habits.

It is important to disinfect the parts of your wheelchair that are touched most often.

Clean them after you come in contact with someone new or when you return home from being in public places.

How you can help

You can best support front-line caregivers by donating to the Caring for Caregivers fund to provide immediate financial support for our employees who experience financial challenges during this crisis.

There continues to be a blood shortage across the nation and state and our blood donation partners are asking people to donate. See the American Red Cross blood drives and Memorial Blood Center for locations where you can safely donate blood.

The American Red Cross has established a Rapid Pass to allow you to pre-register.

Visit the online store. By purchasing a window cling or yard sign, you can help us show how much we support and appreciate our caregivers. All net proceeds go to our Caring for Caregivers fund.

Billing

Allina Health is not collecting copays and deductibles for diagnostic COVID-19 tests. Many employers and health insurers are required to pay for diagnostic COVID-19 testing. You are encouraged to contact your insurance company for specific out-of-pocket cost questions and additional charges that could be incurred at the time of service. You will not be charged a fee for a COVID-19 test if you are uninsured and unable to pay.

If you were diagnosed with COVID-19, many insurance companies are covering the cost of treatment. However if you were not diagnosed with having the virus, your insurance plan may not apply that level of benefit. If your insurance company has not issued the payment you expected, you may wish to contact the them directly.

If you were diagnosed with COVID-19, many insurance companies are covering the cost of treatment.  However not all insurance plans are required to do so. You may wish to contact your insurance company to ask how the services that you received will be paid.