Unfortunately, the new coronavirus is spreading throughout Colorado and worries about the outbreak are increasing. What should you do if you have symptoms like a fever, cough or shortness of breath?
For those who have general questions about coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, or want information about testing, the best place to get help is through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
People can call 303.389.1687 or 1.877.462.2911 for answers in many languages. Or, for those seeking answers in English, you can email COHELP@RMPDC.org.
For patients in Colorado who want to see a medical provider from the privacy of home, an online visit through UCHealth’s Virtual Urgent Care can be one of the easiest, safest ways to get help.
“COVID-19 is quite infectious, so if you can stay home and get medical advice, that gives you two advantages. First, if you’re sick, you’re not going to be bringing your illness into a doctor’s office or a hospital. Second, you won’t be exposed to other patients,” said Dr. Chris Davis, an expert in emergency medicine and infectious diseases, and Medical Director for UCHealth’s Virtual Urgent Care.
“If you’re worried and you have any risk factors, you can see a provider. If you need a test, then we can tell you what to do and the closest place to get tested,” Davis said.
Patients who are in Colorado can see a provider through the Virtual Urgent Care related to coronavirus symptoms or other medical concerns including, the flu, colds, seasonal allergies, coughs, pink eye, sinus infections, sore throats, urinary tract infections and vomiting or diarrhea.
As long as patients have a smart phone or a computer with video and audio capabilities, they can see a provider through a secure, private online visit.
Patients using Virtual Urgent Care do not need to be a current UCHealth patient and don’t need insurance. Anyone in Colorado, including visitors to the state, can use the service. Insurance typically covers the visit, but for those who don’t have insurance, there’s a $49 flat fee.
New UCHealth visitor policy
UCHealth’s first priority is the safety of patients, visitors and staff. Visitor restrictions provide an additional layer of protection for everyone.
Effective March 8, 2020:
All Virtual Urgent Care providers are trained now on how to help patients determine if they are at risk for COVID-19.
“We’re looking for symptoms and also for a travel history. Have you recently been to the five countries where the outbreaks are the worst: China, Italy, Iran, South Korea or Japan? Or, have you been to California, Washington State, Florida New York, places that have ongoing cases of community transmission?” Davis said.
Many patients won’t need additional care beyond their online visit, Davis said. But for those who do need to be tested for COVID-19 or to go to an ER for immediate follow-up care, the fee for the Virtual Urgent Care appointment will be waived.
Davis said it’s reassuring for patients to get same-day appointments with Colorado health experts.
“This is a pretty fast-moving situation. It’s nice to have a dedicated group of providers who are keeping track of this coronavirus outbreak on a daily basis,” Davis said.
There’s no referral necessary. Anyone in Colorado can create an account through My Health Connection and request an appointment online for a Virtual Urgent Care appointment.
“What makes this so great and convenient is the setting. When you’re dealing with a pandemic, you can get your questions answered without having to leave your home,” Davis said. “If you’re worried about being exposed or exposing others, this is a great option.”
This content was originally published here.