Telehealth Companies Are Facilitating Free Online Coronavirus Assessments

These are not actual tests. But they can still help.

Telehealth Companies Are Facilitating Free Online Coronavirus Assessments
By Tanner Garrity / March 11, 2020 4:58 pm

Hospitals are being pushed to their limit in Lombardy, Italy’s northern, coronavirus-stricken region. The country has 7,900 confirmed cases, and most of them are being treated in towns like Bergamo, Lodi and Pavia, where intensive care units are running out of beds, ventilators are considered “gold,” and doctors must make impossible calls on who gets attention and who doesn’t.

It’s a nightmare for the Italian medical community, and one experts are increasingly fearful will reach Stateside hospitals as more Americans require treatment, and others, confused and afraid, arrive at hospital thresholds looking for treatment. The second point is key: hospital entry procedures needs to stay organized, safe and steady to ensure that doctors and nurses can do their jobs without those who don’t have the virus unnecessarily putting themselves in danger.

Recently, telehealth consultants like Ro, Telacdoc, American Well and MDLive have stepped up, developing free online health assessments so Americans can receive a professional assessment (albeit not an official test) in an orderly manner. The doctors on these platforms cannot officially diagnose COVID-19, but they can offer peace of mind, urge tips for care or even recommend self-quarantine. If the last option is deemed necessary, the doctor would then contact the state’s health department and help make a plan moving forward.

In lieu of (or in addition to) taking one such online test — Ro’s is here — you should also contact your family doctor and get an opinion on any symptoms you may be experiencing. Remember to drink lots of water, take fever medication if you need it, wash your hands thoroughly and avoid touching your face.

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