A message from our chief medical officer

As the COVID-19 outbreak unfolds, our commitment to providing high-quality care has never been more important. Virtual care is recommended by the CDC as the way to get care and advice and help avoid exposure and spread of potentially contagious viruses.

In these unpredictable times, our doctors are here for you, working tirelessly to assure that your needs are resolved. We appreciate your patience during this time.

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Lewis Levy, MD

Chief Medical Officer

What you should know about COVID-19

Visit CDC for more info

virus icon

What is the coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus that was first identified in China. It is contagious and includes symptoms like fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

person-to-person spreading icon

How does the virus spread?

The virus spreads from person to person through coughing and sneezing. It can also be spread through infected surfaces or objects. You may be at greater risk if you have recently lived in or traveled to regions where there are current outbreaks or if you come into contact with someone who has the virus.

Effective ways to protect yourself from the virus

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid heavily public areas and touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms
  • Seek medical advice or care if you develop a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing

What's the difference between COVID-19, cold, and flu?

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Symptoms

COVID-19
Flu
Cold
Fever yes yes no
Cough yes yes yes
Shortness of breath yes no no
Sore throat no yes yes
Runny/stuffy nose no yes yes
Body aches no yes no
Chills no yes no
Headache no yes no
Fatigue no yes no
Vomiting/diarrhea no yes no
Sneezing no no yes
Technology devices

We're here to support you

If you think you have coronavirus:

  1. Contact us. We will advise you on what to do next. See our frequently asked questions below for how we handle COVID-19 evaluations.
  2. Call ahead before going in person to any doctor’s office.
  3. Don’t go to your local emergency room for COVID-19 testing. The ER is only for those who need the most critical care.
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Helpful tips for using our service

  • If you have questions about COVID-19, review the frequently asked questions below.
  • For the fastest support, we encourage you to download the mobile app or use our website to request a doctor visit.
  • Before your first visit, you will need to set up your account and provide a brief medical history. This will accelerate your request and help our doctors prep for your call. You can set up your account through the app or web.

Note: You may experience extended wait times due to the high demand and need for our services. Our doctors are working to provide the highest-quality care and will connect with you as quickly as we can.

FAQs

The need for our care has never been greater and providing care in your moment of need is our highest priority. As a result, you may experience extended wait times.

If you have a fever or feel feverish, have cold-like symptoms or flu-like symptoms, or feel run-down, you should contact us. If you are experiencing shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, then you should call your local doctor’s office to request an in-person visit. Shortness of breath–having trouble breathing–is a more severe symptom that requires an in-person evaluation.

The fastest way to receive care is to request a visit on the mobile app or online. If you’re a new member, set up your account and complete a brief health history.

Teladoc does not write lab orders for COVID‐19 testing. When our doctors identify a COVID‐19 suspected case, we advise individuals to call their local doctor or their state’s public health hotline to verify test availability and to “let them know before you go” so that the in-person care facility can direct them appropriately and minimize potential exposure for others.

Testing availability varies by community and many health departments and health systems are prioritizing testing for patients with the greatest risk of COVID‐19 complications or greatest risk of spreading to others.

Individuals vulnerable to COVID-19 are patients older than 50 years or patients with chronic diseases such as heart, lung, kidney, and diabetes, or who are immunocompromised.

Select your state below for more information on how your state tests for COVID-19:

Social distancing is intentionally increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Staying at least six feet away from other people lessens your chances of catching COVID-19. COVID-19 is spread by droplets from coughs and sneezes. Being greater than six feet away from a person with symptoms and washing your hands frequently greatly reduces the risk of spread. This is why events are being canceled, people are being asked to work from home or avoid public/crowded areas, and why sick people may be asked to wear a mask.

When new, contagious outbreaks like COVID-19 occur, practices like social distancing have become one of the simplest and most effective measures communities can take to avoid exposure as well as spreading the virus.

COVID-19's incubation period could last up to 14 days, which means you could be carrying the virus to others and not be aware of symptoms until later.

The more we practice social distancing (i.e., working from home, remaining six feet apart from people in any public setting, and avoiding heavily public areas or events), the more likely we are to avoid the spread and shorten the period of time we must be out of our normal routine.

Another significant reason social distancing should be exercised is for those who have weakened or compromised immunities. People with diabetes, cancer, respiratory issues, and other specific diseases or disorders can't afford to get COVID-19.

People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis. Call your primary care provider or the ER if your illness worsens.

Here are some helpful links from the CDC for guidance:

  1. For symptoms, go here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
  2. For prevention, go here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html
  3. If you think you have COVID-19, go here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html
  4. To learn more about caring for yourself at home, go here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/caring-for-yourself-at-home.html

As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from the infected people in your home. If you’ve been in contact with someone who has the virus, you could experience symptoms within two to 14 days. Notify your healthcare provider right away if you develop COVID-19 symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath).

If you are someone who is more vulnerable to COVID-19 and is older than 50 years old or have a chronic disease such as heart, lung, kidney, diabetes, or who are immunocompromised, then you should be extra-cautious about social distancing and being around people in general.

Here are some helpful links from the CDC for guidance:

  1. For symptoms, go here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
  2. For prevention, go here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html
  3. If you think you have COVID-19, go here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html
  4. To learn more about caring for yourself at home, go here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/caring-for-yourself-at-home.html

Getting care and guidance from the comfort of your own home can put your mind at ease and help you avoid heavily public areas such as doctors’ offices and the ER, which can carry many germs. Our providers can evaluate your risk and advise you on next steps.

While there is no treatment for COVID-19, people who are mildly ill may be able to isolate and care for themselves at home.

For cases where in‐person care is needed, we will navigate patients to appropriate resources and encourage patients to “let them know before you go” so that the in-person care facility can direct them appropriately and minimize potential exposure for others.

This is a rapidly evolving situation and the risk assessment is changing daily. The latest updates are available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 website.

Children do experience the same symptoms as adults do with COVID-19. However, at this time, we are seeing that children’s symptoms seem to be milder. Children with chronic diseases such as heart, lung, kidney, diabetes, or who are immunocompromised, are at higher risk for complications due to COVID-19.

We are partnering with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), state and local health officials, and our health system partners to provide our communities with the support, information, and the care they need.

Stay safe and practice social distancing. Stay at home as much as possible, and refrain from socializing or social events. It’s important that you avoid risking exposure and spreading the virus, especially if you have family members at home who are more vulnerable. By practicing social distancing and following handwashing, cough etiquette, and disinfecting high-touch surfaces, you will likely avoid the virus.

Teladoc works with many Medicare Advantage and Medicaid managed care plans but is not a provider for Medicare fee for service or Medicaid fee for service. Contact your health insurance provider to learn more about your benefits and to see if you have access to Teladoc.