Coronavirus (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions

March 2, 2020
Updated March 27, 2020

What you should know about COVID-19

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.

If you’re experiencing allergy or flu-like symptoms and are concerned, contact your primary care doctor or contact us as soon as possible. When you use our services, a U.S. board-certified physician will talk with you over the phone or online about your symptoms, recent contact with anyone who may have been infected with the virus, recent travel, and if you are in a high-risk occupation like healthcare worker. You don’t have to leave the comfort of your home and risk exposure because our doctors can evaluate your risk and make a medical assessment. If we identify another type of illness or infection, we can provide treatment or symptom relief so you can feel better. Reach out to us 24/7 through your phone, the mobile app, or online.

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:

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 disease, or diabetes, or are immunocompromised, are at higher risk for complications due to COVID-19.

How can virtual care help?

We provide virtual care options for COVID-19 and many other minor illnesses or issues that will help people stay out of doctors’ offices and the ER, which could carry many germs. Getting care and guidance from the comfort of your own home can put your mind at ease and help you avoid heavily public areas. Our doctors are available 24/7 by phone or video to evaluate your risk and provide support.

The need for our care has never been greater, and providing care in your moment of need is our highest priority. As a result of the demand for answers and healthcare needs, you may experience extended wait times for a virtual care doctor visit.

If you have a fever or feel feverish, have cold-like symptoms or flu-like symptoms, or feel run-down, you should request a visit. A doctor will get to your call as soon as possible. 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 new to our services, set up your account and complete a brief health history.

While you wait for your visit, you can continue to do what you were doing. We will send you a notification when your visit is about to begin.

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.

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.

COVID-19 prevention methods

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 6 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 6 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.

  • Living in the same household with someone with a known COVID-19 case
  • Having direct physical contact with a known COVID-19 case (i.e., shaking hands, kissing, etc.)
  • Unprotected, direct contact with a known COVID-19 case (i.e., being coughed on, touching a tissue with your bare hands or other objects a COVID-19 case has coughed on)
  • Face-to-face contact with a known COVID-19 case within less than 6 feet (2 meters) and for greater than 15 minutes, including healthcare professionals
  • Sitting within two seats in any direction of a known COVID-19 case

Walking by or passing by a known COVID-19 case.

What should I do if there’s an outbreak in my area?

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.

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 COVID19, go here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html
  4. To learn more about caring from 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 2 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 disease, or diabetes, or 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 COVID19, go here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html
  4. To learn more about caring from yourself at home, go here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/caring-for-yourself-at-home.html

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