virtuwell.com offers free assessment to help people determine if COVID-19 test is appropriate
As the novel coronavirus outbreak unfolds, the 24/7 online clinic’s COVID-19 assessment tool will help people get the care they need and promote social distancing by reducing in-person clinic visits
Wednesday, March 12, 2020 – BLOOMINGTON, MINN. – People wondering whether they should be tested for the novel coronavirus can now use a free online assessment at virtuwell.com. It will guide users to appropriate next steps for diagnosis and treatment.
The assessment evaluates a user’s symptoms, travel history and potential exposure to infected patients, as well as other demographic data, to determine whether a COVID-19 test is warranted. These factors are aligned with the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Minnesota Department of Health.
“As a 24/7 online clinic, Virtuwell is in a unique position to help and support our communities during this outbreak,” said Theresa Havalad, Family Nurse Practitioner and Care Delivery Manager for Virtuwell. “For people who are experiencing cold, cough or flu symptoms, we can get them the care they need, which could include COVID-19 testing, and calm fears.”
If users meet the criteria for COVID-19 testing, they will be connected with a nurse practitioner via phone. The nurse practitioner will conduct a more comprehensive assessment of the patient’s health and help determine the best next steps for their situation.
If users do not meet criteria for COVID-19 testing, but have symptoms that they’d like addressed by a nurse practitioner, they can proceed with a Virtuwell visit, which will cost $54 or less, depending on their insurance plan. This allows the patient to recover at home without spreading infection or exposing themselves to other circulating viruses.
As the outbreak unfolds, the assessment tool and our approach to care can and will be modified in accordance with the latest guidelines from national and local health agencies.
“Social distancing, or the act of modifying your behaviors to put physical space between you and other people, will become increasingly important,” Havalad said. “Beyond our assessment, Virtuwell and telehealth services can help people avoid potential situations that can increase the spread of infectious disease, COVID-19 or otherwise.”
Virtuwell is a 24/7 online clinic developed by HealthPartners, the largest consumer-governed, non-profit health care organization in the nation with a mission to improve health and well-being in partnership with members, patients and the community. Designed to deliver a refreshingly simple and affordable health care experience, Virtuwell treats and provides a prescription, if needed, for more than 60 common conditions like sinus and bladder infections, pink eye, minor skin conditions like acne or rashes, and more. Since launching in 2010, Virtuwell has provided over half a million treatments to customers in 13 states. And 98 percent of patients would recommend the service to family or friends. To learn more, or try Virtuwell, visit virtuwell.com.