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SAN FRANCISCO (March 18, 2020) — Dignity Health today announced the launch of a free virtual urgent care service, Virtual Care Anywhere, for anyone in our community experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of the new coronavirus. Virtual urgent care visits are being encouraged as an initial care option for anyone who would like to discuss symptoms characteristic of COVID-19 with a health care professional.
As ambulatory and acute care facilities across the country experience an increase in the number of patients with COVID-19 symptoms, virtual health care visits can help providers meet demand while reducing potential transmission of the coronavirus. The service is a safe and convenient way for people to speak with a medical professional for advice without needing to visit a physical care location.
To use the service, visit www.dignityhealth.org/virtualcareanywhere, download the Virtual Care Anywhere app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, or call 855.356.8053 and use the coupon code COVID19. The service has a fee of $35 per visit, and the fee will be waived for any patient who thinks they may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. After requesting an appointment, a virtual care provider will contact the patient once they are available, typically within 15-30 minutes, although high demand may result in longer wait times. The service is on-demand and does not accept appointments.
“Virtual urgent care visits are one way we will help patients with COVID-19 symptoms assess their options for treatment or testing,” said Todd Strumwasser, MD, President of Dignity Health’s Northern California Division. “Virtual visits allow for timely care delivery without putting other patients or our clinicians at risk for contracting the virus. And while it’s not intended to replace in-person care visits, it will help reduce patient volumes at care sites so we can serve those who need care the most.”
Health care experts are recommending virtual urgent care for patients with less severe symptoms of COVID-19 such as low-grade fever, a cough, or shortness of breath. People with mild symptoms who are evaluated virtually by a medical professional can avoid interacting with others and ensure they receive the appropriate level of care in the right setting.
Anyone experiencing severe symptoms of a respiratory illness, such as a high fever or difficulty breathing, should call 911 or visit your nearest care site. Dignity Health encourages people to call their medical facility in advance to notify the care team of any COVID-19 symptoms before visiting in person.
Dignity Health includes four accredited, not-for-profit hospitals in the Bay Area – Saint Francis Memorial Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco, Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, and Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz. All four hospitals are Certified Stroke Centers, offer emergency services, and have received national recognition for superior safety and quality from Healthgrades, a leading provider of comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. www.dignityhealth.org/bayarea
Saint Francis Memorial Hospital is home to the Bothin Burn Center, the largest dedicated burn unit in Northern California. Saint Francis also offers orthopedic and sports medicine care, and a CARF-accredited Acute Rehabilitation Unit.
St. Mary’s Medical Center opened the nation’s first digital cardiac catheterization laboratory and continues to pioneer in multidisciplinary spine care. St. Mary’s also houses a Total Joint Center and a comprehensive cancer center.
Sequoia Hospital, is a nationally known pioneer in advanced cardiac care. The Sequoia Birth Center and NICU are consistently ranked as favorites among Peninsula families, and the hospital is known for its Center for Total Joint Replacement.
Dominican Hospital is a certified chest pain center with an experienced cardiac surgery team that handles some of the most complex cases in the Monterey Bay area. Dominican offers the only comprehensive Cancer Center in Santa Cruz County, as well as a Total Joint Replacement program and maternity and NICU services.
Claire Henry, Communications Manager