STOCKTON, March 20, 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 Don Wiley, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Medical Center. “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.
About St. Joseph’s Medical Center
St. Joseph's Medical Center is a not-for-profit, fully accredited, regional hospital with 355 beds, a physician staff of over 700, and more than 2,700 employees. Specializing in cardiovascular care, comprehensive cancer services, and women and children's services, St. Joseph's is committed to delivering compassionate, high-quality, affordable health care services with special attention to the poor and under-served. As a Sponsoring Institution for Graduate Medical Education, St. Joseph’s supports rapidly growing educational programs for both resident physicians and medical students. In addition to being nationally recognized as a quality leader, St. Joseph's is consistently chosen as the "most preferred hospital" by local consumers. St. Joseph's is the largest hospital, as well as one of the largest private employers in San Joaquin County. Founded in 1899 by Fr. William O'Connor and administered by the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael, St. Joseph's continues to lead the region in medical innovation. St. Joseph's Medical Center is a member of Dignity Health, a system of ancillary care sites, medical foundations, and acute care hospitals serving California, Arizona and Nevada.