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Dignity Health North State (Mercy Medical Center Redding, Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta, St. Elizabeth Community Hospital) 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 Smith, Mercy Medical Center Redding President.
“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,” added Rodger Page, Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta and St. Elizabeth Community Hospital President.
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.
Mercy Medical Center Redding, St. Elizabeth Community Hospital in Red Bluff, and Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta are Dignity Health North State hospitals sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of Auburn. The hospitals are passionate about patient care, committed to community outreach, advocates for the underserved, and dedicated to delivering quality, affordable health services to those in need. In 2019, the Dignity Health North State Hospitals cared for more than 90,000 people and provided more than $22 million in community benefit to the region we serve. The hospitals also offer a broad array of outpatient services and the senior services of Connected Living. Visit www.mercy.org to learn more.