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Coronavirus – What You Need To Know


Updated December 16, 2021

Much like the common cold or flu, many experts believe COVID-19 is likely here to stay. Because vaccines, masks, and social distancing don’t eliminate the virus, reliable testing is essential for slowing the spread and staying healthy.

If you have symptoms or think you have been recently exposed to the virus, MDLIVE doctors can assess your condition, order an at-home COVID-19 test (if allowed by your insurance plan), provide symptom treatment plans, and help determine the necessary next steps, all from the comfort of home.

The at-home COVID-19 test through MDLIVE in partnership with LabCorp provides the following benefits:

  • Conveniently delivered right to your door with simple instructions
  • Minimizes the risk of viral spread by allowing you to stay home
  • Non-invasive nasal (short swab) collection

MDLIVE doctors also provide trusted care for over 80 common medical conditions while minimizing your exposure to contagious viruses like COVID-19.


Based on the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we’ve prepared an assessment to help you understand your Coronavirus risk based on symptoms and other factors. If you are experiencing chest pain, severe shortness of breath or any other emergency condition, do not take this assessment. Call 911 for immediate attention.

We will not keep or store any of the answers from this assessment.

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Diagnosis and Treatment

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the United States, MDLIVE is working diligently to help keep you healthy and safe. It’s important to know what you can expect from your MDLIVE visit during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Please note, as the coronavirus situation continues to evolve, this list is subject to change.

Your MDLIVE provider can:
  • Assess likelihood of COVID-19 based on your symptoms and other risk factors
  • Order a COVID-19 diagnostic test if medically appropriate and allowed by your insurance plan
  • Advise you to:
    • Self-quarantine according to the latest CDC guidelines
    • Go to an emergency department if symptoms are severe, and help coordinate with your local emergency department if necessary
  • Discuss signs and symptoms of coronavirus
  • Write a note excusing you from school or work for up to 14 days
  • Diagnose and treat more than 80 common conditions, reducing the need for in-person care
  • Provide a one-time refill on medications treating chronic conditions for up to 90 days, based on your medical situation

Your MDLIVE provider cannot:
  • Treat COVID-19 cases with anti-viral medication (including Paxlovid and Molnupiravir)
  • Provide a note that clears you to return to work

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Depending on your insurance plan, MDLIVE doctors can order a nasal swab test to detect active COVID-19 infection* after your visit, if appropriate. The test is delivered to your home. You then send your sample back, and MDLIVE will notify you by text when results are ready. Most test kits will be delivered within two days, and results will be ready one to two days after your sample is received. At-home test kits are not available for Medicare Advantage members. Kits do not ship on Sundays and are offered in the continental United States only.

*The at-home COVID-19 test does not test for antibodies or immunity.

The process and locations for testing vary from place to place. We recommend contacting your local physician, hospital, or public health department for the most up to date information on testing sites in your area. State and local public health departments have received tests from CDC while medical providers are getting tests developed by commercial manufacturers. While supplies of these tests are increasing, it may still be difficult to find someplace to get tested.

Before visiting a testing site, be sure to confirm if a doctor’s order is needed to obtain a test. At this time MDLIVE doctors cannot order COVID-19 tests. We also recommend inquiring about the location’s stock of test kits to ensure test kits will be on hand when you arrive.

No. The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar in children and adults. However, children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms. Reported symptoms in children include cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel (new) coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

The virus that causes COVID-19 probably emerged from an animal source but is now spreading from person to person. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g., type of surface, temperature, or humidity of the environment). If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with a disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others.

The current count of cases of COVID-19 in the United States is available on CDC’s webpage at Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the U.S.

Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms usually appear 2-14 days after exposure.

Shortness of breath – known medically as dyspnea – is often described as a tightening in the chest, or breathlessness. Normally, shortness of breath accompanies a tough workout or a stressful day, but if you have shortness of breath while resting or lying down, it can be a sign that medical help is needed.

The symptoms related to influenza (The Flu) and COVID-19 (Coronavirus) are very similar and can be indistinguishable. Symptoms of both include fever, cough, body aches, and fatigue.

Influenza typically has a mortality rate of 0.1 percent in the United States. The mortality rate of COVID-19 is significantly higher, especially in older patients and those with preexisting conditions, like diabetes, respiratory issues, and weakened immune systems.

Vaccines and antiviral treatments exist for influenza, but no vaccines or anti-viral treatments currently exist for coronavirus.

Contact your physician for help diagnosing your condition.

Follow the advice of your local health officials regarding social distancing and shelter in place policies. In addition, the CDC now recommends that people wear a cloth face covering when in public.

Common-sense measures can help minimize the chances of exposure. (1) Avoid close contact with people who are sick. (2) Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. (3) Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. (4) Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

In light of new data about how COVID-19 spreads, along with evidence of widespread COVID-19 illness in communities across the country, CDC recommends that people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth in the community setting. This is an additional public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in addition to (not instead of) social distancing, frequent hand cleaning and other everyday preventive actions. A cloth face covering is not intended to protect the wearer, but may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others.

Medical masks and N-95 respirators are reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

The CDC has provided recommendations on postponing or canceling travel to certain areas.

If anyone has a fever and respiratory symptoms, that person should not fly, if possible.

Seek the advice of a healthcare professional if you develop symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently been in an area with an ongoing spread of COVID-19.

MDLIVE virtual visits are a good option. Our doctors are trained on the latest CDC guidance for providers and can assess your symptoms and risk factors to determine appropriate next steps.

Before seeking in-person care for COVID-19 symptoms, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. Put on a facemask before you enter the facility. These steps will help the healthcare provider’s office to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected or exposed.

The risk of exposure

  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.

Mental Health During
the Coronavirus Outbreak

Worry, stress, and anxiety are expected, given the current conditions surrounding the coronavirus. Everyone handles these and their other emotions and responses differently.

MDLIVE is ready to listen and support you and your family during this challenging time. Our board-certified psychiatrists and licensed therapists can help you process the information as it develops, create strategies to manage your concerns, identify healthy activities, and put together a plan tailored to your unique situation and needs.

Now, more than ever, is a great time to focus on what you can control and your overall well-being. Schedule a private, confidential visit and keep both mentally and physically healthy with MDLIVE.

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Tags: cold and flu, coronavirus, coronavirus (COVID-19), telehealth

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Raffaelo Zucco