Get healthcare during the coronavirus pandemic

Use remote healthcare options. Reschedule in-person visits. Do not go to the ER unless you have an emergency.

Routine, elective or non-urgent health needs

Most non-essential medical care, like eye exams and physicals, must be cancelled or rescheduled. If possible, healthcare visits should be done remotely.

You can get regular dental care, like teeth cleaning. You can schedule elective surgeries. 

Check for any new symptoms before you visit. You may be asked to get tested for COVID-19, depending on what you need to get done.

Contact your healthcare provider to see what services they are providing. Dentists and providers of elective surgeries may need time to prepare a Health and Safety Plan.

Prescriptions and pharmacy trips

Drug stores and other medical supply stores are still open, including medical cannabis. When possible, have items delivered to your home.

If you must go out to get medical supplies or prescriptions, send 1 person from your household and limit trips to reduce exposure.

Getting to the doctor or hospital

If possible, walk or drive yourself to healthcare.

If you are sick, have someone else in your home take you. Try to stay 6 feet from everyone if at all possible. Try to avoid exposing others to any germs you have, especially if you are seriously ill.

If you already have a medical mask (surgical mask or N-95 mask), you can wear that to prevent exposing others. If you don’t already have a medical mask, you must use a face covering.

Call your doctor if you feel sick

If you are feeling sick, call your doctor, a nurse hotline, or an urgent care center before you go out to get healthcare. If you have a newborn (under 2 months) with a fever, call urgent care. Keep everyone in your household at home.

Get tested: Find out about your COVID-19 testing options


Call 911 or your hospital if you have:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Confusion
  • Blue lips or face

Other healthcare options

If you need mental health services, optometry, acupuncture, eastern medicine, chiropractic, massage, and medical cannabis, you can go if your healthcare provider decides these services are essential for your health.

Anything that can be done remotely, by phone or online, should be. This includes group counseling sessions.

You can donate blood if you are healthy.

Visiting healthcare settings

Most visitors are not allowed in healthcare settings, like hospitals, nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities or residential care. This is needed to protect hospital staff and other patients.

Hospitals may allow patients to have 1 visitor in their room per day. There are other situations where you can be with someone in the hospital. Examples include going to the hospital with:

  • Someone who is under 18 years old
  • Someone who is developmentally disabled and needs assistance 

Call the facility you want to visit before you leave. You should check your health before you go. You may need to get tested for COVID-19 beforehand. You will need to stay 6 feet apart from others at the hospital. You will also need to wear a face covering when you visit, although the hospital can give you one.

Last updated May 28, 2020