Get healthcare during the coronavirus pandemic

Use remote healthcare options if you can. Do not go to the ER unless you have an emergency.

Routine, elective or non-urgent health needs

Dental appointments, elective surgeries and procedures, and routine medical care are now allowed. 

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. You will need to wear a face covering when getting healthcare.

Contact your healthcare provider to see what services they are providing. See detailed FAQs for dental patients(See this guidance in 中文 | Filipino | Español).

Prescriptions and pharmacy trips

Drug stores and other medical supply stores are 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 get healthcare.

If you are sick, have someone else in your home take you. Try to stay 6 feet from everyone if 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, physical therapy, and medical cannabis, you can go if your healthcare provider decides these services are essential for your health. Check for any new symptoms before you visit.

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

Hospitals, nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, or residential care can allow some types of visits. It depends on what they can set up safely. These include visits where you can see your loved one:

  • Through a closed window, but talk to them through the phone
  • Through an open window, each staying 3 feet away from the window and wearing face coverings
  • Outside of your car (if windows are open, you must wear a face covering)
  • In-person in an outdoor setting (everyone 6 feet apart with no physical touch allowed)

Call the facility you want to visit, to see what your options are.

If you want to bring a gift, you’ll have to give it to healthcare staff. They will sanitize it first, before giving it to your loved one.

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.

Visitors cannot drop-in. Large groups of visitors are not allowed. This is needed to protect hospital staff and other patients.

See other tips for visitors to residential facilities.

Last updated October 05, 2020