NYS Health Dept. rolls out new Hotline number for COVID-19


Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test Diagnostics | Photo by dronepicr via Wikimedia Commons

NEW YORK – A new free hotline for those who test positive for Covid-19 is in place for those who don’t have a health care provider. As part of Governor Kathy Hochul’s ongoing efforts to keep New Yorkers protected during this pandemic, the New York State Department of Health rolled out a new Hotline, 888-TREAT-NY, after reaching an agreement to utilize the Virtual Experience Expresscare platform operated by NYC Health + Hospitals.

“We’ve made real progress in our fight against COVID-19, but as new variants continue to spread it’s important to continue to adapt and expand our efforts to protect New Yorkers,” Governor Hochul said. “Our new COVID-19 treatment hotline will provide New Yorkers with better access to early treatments that help prevent severe illness.”

The Hotline is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week, and operated by experienced Health + Hospitals professionals with the clinical training to prescribe treatment and referrals if needed. The ExpressCare platform is a service that allows New Yorkers to receive virtual care from an NYC Health + Hospitals provider.

Under the agreement, insured patients will pay a co-pay amount based on their plan, and the New York State Department of Health will cover the costs of the service for those without health care coverage.

All New Yorkers outside of New York City, regardless of income or health insurance coverage, who test COVID-19 positive, are eligible to be evaluated for treatment by calling 888-TREAT-NY (888-873-2869) or completing an evaluation at the NYS COVID-19 ExpressCare Therapeutics Access website, which includes a telemedicine visit. New York City residents should call 212-COVID-19.

The telemedicine visit will include a clinical assessment by medical providers identifying the appropriate COVID-19 treatment plan, including a prescription for Paxlovid or Molnupiravir. These oral antiviral medications have decreased hospitalization for those at risk for severe disease. When given soon after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, these antivirals also help fight infection and shorten recovery time.

As all treatments require a prescription, those who test COVID-19 positive should talk to their provider or call 888-TREAT-NY to determine the best treatment. New York State is assigned a weekly allotment of Paxlovid and Molnupiravir from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said, “Every New Yorker should have access to the latest COVID-19 therapeutics regardless of whether they have a regular health care provider. Thanks to the Department’s agreement with NYC Health + Hospitals, our new COVID-19 treatment hotline at 888-TREAT-NY is another tool to reduce the barriers to treatment and will help ensure traditionally underserved communities have access to the same care as other New Yorkers.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, “Every New Yorker deserves access to quality, accessible health care, regardless of their insurance status. NYC Health + Hospitals’ Virtual ExpressCare has helped connect thousands of New Yorkers to COVID-19 resources and I’m proud that, through this partnership with Governor Hochul and Commissioner Bassett, New Yorkers across the state, regardless of whether they have a health care provider, will now have access to critical and lifesaving treatments.”

NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD, said, “NYC Health + Hospitals is proud to partner with the Governor’s Office and the State Health Department to offer COVID-19 therapeutics to the entire state through our proven Virtual ExpressCare program. Virtual ExpressCare has been a vital part of our strategy to ensure that everyone in New York City has access to the COVID-19 care and treatment they need, and it will bring the same expertise and commitment to all New Yorkers across the state.”

To learn more about COVID-19 treatment options, visit health.ny.gov/CovidTreatment.

–With Jay Domingo/PDM

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