Treatment Options for COVID-19

When COVID-19 struck three years ago, we knew little to nothing about the virus other than it was highly contagious and potentially deadly. We didn’t know exactly how it was transmitted, there was no vaccine, and no treatment at the time.

Thanks to immeasurable contributions from doctors and scientists, our knowledge has evolved. Unfortunately, so has the virus. We have seen many variants emerge including the delta variant and now the Omicron variant.  

Vaccines continue to be your best defense against the coronavirus and its mutations. But there are also treatment options available to Southern Californians. Oral treatments are free and most people with COVID-19 are eligible to receive treatment. It’s important to pay attention to your symptoms and to get tested if you think you have COVID-19.

The Symptoms

COVID-19 affects everyone differently. Some people have severe reactions while others have only a mild response. Some show no symptoms at all.

Like the virus, symptoms have changed over time. Not everyone loses their sense of taste or smell, has nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Fever and chills, a cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, a runny nose, and sore throat are still common at this stage of the pandemic.

Symptoms following exposure could appear in the next two to fourteen days. Get tested if you have been exposed. If you develop symptoms, get tested and stay home until you have been fever-free without the help of fever-reducing medicine for at least 24 hours. If you test negative using a rapid test, take another test 48 hours later to make sure.

If You Test Positive

If you test positive, you must continue to isolate for at least 5 days. Your symptoms may be mild at the time you test positive. Those with severe symptoms or shortness of breath should be evaluated in-person and those with more mild to moderate symptoms can often be evaluated over the phone. For those at high risk for severe illness -- including those that are unvaccinated or not up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations, people that are overweight, people with chronic medical conditions, those that are immune compromised, people that are pregnant or recently pregnant or are aged 50 and older – it’s critically important to talk with a healthcare provider immediately after a positive COVID-19 test. Most people with a new COVID-19 infection are eligible to receive COVID-19-specific medications. Oral medications are most effective if taken within five days of the start of symptoms.

In order to schedule an appointment, contact us at (888) 499-9303 or visit MyAltaMed to schedule an appointment with a provider. For further details about what to do if you test positive go here.

Virtual Visits

To schedule a same day telehealth appointment, call AltaMed at (888) 499-9303 or book an appointment through your MyAltaMed account. If you do not have an account, download the MyChart app, under California, search for AltaMed and click “sign up.”

The California Department of Public Health has also launched the Sesame Care program that also provides telehealth visits and prescriptions for COVID-19 treatments. The doctor will provide the prescription and the medications can either be picked up or will be mailed to the patient.

It’s Not Too Late to Get Vaccinated

If you have not received a COVID-19 vaccine or are behind on your boosters, vaccines are available to all adults and children aged six months or older, whether or not you are a patient with AltaMed.

To schedule a vaccine appointment, call AltaMed at: (888) 499-9303.

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Treatment Options for COVID-19