RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Governor Ralph Northam announced on Friday that Virginians can now use COVIDCheck to evaluate any symptoms that may be related to COVID-19.
The free, online, artificial intelligence-powered telehealth tool is designed to help users self-assess their risk level by answering a series of questions — similar to if you were being screened by a doctor. The AI assesses the user’s path of answers and presents the most plausible result and guidance to move forward.
The AI provides one of five care levels in accordance with the Virginia Department of Health’s categories. From there, users can determine the best next steps, such as self-isolation, seeing a doctor, or seeking emergency care.
“If you are feeling sick or think you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, it is important that you take action right away,” said Governor Northam. “This online symptom-checking tool can help Virginians understand their personal risk for COVID-19 and get recommendations about what to do next from the safety of their homes.”
He continued, “As we work to flatten the curve in our Commonwealth, telehealth services like this will be vital to relieving some of the strains on providers and health systems and making health care more convenient and accessible.”
Although COVIDCheck should not be used in place of actual emergency care, it can be used as a resource to help to identify users who are at higher risk and help them find a nearby testing site.
“Because COVID-19 can affect people differently and cause illness ranging from mild to severe, this personalized assessment tool can help people sort through symptoms and decide if they need to seek medical care,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA. “While COVIDCheck is not a substitute for medical advice, it can help people decide what steps to take next to protect themselves, their loved ones, and the community.”
COVIDCheck launched just two days after members from the Virginia Department of Health announced plans to launch a proximity tracking app to help supplement the efforts already underway by human contact tracing.
The method, which isn’t new to public health, is meant to help investigate and prevent the spread of COVID-19. If a patient tests positive, a tracer will contact that person and find out where they were during the infectious period, who was with them, and who might have been exposed.
Virginians can visit vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/covidcheck to learn more and use COVIDCheck.
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