Got Covid? Medication can help. It’s free. Just call Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health’s Telehealth Call Center

Healthvana
4 min readJul 7, 2022

If you or a loved one tests positive for Covid-19, the most important thing to know is there is medicine that can help reduce severe illness — which is crucial for older people and those at risk of complications. But you must start taking it within 5 days of your first symptoms.

So how do you get Covid-19 medicine?

If you live in Los Angeles County and test positive for Covid-19 (with a rapid test at home, through a lab, or at a county test site), you can access treatment for free (even without insurance) by calling the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Telehealth Call Center at 833–540–0473.

What to expect when you call:

  1. You can call the free county Telehealth Call Center at 833–540–0473 seven days a week from 8:00 am — 8:30 pm. Press 1 for English (or just wait on the line) or 2 for Spanish. You’ll then be connected to a nurse. Wait times are usually less than 5 minutes.
  2. The nurse will ask you questions about your symptoms, medical history, and medications you’re currently taking. You will not need to send them a positive Covid test, discuss your citizenship status, or provide insurance information.
  3. If you’re eligible for either of the two available Covid antiviral medications (Paxlovid or Molnupiravir), you will be transferred to a Los Angeles County physician (or one will call you back, usually within an hour) who will further discuss your symptoms and medical history, and (if eligible) offer to call in a prescription.
  4. Prescriptions can be picked up by you or a trusted friend/family member in person (they might need your ID to pick up your medication — check with the specific pharmacy first) at most pharmacies (including local/independent pharmacies and chains like CVS and Walgreens) or next-day delivered by FedEx.

Don’t wait to call! The Covid medication must be started within five days from when symptoms begin, preferably as soon as symptoms appear.

Equitable education and access — more than 15,000 people in Los Angeles County reached directly, most from underserved communities

This is the first program in the country linking a free Covid positive test to free Covid antiviral medication.

If you receive a positive test result from Healthvana via a Los Angeles County free Covid-19 testing location, you will see the image below when you receive your result.

You can learn about antiviral treatment options and can click on “Get Treatment” to connect to the same county-run Telehealth Call Center program discussed above.

67% of patients who click on ‘Get Treatment’ come from communities of color.

After clicking “Get Treatment,” you’ll simply confirm that you live in California, confirm you’ve reviewed the Paxlovid and Molnupiravir medication fact sheets, then you can directly click to call Los Angeles County at 833–540–0473 (as shown step by step below).

In its first two months, the program has been successful at helping close the gap between a positive test result and medication in hand:

  • 96% of patients that test positive viewed their test results as well as education on medication.
  • 37% of those that tested positive clicked on “Get Treatment.”
  • 67% of those who viewed their positive test results come from a community of color.

Other resources in Los Angeles County to access Covid medication:

(note, there may be costs associated with these programs)

  • Test to Treat participating pharmacies
  • Through your primary care provider
  • Telehealth providers

For information on how to find a location offering treatment, testing, or vaccination in Los Angeles, visit ph.lacounty.gov/covidmedicines.

Healthvana uses modern technology to make healthcare better for patients — and has done so over 50 million times since 2015. Its HIPAA-compliant patient communication platform is used by healthcare providers to engage their patient populations in over 20 states. The company’s evidence-based solutions lead to better health outcomes, with a focus on underserved populations. Healthvana’s work has been featured everywhere from Fox News to the New York Times, and even at the White House. For more information, visit www.Healthvana.com

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