Va. health department rolls out COVIDCheck, a new online screening tool

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RICHMOND, Va. (WHSV) — In Virginia Governor Ralph Northam's Friday afternoon press conference, he announced that the Virginia Department of Health has rolled out a new online system to let people check their symptoms and determine if they need to get tested for COVID-19.

It's a new page on the Virginia Department of Health website called COVIDCheck.

According to the governor, the page operates as a risk assessment tool, so you can check your symptoms and, based on artificial intelligence, the system will determine the appropriate next step for you and give you resources, including the closest testing sites for COVID-19 if your symptoms merit testing.

“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. 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.”

COVIDCheck is free and designed to help users who are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 self-assess their risks and figure out the best course of action, such as self-isolation, seeing a doctor, or seeking emergency care.

It helps identify users at higher risk of the disease and offers maps of nearby testing sites.

But it should not be used in place of emergency medical care. If you're experiencing severe symptoms, you should still seek medical care immediately.

The site will screen users for occupational and medical risk factors and give them one of five care levels in accordance with the Virginia Department of Health’s categories.

“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.”

Basically, you answer a series of questions and get a personalized, real-time self-assessment with information and recommendations on what to do next. The recommendations, based on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines, include advice on when to contact a medical professional or seek emergency care, next steps for care based on zip code, and permission to follow up with the individual in three days to see how the person is doing.

“We’re proud to partner with the Commonwealth of Virginia to mobilize our AI-powered health assistant to provide the most accurate and helpful information to all Virginians during this vital time,” said Andrew Le, MD, CEO and cofounder of Buoy Health, which developed COVIDCheck. “And as the Commonwealth cautiously continues its phased approach to reopen, our primary goal at Buoy is to empower its residents to make the best decisions about their health so that they may re-enter society in a responsible way—for themselves, their loved ones, and the Virginia community-at-large.”

Virginians can click here to learn more and use COVIDCheck.