March 27, 2020in Doctor Resource

Self-Care Guide and Finding Local Coronavirus Resources

Guide to Self-Care, and Local, State, Federal Resources for Dealing with COVID-19/coronavirus

This guide is for people who:

  • Are concerned about COVID-19
  • Are suspected or confirmed for COVID-19 and who do not need hospitalization
  • Were hospitalized for COVID-19 and are discharged to home
  • Are friends and family of people in the above categories

Following are local, state, and other non-HealthTap resources for information and assistance in understanding and dealing with COVID-19 and other health concerns and issues:

1. Public Health contact numbers for high activity areas:

  • California hotline: 888-865-0564
    • Santa Clara County 408-885-3980
    • Contra Costa County 925-313-6740
    • San Francisco 311
    • Los Angeles County 213-240-7941
  • Washington state hotline: 800-525-0127
    • King County 206-477-3977
  • New York state and city hotline: 888-364-3065
    • Westchester County 888-364-3065
    • Nassau County 516-227-9570

2. Nationwide list of State Hotlines for help or information

3. Local Health Departments contact information (city, county)

4. Health Insurance Plans are waiving many out-of-pocket costs and copays for in-network care

  • Check your coverage for coronavirus testing, doctor visits, or medications

5. Johns Hopkins Tracking Map

  • Follow outbreak activity by city, county, state, or nation

6. Centers for Disease Control – Global Situation Summary

7. CDC COVID-19 Status Report for the US

8. Medical Testing Labs include:


Self-Care recommendations for viral symptoms

Around 80% of people who catch COVID-19 infection only get cold symptoms or mild flu symptoms. Staying home and caring for yourself like you would for a cold or the flu might be all that’s necessary. In these cases, the general recommendation is to use over-the-counter medications that one would normally use for a cold or the flu.

If you’re getting worse or your symptoms are more than mild, contact your doctor for a video or phone consultation. If you have wheezing or asthma symptoms, get refills on your asthma medications now, before you catch a virus. Closely follow your doctor-provided asthma plan.

When taking medication, people should be sure to follow the instructions and precautions on the labels, and contact their doctor if there are any questions. Examples include:

  • Fever or chills: acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • Coughing: guaifenesin (Robitussin) with dextromethorphan (DM)
  • Headaches or body aches: acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • Sore throat: acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • Stuffy or runny nose: antihistamine with decongestant (Claritin-D, Zyrtec-D)
  • Sneezing: antihistamine (Claritin, Zyrtec)
  • Sinus pressure or sinusitis: nasal steroid spray (Flonase)

Things that don’t change the course of one’s illness, but do make people feel better, include:

  • Soups, teas, water: drink what you enjoy. These warm, cold, or hot drinks are fine
  • Baths, showers: usually once or twice a day, at whatever temperature you like
  • Fans, heaters, air conditioners: air flow and a comfortable room are good to have

Essential supplies for avoiding the coronavirus or for living in self-quarantine include:

  • Groceries and most household items: stores have items in stock, but shop online and have items delivered if you are in self-quarantine
  • Masks: sold out in most places, so you have to ask your pharmacy when they will have more
  • Gloves: currently in short supply, so you have to shop around to hopefully find some available
  • Soap & Water: works great on hands and there’s no shortage
  • Hand sanitizer: temporarily out of stock in many stores, but new stock should be arriving soon
  • Household cleaners: available at most stores, as there are many brands and varieties of cleaning sprays or wipes

Robert Kwok

Robert Kwok

Robert Kwok, MD, Director of Health Informatics at HealthTap, is a board-certified physician who practiced medicine for 27 years. He earned his MD and pediatrics credentials at Baylor College of Medicine. Before HealthTap, he practiced clinical pediatrics in Northern California, most recently with Stanford Medicine.