COVID-19 Resource Center

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing rapidly and we are here to help. By using First Stop Health telemedicine provided through your employer, you can avoid a trip to a doctor's office, urgent care, or emergency room.



How does FSH screen patients? 

Our doctors follow published CDC guidelines. These guidelines change as doctors and scientists learn more about the virus. Here are some common scenarios: 

  • If a patient has COVID-like symptoms, the doctor will assess the severity of those symptoms and advise on next steps. Generally, a patient with mild symptoms will be told to isolate to prevent the spread of the virus. In some cases, the patient may have secondary infections that the doctor will treat. (For example, if someone has a bacterial infection, he/she may receive antibiotics for the infection, but there is no specific treatment for COVID-19.) The patient will receive educational information via follow-up communication on how to be tested. 
  • If a patient came into close contact with someone with COVID-19, the doctor will recommend a 14-day quarantine. 
  • If the patient has severe shortness of breath, the doctor will advise the patient to dial 911 and let the dispatcher know that they may have COVID-19.


When would FSH doctors recommend ISOLATION?

Doctors should recommend isolation if a person has two or more symptoms of COVID-19, according to the CDC. Common symptoms include:

  • Fever/chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle/body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste/smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion/runny nose
  • Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea 
  • (Symptoms may include others)

According to the CDC, isolation is required until the person meets the following criteria:

  • at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared, and
  • at least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication, and
  • symptoms have improved.
  • If symptoms never develop, the person should isolate for a period of no less than 10 days from the date of a positive test.


When would FSH doctors recommend QUARANTINE? 

Doctors should recommend a 14-day quarantine to people who have been in close contact with a known case of COVID-19. (If a person has two or more symptoms of COVID-19, they will be recommended to isolate for 10 days.) Doctors can help assess for known exposure. The CDC defines close contact as when a person:

  • is the caregiver for, or
  • shares a home with, or
  • has been less than 6 feet from an infected person for more than 10 minutes.

During this time, the patient should stay home, keep social distance from people inside the home, self-monitor for symptoms and avoid contact with high-risk individuals. This helps reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others.


I think I might have COVID-19. What should I do? 

If you are experiencing mild symptoms such as cough and/or fever or believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, DO NOT GO to the emergency room. Call your doctor or use telemedicine instead to reduce your risk of catching or spreading the virus. 

If you are experiencing severe symptoms such as shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, call 911 and advise the dispatcher of your symptoms. DO NOT CALL emergency rooms prior to going, as many ERs are not set up to handle the volume of calls. Remember to use emergency departments for emergencies ONLY. 


What should I do before contacting FSH?  

  1. Ensure you are a First Stop Health member. Our telemedicine service is provided through employers. 
  2. Take your temperature.
  3. Download our mobile app or log in. You can call 888-691-7867, too, but requesting a doctor visit via app or web is the quickest way to talk to a doctor.  




Can FSH doctors order COVID-19 labcoronavirus tests?

To find a testing location in your area, click here.

To order an in-home test, visit pixel by LabCorp

Your visit follow-up email will also include information on how to find a testing location near you or order an in-home test. 

First Stop Health doctors cannot directly order in-person COVID-19 tests.


When should I get tested?

While testing is important for public health, it’s not necessary for most people with mild symptoms and low risk factors. Treatment for those with mild COVID-19 symptoms is the same regardless of whether the case is presumed/suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you have a cough, fever, shortness of breath, or other symptoms consistent with COVID-19, isolate yourself from other members in your home.




Is there a vaccine available?

The federal government is beginning to distribute vaccines to each state. The first group of people who will be vaccinated will be long-term care residents and healthcare personnel, but each state has its own plan for distribution. USAToday has compiled a list of each state’s distribution plan. If you are vaccinated, don’t forget to ask for documentation. 


Where can I sign up to get vaccinated?

There is no master list to “sign up” to be vaccinated. Some states have registries that will allow residents to sign up to be notified when they are eligible to be vaccinated. 




Can FSH doctors provide guidance on when it’s safe to return to work?

FSH doctors can provide information for you to share with your employer based on your answers to a few questions HERE.


Returning to work or school is considered safe when you:

  • Have not been recommended to quarantine or isolate, or
  • Have completed recommended quarantine following exposure, or
  • Have completed recommended isolation, and
    • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, and
    • At least 24 hours have passed with no fever without fever-reducing medication and other symptoms have improved

Refer to the CDC for more on how to discontinue self-quarantine. 

Note: FSH doctors cannot order COVID-19 tests and therefore cannot confirm whether or not a patient has COVID-19.


Can FSH give me a sick note?

The CDC recommends employers not require a doctor’s note during the COVID-19 pandemic. Doctors’ offices may be unusually busy, which means getting a note may require a long wait on the phone or follow-up visits. 

To help our patients who need documentation, we will continue to issue “excuse notes” for those patients that request one during a telemedicine visit. Typically, we only issue these notes for up to 4 days. Given the CDC recommendations around 14-day quarantines for those that are exposed to COVID-19, we have temporarily lifted the cap to 14 days when appropriate.


When/how should I wash my hands?wash-hands 

After being in public (mass transit, grocery stores, etc.) or touching things others have touched (door handles, railings, etc.), give your hands a 20-second scrub. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.


Should I change my travel plans?

If you’re planning a trip anywhere outside the U.S., you can view travel restrictions, recommendations and updates on the CDC website.


Should I wear a face mask?

The CDC recommends wearing a cloth mask in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies). The mask should: 

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, and
  • be secured with ties or ear loops, and
  • include multiple layers of fabric, and
  • allow for easy breathing, and
  • be able to be washed/dried without damage or change to shape.

NOTE: Cloth masks do not provide complete protection. Maintaining "social distance" is still important. 


Should I keep social distance?

Yes. According to the CDC, social distancing means avoiding group settings and mass gatherings, and maintaining a distance of approximately 6 feet (2 meters) from others. This helps protect you from exposure and helps slow the spread of the virus.


Why is telemedicine helpful?

By using telemedicine, you avoid waiting room germs. Our doctors can treat illnesses, such as the flu, sinus congestion or pink eye. The more you can avoid places with sick people, the better. If your employer provides First Stop Health telemedicine, our doctors are here for you 24/7.

Our doctors evaluate possible cases of COVID-19 and advise on the home treatment of mild cases. Severe cases (respiratory distress/difficulty breathing) will be told to call 911.



About COVID-19

How does COVID-19 spread? about-coronavirus

The virus is airborne, which means it spreads from person to person through coughing, sneezing and simply talking. It can be spread through contact with infected surfaces or objects, as well. 


How do I prevent it from spreading? 

Avoid sick people. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, and wash them often. Stay updated with recommendations here


What are the symptoms? 

The most common symptoms are: 

  • Fever/chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle/body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste/smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion/runny nose
  • Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea 
  • (Symptoms may include others)


How long before symptoms appear? 

After exposure, symptoms typically appear within 2 to 14 days.


Can COVID-19 live on surfaces?

Yes. The best way to kill germs is by cleaning and disinfecting surfaces with household cleaning sprays or wipes.



Helpful Resources


COVID-19 Testing

Public Health Resources

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

World Health Organization (WHO):


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