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New Yorkers who contract COVID can now call free treatment hotline

NYS COVID-19 hotline
Office of the Governor of New York
New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced the hotline is geared towards underserved communites and residents who don't have a regular doctor.

New Yorkers who contract COVID-19 can now call a free 24-hour hotline to find treatment options. It's geared towards underserved communities and residents who don’t have a regular doctor.

Residents who test positive for COVID can call the hotline to schedule a free telehealth appointment. Health care professionals manning the phones can then prescribe oral antiviral medicine or give callers a referral.

Governor Kathy Hochul said all New Yorkers deserve access to treatment regardless of income or health insurance.

“We have therapeutics, but a lot of people have barriers," she said. "They don't know where to get them, what is this all about, and a lot of people just don't have a regular health care provider in the state.”

Hochul said COVID-19 variants still pose a threat and urged residents to stay up-to-date with booster shots.

The hotline was rolled out alongside a $1 million public awareness campaign on TV, radio and social media to encourage COVID-19 testing and treatment.

The number is 888-873-2869 or 888-TREAT-NY. New York City residents can call 212-COVID-19. Access to the free telehealth appointment is also available online.

On Long Island, the 7-day average of COVID cases per 100,000 people is 44%, higher than the state's average of 34%.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.