Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Concerned you have the coronavirus?

If you have a fever or cough, you might have COVID-19. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. Keep track of your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), get medical attention right away.

  • If you have a medical appointment that cannot be postponed, call your doctor’s office, and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office protect themselves and other patients.
  • If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the operator that you have or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before medical help arrives.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


COVID-19 Testing

WHA is waiving all cost-sharing for medically necessary screening and testing for COVID-19, including hospital/emergency room, urgent care, and provider office visits where the purpose of the visit is to be screened and/or tested for COVID-19.

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice. They will decide whether you need to be tested.

Sacramento County Residents: The COVID-19 Program is currently offering access to a free drive-up coronavirus testing program. Residents who are 18 years of age or older and experiencing mild to moderate symptoms can complete an online screener to determine if they qualify for in-person testing.

Hospitals

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that all elective surgeries, non-essential medical, surgical, and dental procedures be delayed during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

If you have a procedure scheduled, please call your provider's office before showing up to your appointment to ensure it hasn't been cancelled or rescheduled.

Prescription Medication

WHA is closely monitoring drug shortages listed on the FDA website. Your pharmacy also has up-to-date information from their wholesalers regarding drug shortages. If you are affected by a drug shortage, your pharmacy can assist you or contact your prescribing provider to discuss alternative treatment options.  
  
If for some reason you are not able to access your current supply of prescription medications, or if you need an additional supply, you or your physician can call WHA Member Services to request an early refill at 888.563.2250. Note: CalPERS members should contact OptumRx at 855.505.8110 for early refill requests. 

Mail Order

Members are encouraged to fill their maintenance prescriptions through OptumRx's mail order program. This not only avoids you having to wait in line at the pharmacy during the COVID-19 outbreak, but it can give you up to a 90-day supply of your medication and may also save you money. To sign up for mail order, contact OptumRx at 844.568.4150 or 855.505.8110 for CalPERS members. 

You may also receive a 90-day supply of maintenance prescriptions by using the Select90 program at Walgreens or CVS Pharmacies. 

Exception: Early refills for controlled prescription medications will continue to require a prior authorization request be received from your prescribing physician. Controlled substance prescriptions can be filled by the OptumRx mail order pharmacy, but must be sent by your physician through a certified electronic prescribing system (EPCS certified). Paper or Fax prescriptions will not be filled. If you chose to use mail order for your controlled prescription medication needs, contact your doctor to make sure they are able to send these prescriptions electronically.

Urgent or Specialty Medication Needs
  • For urgent medication needs, continue to visit your local pharmacy.  
  • For specialty medication needs, continue to use the mail order option through OptumRx Specialty Pharmacy.
  • For assistance, contact OptumRx Specialty Pharmacy at 855.427.4682 or 855.821.7217 for CalPERS members. 

Members can find a participating pharmacy online or by contacting WHA Member Services at 888.563.2250. Note: CalPERS members can find a participating pharmacy by searching online or by contacting OptumRx at 855.505.8110.

    Virtual Visits

    Get care without leaving the comfort of home — or your office. Learn more about the telehealth services available through our provider partners.

    Virtual Visits

     

    Nurse24

    You have 24/7 access to a nurse advice line staffed with registered nurses through Nurse24™. You can speak directly with a nurse at 877.793.3655 or use the online chat feature.

    Nurse24

     

    Connect With Your Doctor

    Your medical group may offer an online service to email your doctor, request prescription refills, schedule an appointment, view lab test results, or access your medical record.

    Connect With Your Doctor

     

    Chat with Member Services

    Chat online with a WHA member service representative by logging into your MyWHA account and visiting our contact us page.

    This service is available during regular business hours.

    WHA's Secure Message Center

    Have a question about your benefits or coverage? Send us a secure message by logging into your MyWHA account and visiting our contact us page

    This service is available 24 hours per day.

    Printable Resources

    Handouts and posters created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):


    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the novel coronavirus?

    The novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus never identified before now. Referred to as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), it is very different than the common coronavirus seen in humans that cause the common cold and other mild illnesses. The COVID-19 was identified first in Wuhan, China.

    Is there a test for it?  

    If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice. They will decide whether you need to be tested, but keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill may be able to isolate and care for themselves at home.

    How does COVID-19 spread?

    COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, and to what extent it may spread in the United States.

    The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

    • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
    • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

    These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Learn more about what is known about the spread of COVID-19.

    How can I help protect myself?

    The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. 

    • Clean your hands often
      • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
      • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
      • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact

    Take steps to protect others

    • Stay home if you’re sick
    • Cover coughs and sneezes
      • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
        Throw used tissues in the trash.
      • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    • Wear a facemask if you are sick
      • If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
      • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
    • Clean and disinfect
      • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
      • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
    Is there a vaccine?

    There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.

    Is there a treatment?

    There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 can seek medical care to help
    relieve symptoms. 

    Visit the CDC website for the latest information on COVID-19.  

    Last review date: March 19, 2020

    WHA is closely monitoring the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Learn more about COVID-19.