Virtual visits for medical concerns spike due to COVID-19 concerns

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Whether it’s a cold, the flu or something more serious, fears over COVID-19 are driving more people to the Allina Health "Everyday Online" site where they can get a virtual check-up from home.

In fact, the number of virtual visits on the site has increased 87% in the past week.

Patients who use the service answer a series of questions about their symptoms, and all responses are screened by a nurse practitioner who determines what the patient should do next. Patients typically get answers in 15 to 60 minutes.

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Chris DuFresne, with Allina Health, says during a time like this, virtual medicine can be a good first step.

"Using online tools is helpful because it’s more convenient, but it also helps protect the other people in the clinic," he said. "Going online first can protect you and others around you."

The cost of an Everyday Online visit is $49, although virtual visits are often covered by insurance.

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