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New Yorkers who contract COVID can now call free treatment hotline

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%.

Copyright 2022 WSHU. To see more, visit WSHU.

Desiree D'Iorio
Born and raised in Connecticut, Desiree now calls Long Island home. She is WSHU’s 2019-2020 News Fellow, covering local government, the environment and public affairs on Long Island. She received her A.A. in Communications from Nassau Community College and B.A. in Journalism from Stony Brook University. Her past internships were at the Long Island Press and WSHU. In 2019, she co-wrote a four-part series about the Long Island Pine Barrens, bringing to listeners the sights and sounds of this unique ecosystem nestled in the heart of Suffolk County. There are 300 tabs open across her devices at all times.