On Saturday, it was announced that the Philadelphia Department of Public Health activated a Greater Philadelphia Coronavirus Helpline.
The helpline can be reached by calling 1-800-722-7112, according to a release.
The helpline is a free resource for all residents, and it is accessible 24/7. The helpline can be used by everyone, including public and healthcare providers, to answer any questions about COVID-19. It was reported that the helpline will be staffed by medical experts to answer questions about the virus.
Below are some of the questions the helpline could answer, according to a press release:
- Symptoms and risk factors for the coronavirus
- What to do if you think you may have been exposed
- Testing resources
- Recommendations for social distancing
A release states when someone calls the helpline, there are four prompts to help guide users. One of them is for an emergency situation. The prompts will direct people to the right information depending on their needs.
If someone needs a little extra help, there will be a helpline staffer who can help guide them with the appropriate information.
“Aside from washing your hands and staying away from people who are sick, one of the most important things people can do in a pandemic is to listen to trusted experts,” Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said in a release.
Farley added, “While the Health Department and CDC are great resources, we know that sometimes people have questions that need to be answered by a trained healthcare professional. The Greater Philadelphia Coronavirus Helpline is the perfect way to get your questions about the coronavirus answered, whenever you’re ready to ask them.”
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia provided the funding for the staffing on the Greater Philadelphia Coronavirus Helpline.
In addition to the hotline, the city has also created a COVID-19 text alert service to keep residents in the loops about updated regarding the pandemic. To sign up for the free text alert and information service, residents can text COVIDPHL to 888-777. This is different than the helpline mentioned above.