It’s understandable that you may have concerns about coming to a doctor’s office or a hospital during the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic—but it’s also important to not put your healthcare needs on hold. If you have been putting off scheduling a follow-up appointment with a specialist or finding a doctor for a new health concern, our doctors are here for you. Our locations are open for new appointments, and we also have telemedicine options so you can see many of our doctors from home.
Learn more about steps we are taking in our emergency departments, hospitals, and doctor’s offices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and provide the safest possible environment for our patients and staff.
Safety in Our Emergency Departments and Hospitals
While our emergency departments are responding to the COVID-19 crisis, they are open and available to you for other urgent health concerns. We have rigorous measures in place to ensure your safety in our emergency departments and during a hospital stay, including the following:
- assessing patients for COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival
- maintaining separate areas for patients with COVID-19 symptoms
- restricting visitors to our hospitals and emergency departments
- requiring all staff and patients to wear masks
Please do not hesitate to go to the emergency department immediately or call 911 if you are experiencing a serious health concern.
If You Need Surgery
If you need surgery, you are tested for COVID-19 before your procedure, even if you are asymptomatic. This is for your own protection, as well as for the protection of our staff and other patients in the hospital. If you receive a positive COVID-19 test, you may still receive surgery if it is urgent, or it may be rescheduled for a later date.
In our hospitals, we are taking precautions in our operating rooms that allow our doctors and staff to perform medically necessary surgeries while minimizing the risk of COVID-19 and other infections. All of our operating room staff have been tested for COVID-19, and we are screening all staff daily for fever and other symptoms. We have created separate units for the care of COVID-19 patients and care for other conditions.
“Not only are we committed to keeping you safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we are maintaining the superior quality standards that NYU Langone is known for,” says Paresh C. Shah, MD, surgeon-in-chief at Tisch Hospital and vice chair of quality and safety in NYU Langone’s Department of Surgery.
Doctor Visits: What You Need to Know
While we strongly support the guidelines to stay home when possible and practice social distancing, we urge you to make the doctor appointments you need rather than putting your health on hold. We offer several ways to see our doctors, including in-person appointments, video visits, and Virtual Urgent Care.
Our Doctor’s Offices Are Open
Our outpatient and ambulatory locations are open for appointments. “We are taking extraordinary precautions to make sure our locations are as safe as they can possibly be,” says Andrew Rubin, senior vice president of clinical affairs and ambulatory care. “We are providing ample space in the waiting rooms and where staff are working so we can safely see the patients who need to come in.”
When scheduling an in-person appointment, you’ll be asked whether you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste, or loss of smell. You are also asked whether you or someone in your household has recently tested positive for COVID-19. We ask the same questions when you arrive for your appointment, and we also take the temperature of every patient and visitor who arrives at our locations using “no touch” thermometers.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms, please do not arrive at the doctor’s office. We cannot see you in person while you’re symptomatic, but we can help you find a different way to get care—such as a video visit, or by rescheduling your appointment for a later date.
When you come in to see your doctor, you are expected to wear a mask or face covering in accordance with the current New York state guidelines. If you arrive without a mask, you’ll be given one to wear.
All of our clinicians and staff have been tested for COVID-19, and wear masks and other protective equipment. Our offices are cleaned and sanitized throughout the day.
Limiting the number of visitors to our doctor’s offices helps us to maintain safety standards. Adults may not be accompanied to their appointment unless our staff determines it is medically necessary, and children may be accompanied by only one adult caretaker. Read more about our current visitor policies.
Video Visits for New and Current Patients
Our doctors also offer video visits, which are available for adults and children across a wide range of specialties and for many different types of appointments. Video visits can be scheduled online or through your NYU Langone Health MyChart account. If you have questions, your doctor’s office can help you determine whether the appointment you need can be a video visit rather than in person.
Safety During Imaging Services Visits
Our imaging services locations are open, but walk-in appointments are not permitted at this time. Please schedule an appointment in advance by calling 212-263-8868 for Manhattan and Brooklyn locations, 516-222-2022 for Long Island, or 718-605-6500 for Staten Island.
Learn more about safety measures at our imaging services locations.
When to Use Virtual Urgent Care
If you have an urgent medical concern, NYU Langone care providers are available for Virtual Urgent Care appointments 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With Virtual Urgent Care, you can video chat with a care provider from a mobile device or computer without leaving home.
Virtual Urgent Care is covered by most insurance providers, and is available to current NYU Langone patients and those who are new to NYU Langone. Our care providers can see adults and children age 5 and older. While many NYU Langone doctors offer video visits, Virtual Urgent Care can be a convenient option if you need to see a doctor right away.
If you have flu-like symptoms, we recommend staying home and using Virtual Urgent Care for an initial consult—for your own comfort and safety, and to avoid spreading illness to others.
However, if you’re experiencing a medical emergency, including difficulty breathing, seek immediate care by calling 911 or going to your nearest emergency department.