Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Hands washing with soap and bubbles

General Information

Community Health Choice is monitoring the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the most updated information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Texas Department of State Health Services, and the Harris County Public Health Department, to help keep you and your family healthy.  

Last updated: July 2, 2020.  Check this page regularly for updates.


Texas is seeing a rise in the number of positive cases of COVID-19 and more Texans hospitalized for COVID-19. This is related to residents moving around their communities as businesses reopen, increased availability of testing for COVID-19 and in some cases, attendance at gatherings or relaxing behaviors that prevent the spread of disease. There is still no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 and available treatments are not always effective. It is important to protect yourself and your family by following these recommendations

Man inside his house wearing a mask

Stay at home as much as possible.

Woman wearing a face covering at the grocery store

Wear a face covering and practice social distancing when in public places.

Washing hands with soap and water

Wash your hands often with soap and water.

Man giving medical attention to a woman in a bed

Avoid close contact with those who are sick.

Woman coughing into her elbow

Cover your mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing.

Spraying disinfectant on a table top

Disinfect objects and surfaces to stay clean.


Face Coverings

On June 22, Judge Lina Hidalgo mandated businesses to require face coverings for all customers and employees amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in Harris County.

The CDC encourages people to wear a face covering to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It should fit over your mouth and nose. Please read how to wear, remove, care for your face covering, requirements and exceptions at ReadyHarris.org.  If you think you are sick with Coronavirus (COVID-19), call your doctor. 


Coronavirus Symptoms

The CDC has added more possible symptoms, which may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Read "DISEASE INFORMATION" to read them. 


Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children and Teens (MIS-C)

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children and Teens (MIS-C) is a rare condition associated with COVID-19 that has been seen in children and teens.

What is MIS-C?

This is a rare condition that can develop in children exposed to COVID-19. The condition can cause the heart and other organs to become inflamed. Some children with MIS-C can have serious problems and need to receive medical care in the hospital. Most children with MIS-C have gotten better with medical care. However, because children may become seriously ill, it is important that parents know the signs and symptoms so they can get help right away.

If you think your child is sick with MIS-C:

Call your child’s doctor immediately if your child has symptoms of MIS-C:

  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Neck pain
  • A red rash
  • Red eyes
  • Unusual weakness or fatigue
  • Red, cracked lips or red, bumpy tongue
  • Swollen hands and feet

If your child is severely ill:

Go to the nearest emergency room or call 9-1-1 immediately. Emergency warning signs of MIS-C or other concerning signs include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Pain or pressure in the chest that does not go away
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Severe abdominal pain

For more information on Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/children/mis-c.html 


Scam Alert

Scammers are sharing incorrect information in order to scare people and make money during this frightening time. Please beware!

  • You do not have to pay doctors or labs offering referrals to be tested for COVID-19.
  • To get tested for free, call your doctor or clinic or go to a public testing site. Click "TESTING" for more testing information.
  • There is no current treatment or vaccine to prevent COVID-19. Do not eat, drink, inject or take anything claiming to treat or protect against COVID-19 unless directed by your doctor. Unproven treatments could be life threatening.
  • Avoid texts and emails asking for personal information to receive stimulus pay.
  • If you have any questions about something you’ve heard or read, please contact your doctor.

Test Collection Map

Use this test collection map to find a testing site in your area. It lists public and private mobile, walk-in, and drive-thru test collection sites around the state.


Telemedicine Services

Use telemedicine services whenever possible.  A Provider can screen and diagnose you over the phone. It’s a great way to get the care you need from home.

If you are a CHIP, CHIP-P or STAR Member, ask your Provider if they offer telemedicine. If your doctor is not available and you need help with locating telemedicine services, please call us for assistance.

Telemedicine services are now available to all Marketplace plans and D-SNP, you may call them at 1.800.835.2362. 

Teladoc Access for Marketplace Members

  • Before your first virtual visit, you need to set up a Teladoc account and share your medical history on the app or on their account set up page. Completing this step in advance can minimize your wait time.
  • If you’re new to using Teladoc, start by visiting their website for answers to frequently asked questions.
  • For faster support, you can contact Teledoc by mobile, App or web. You can download the App on the App Store or Google Play.

Urgent Care Centers Offering Telemedicine

These locations offer telemedicine. Look up the listing in our Find a Doctor Provider directory for contact information.                                 

Adult Babies,Children, and Teens:
1. AFC Urgent Care (multiple locations)    1. Nightlight Pediatrics (multiple locations)
2. AP Urgent Care 2. Sunset Pediatric Urgent Care PA
3. Apex Urgent Care 3. Urgent Care for Kids (two locations)
4. CyMED Tomball PA 4. UTMB After-Hours Pedriatic Urgent Care
5. Emergency Medical Doctors Services  
6. Family First Urgent Care  
7. First Response Urgent Care Port Arthur  
8. Medella Urgent Care (two locations)  
9. MHMG Urgent Care (multiple locations)  
10. Next Level Urgent Care (multiple locations)  
11. Southwest Urgent Care  
12. Southwest Urgent Care and Family Practice (two locations)  
13. Sunrise Urgent Care & Family Practice  
14. Texas Children’s Urgent Care (multiple locations)  
15. Urgent Care MDs (multiple locations)  

Your Doctor and the Nurse Help Line

If you may have been exposed to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) or have questions about symptoms, please call your doctor. If you are tested at your doctor's office, health care facility or testing center, you will not be charged. You may also call our Nurse Help Line. A nurse will answer your questions, and help you get the care you need. Help is available in English or Spanish. You may also ask for an interpreter.

  • STAR (Medicaid)/CHIP/CHIP Perinatal Members: 1.888.332.2730
  • Marketplace Members: 1.833.955.1528
  • D-SNP Members: 1.833.955.1527

Public testing sites and drive-thru testing locations are available throughout Texas. See the Texas Department of State Health Services website to locate testing centers near you. https://dshs.state.tx.us/coronavirus/testing.aspx

Members who are well and do not have a known risk for infection or symptoms of fever, cough or difficulty breathing should not go directly to ERs or urgent care centers solely to be tested for COVID-19. Doing so may overwhelm hospitals and urgent care centers and prevent them from providing care to people who need help.


High-Risk Members

If you have a health-related condition that may require special medications, equipment, supplies like oxygen and breathing devices or treatments like dialysis, please register with 2-1-1.  Make a plan now to get food, medications, and supplies just in case you need to be quarantined or have trouble with usual activities.  If you can, set up or confirm the status of your recurring orders for your durable medical equipment and supplies.

If you need replacement medication(s), require an early prescription refill or need help getting durable medical equipment and medical supplies please contact us. You will need your Member ID card to fill/refill your prescription. If you do not have your ID card, you may print a temporary ID card using your My Member Account.

Health Conditions at Increased Risk

People of ANY AGE with the following conditions are NOW DEFINED TO BE AT INCREASED RISK of severe illness from COVID-19. Please read the full list and more specific advice from the CDC

At INCREASED RISK for severe illness from COVID-19:

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
  • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher)
  • Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Children who are medically complex are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 than other children.
    • Those who have neurologic, genetic, and metabolic conditions
    • Those who have congenital heart disease

MAY be at an INCREASED RISK for severe illness from COVID-19:

  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
  • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
  • Liver disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
  • Smoking
  • Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus

 

Pregnancy

Continue taking preventive steps to stay healthy, like staying away from large crowds and people who are sick. Call your doctor immediately if you have any flu-like symptoms like cough, fever or other respiratory problems or any symptoms related to your pregnancy.

Please read: COVID-19 and pregnancy considerations

Call our Care Management Team if you need help finding a doctor or clinic near you.

Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

  • STAR (Medicaid)/CHIP/CHIP-P Members: 1.844.297.4450
  • In an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.
  • TDD: 7-1-1

 

Mental Health and Wellbeing / Behavioral Health

This is a stressful time. Fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Please take your emotions seriously and get care, if you need it.

  • Call your doctor if stress reactions interfere with your daily activities
  • If you are currently being treated, please continue your treatment plan. Stay in touch with your Provider and share any new symptoms.
  • Call our Behavioral Health Team toll-free 24/7 if you need help finding assistance
    • STAR(Medicaid) /CHIP/CHIP-P Members: 1.877.343.3108
    • Marketplace Members: 1.855.539.5881
    • D-SNP Members: 1.833.276.8306
    • TDD: 7-1-1
    • In an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.
  • Visit our Health Links page for a list of mental health and wellbeing agencies and resources. https://www.communityhealthchoice.org/en-us/member-resources/staying-healthyhealth-links/
  • Wellbeing Resources

Aunt Bertha: Find Help

Find food assistance, help paying bills, and other free or reduced cost programs that help people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.