Ro is here to help

Take a free Coronavirus Telehealth Assessment

If you think you may be experiencing signs or symptoms of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), complete this online assessment and, if appropriate, we’ll connect you with a medical provider for a free consultation.

Our providers are online Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm based on your local timezone.

This is a triage service meant to assess your risk of COVID-19 based on your symptoms and other factors. You may be recommended to seek in-person care for further evaluation, testing, and diagnosis.

If you think you need immediate attention, please call 9-1-1 and let them know you are concerned about COVID-19.

Check your symptoms.



Shortness of breath

Signs and symptoms of coronavirus may include fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Risk factors include recently traveling to one of the countries listed on this page. For real-time updates on global cases, view this map.

Click below to get started if you think you may be at risk.

How to protect others.

If you are sick (with coronavirus or not), here’s how you can avoid spreading germs.

Cover your coughs and sneezes

Use a tissue, then throw it in the trash can. If tissues are unavailable, cough into the shoulder or elbow and wash your hands immediately after.

Wash your hands after blowing your nose

Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Stay home if you feel sick

Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation and limit activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.

How to protect yourself.

Here are a few key ways to stay healthy when there’s a bug going around.

Wash your hands frequently and before eating

Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Sanitize surfaces and avoid sick people

Routinely clean frequently touched objects (doorknobs, keyboards, and phones) and avoid close contact (6 feet or less) with others who are sick.

Practice healthy habits

Get plenty of sleep, stay physically active, eat healthy, manage your stress, and drink plenty of fluids to support your mucosal surfaces.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Hub

For digestible and comprehensive articles on coronavirus, check out Ro’s Health Guide.

  • What is the novel coronavirus COVID-19?

    5 minute read

  • Signs and symptoms of coronavirus

    3 minute read

  • How useful is a mask in reducing coronavirus transmission?

    7 minute read

  • How can I help prevent and prepare for the coronavirus?

    3 minute read

  • The flu shot and the new coronavirus (COVID-19)

    4 minute read

  • Who is most at risk for contracting & getting ill from the coronavirus

    2 minute read

  • Can pets get the coronavirus? Can they infect me?

    3 minute read

  • Top coronavirus myths

    4 minute read

  • COVID-19: a timeline of events since its discovery

    3 minute read

  • Here’s how long coronavirus can live outside of the body

    4 minute read

Frequently asked questions

About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

All answers reviewed by our in-house medical team and authored by Rachel Kwon, MD.

Note: all the information relayed here is directly based on information and guidance from the CDC and WHO. This information is rapidly evolving, and it’s important to understand that there are still many unknowns about COVID-19 and how the disease spreads. Current knowledge and guidance is based in large part on what is known about similar viruses in the coronavirus family.

What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Coronavirus is the name of a family of viruses that cause respiratory infections in humans. For example, there are four coronaviruses that cause the common cold.

“Novel coronavirus,” abbreviated as nCoV, is a general term assigned to any newly-discovered coronavirus before giving it a formal name.

SARS-CoV-2, previously 2019-nCoV, is the formal name that the World Health Organization (WHO) has given to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the respiratory illness whose first case was identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019 (COVID-19 stands for Coronavirus Disease 2019).

For simplicity, we’ll use the term “novel coronavirus” or “coronavirus” in these materials.

See the CDC website for more info.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a respiratory infection, and the most typical symptoms are fever or chills, dry cough, and difficulty breathing. Muscle aches and generally feeling tired are also common.

Symptoms can range from mild (most cases) to very severe (requiring intensive care in the hospital and the need for respiratory support).

Most, but not all, severe illness occurs in older adults and adults with underlying medical conditions. 

Less common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (WHO Feb 2020, Huang Jan 2020).

What should I do if I think I have symptoms of COVID-19?

If you have recently traveled to one of the areas (a searchable list of countries is available on the CDC website) with known cases of COVID-19, had recent close contact with someone who has a known case of COVID-19, or live in an area where there is community spread of COVID-19, it is possible you have been exposed to the novel coronavirus.

If you think you may have COVID-19, best practices for recovering and avoiding spreading illness include staying home, separating yourself from others in your home as much as possible, covering your coughs and sneezes, and washing your hands frequently. 

You should consult with a doctor or other qualified medical professional, at first by phone, if your symptoms worsen, or if you have other medical problems.

Note that information and guidance regarding COVID-19 are developing rapidly, and you should continue referring to the CDC website to stay up to date on the latest developments. 

Do I need to get a coronavirus test? How do I get tested?

There is currently a relative shortage of coronavirus tests in the US, and testing is being done through healthcare professionals. 

The CDC currently advises people to remember that treatment for COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 is the same regardless of testing, and people who have mild illness and are otherwise healthy may be able to isolate and safely take care themselves at home.

Information regarding testing is subject to change quickly as more tests are developed and access to testing is increased.

What should I do if I don’t have any symptoms, but I think I might have been exposed to novel coronavirus?

If you have been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, or if you recently traveled to a high-risk area, it is possible you have been exposed to novel coronavirus according to CDC criteria.

If any of the above is true, but you don’t have any symptoms like fever/chills, dry cough, or difficulty breathing, the CDC recommends separating yourself from other people (quarantine) for 14 days from the last date you were potentially exposed. (14 days is suggested because it is generally considered the longest incubation period for this virus.)

If you live in an area where there is community spread of COVID-19, it is also possible you have been exposed to novel coronavirus. Many of these areas are encouraging or mandating social distancing.

Note that information and guidance regarding COVID-19 are developing rapidly, and you should continue referring to the CDC website to stay up to date on the latest developments. 

What are social distancing, self-quarantine, and isolation?

Social distancing is a form of physical separation from others that means staying away from crowded public places and mass gatherings where you are likely to have close contact with other people, such as malls, movie theaters, sporting events, and others. It also includes keeping distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from other people whenever possible. Social distancing applies to people without symptoms, or those who have mild symptoms but no COVID-19 risk factors.

Self-quarantine is also a form of physical separation from others and applies to people without symptoms who have been exposed to COVID-19 (either by travel to a high-risk area or by close contact with someone who has COVID-19). In comparison with social distancing, people who are self-quarantining should stay at home for 14 days and monitor for symptoms.

Isolation is a form of physical separation from others that applies to people with symptoms who are thought to be potentially infectious.

See the CDC website for more info.

I am worried about being alone during this time. What can I do to help my mental health?

It goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic is a very stressful and uncertain situation, and it is perfectly valid for anyone to feel afraid and anxious. 

People who are especially vulnerable include older people, children and adolescents, healthcare workers and first responders, people with baseline chronic medical conditions, and people with baseline mental health conditions including substance use and abuse.

While the CDC and others use the term “social distancing”, what it really means is physical distancing. Because many of us have the tools to interact with each other virtually, we can and should take full advantage of them to stay connected.

Some things you can do to support your mental health include:
– Take breaks from social media and news. Hearing about the pandemic constantly can increase anxiety.
– Take care of your body:
– Try deep breathing, stretching, or meditation.
– Do your best to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
– Exercise regularly as you are able.
– Get plenty of sleep.
– Try to avoid using recreational drugs or excessive alcohol as coping mechanisms.
– Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
– Connect with other people and talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling. 

If you or someone you know is feeling overwhelmed with anxiety or depression and feel like you might hurt yourself or others, call 911. Alternative resources include: 
Disaster Distress Helpline
– TTY 1-800-846-8517
– Text TalkWithUs to 66746 
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) 
1-800-273-TALK (8255)
– TTY 1-800-799-4889
– Text HELLO to 741741

See the CDC website for more info.

How does novel coronavirus spread? How can I minimize the risk of getting an infection or spreading infection to other people?

Novel coronavirus is spread from person to person through respiratory droplets (from coughing, sneezing, or touching). The likelihood that a person will become infected with any virus after exposure is different for all viruses and is a spectrum. Novel coronavirus appears to be relatively easily spread from person to person. The CDC recommends the following best practices to help minimize the chances of spreading respiratory infections:
– Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
– Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
– If you are sick, stay home.
– If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, then throw the tissue away and wash your hands.
– Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaning spray or cleaning wipe.
– Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask:
– CDC does not recommend that people who have no symptoms wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
– People who show symptoms of COVID-19 should wear facemasks, in order to help prevent spreading the disease to others. Healthcare workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (like at home or in a health care facility) should also wear facemasks.
– Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (one tip is to wash for the duration of singing the song “Happy Birthday” twice), especially after:
– Using the bathroom
– Before eating
– After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
– If you’re not near a sink with soap and water, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be used. Always wash with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.

Can my pets get infected or infect me?

Although novel coronavirus appears to have come from an animal source initially, the CDC states that “there is no reason to think that any animals including pets in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus.” Animals do sometimes spread other diseases to people, so washing your hands after being around animals is recommended in general.

I’m an employer. Should I tell my employees to stay home?

The CDC currently recommends the following to assess risk for COVID-19:
– Sick employees should be actively encouraged to stay home
– Employees who appear to have symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) or develop symptoms at work should be separated from other employees and sent home immediately
– Employers should emphasize staying home when sick, as well as etiquette for coughing/sneezing and handwashing by all employees
– Routine environmental cleaning of frequently-touched surfaces like workstations, countertops, and doorknobs
– Employees who are planning to travel should be advised to check the latest travel information from the CDC and check for symptoms of respiratory illness before traveling

Additionally, risk assessments should be based on the above, not on race or country of origin.

Is it safe to visit someone in the hospital, or to take a friend to their doctor’s office?

You should use precautions when visiting people who are in the hospital or need to see a doctor for other reasons than a respiratory infection or respiratory symptoms. In general, it is a good idea to practice etiquette for coughing/sneezing and hand hygiene.

For some people who are hospitalized for respiratory infections, special precautions may be required.

Keep in mind this is subject to change quickly, and that some areas of the US are now strongly encouraging or mandating restrictions on non-essential travel. 

Does wearing a mask or gloves protect me or those around me from getting infected with novel coronavirus?

On April 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their recommendation regarding wearing face coverings in public. Citing that many cases of COVID-19 may be asymptomatic, the CDC now recommends people wear cloth face coverings in settings where social distancing is difficult (e.g. crowded areas). Wearing a face covering helps prevent you from spreading the virus to others, in case you happen to be infected but do not know it. The CDC still does not recommend the use of surgical masks (face masks) or N-95 respirators by the general public, stating that these should be reserved for healthcare workers and first responders.

For people in a community setting, wearing gloves is not more effective than practicing good hand hygiene (wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds).

See the CDC website for more info.

Is there a treatment, vaccine, or cure for COVID-19?

There is no cure or specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19. The best way to manage COVID-19 currently (and other infections that don’t have a cure) is to treat the symptoms.

For mild symptoms, this usually involves rest, fluids, and medications to help with fever and cough as needed. 
Currently, there is no vaccine available to prevent COVID-19, and the best way to prevent exposure and illness is by using the techniques above.

This is subject to change, as specific antiviral treatments and new use of existing medications are currently under investigation as potential treatments, as well as vaccines.

People with severe symptoms (lots of trouble breathing, very high fever, inability to stay hydrated by drinking fluids by mouth) need hospitalization and potentially intensive care regardless of the cause of their illness.

About Ro’s Coronavirus Telehealth Assessment

What is Ro’s Coronavirus Telehealth Assessment?

Ro has created a free telehealth triage service for people who are seeking guidance and information about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

If an individual thinks they may be experiencing signs or symptoms of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), they complete Ro’s online assessment and, if appropriate, we’ll connect them with a medical provider for a free consultation.

How does it work?

Developed with guidance from infectious disease specialists, Ro’s telehealth assessment collects self-reported health information (e.g., health history, symptoms, travel history, locale, proximity to confirmed cases). Based on that information and using the most up-to-date guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and state/local public health departments, we provide an initial risk assessment.

Those who are symptomatic or have other risk factors (e.g., travel history or proximity to confirmed cases, pre-existing/underlying conditions) will be connected to a licensed medical provider for a free consultation.

During the consultation, the medical provider will collect additional information about the patient’s symptoms and concerns, recommend the proper course of action (which may include self-quarantine), and, if recommended, instruct them to follow up with a local provider for testing and diagnosis. For patients who are recommended to seek in-person care, we will provide them resources to find a local provider so they can get the help they need. We also report suspected cases to the applicable public health authorities, as required, to help inform local and national response efforts.

Individuals who are at low risk of having contracted COVID-19 will be guided to a number of resources at our Coronavirus Resource Hub and will be encouraged to keep monitoring their symptoms. These resources are regularly updated and are based on the latest government guidelines and best practices. Our goal is that these resources will help the public understand this complex virus and help keep themselves, their families, and their communities safe.

Why are you doing this?

We want to do everything we can to provide assistance to people who are concerned about COVID-19. Ro’s telehealth platform is uniquely suited to help in a number of ways:

Unburdening hospitals and clinics.

We have consulted with public health experts who are worried that coronavirus fears will overcrowd and overburden our health system, making it more challenging and costly for people who need in-person or emergency care to find it.

We’re hopeful that Ro’s triage system will reduce strain on providers who are treating higher-risk and sicker patients.

Advising symptomatic patients

We expect that people suffering from the common cold or the flu will be concerned about COVID-19. Initially talking to a remote doctor via telehealth, as the CDC has recommended, can provide comfort and guidance on how to address their symptoms, get healthy, and reduce the spread to others. For those at risk of COVID-19, Ro-affiliated doctors can advise them on appropriate next steps, whether that’s to self-quarantine or seek additional care.

Providing trusted health information.

As more cases are reported, we expect public fears to increase and misinformation to spread. We believe that providing people with easily-accessible, updated information about COVID-19 will help calm their concerns. For people who don’t have an established provider and aren’t sure where to turn, Ro can be an initial entry point into the healthcare system.

Are medical providers diagnosing or testing for COVID-19 on your platform?

No. This is a triage program that will allow people to easily access a risk assessment tool, and if appropriate, a medical provider consultation at no cost. We are not diagnosing or testing for COVID-19.

Does Ro have access to approved COVID-19 tests?

No. Ro is not providing testing for COVID-19.

Will Ro provide consultation to caregivers for those who may be at-risk and unable to use the platform (e.g., elderly, children)?

Caregivers can access a number of resources through Ro’s Coronavirus Resource Hub. These resources are regularly updated and are based on the latest government guidelines and best practices so patients can understand this complex virus and how they can help keep themselves and their families safe.

Will Ro share any of its data with public health officials?

We have the ability to collect and provide relevant and anonymized data to public health officials. We would welcome their advice on the types of data that would aid their efforts. If you are part of an agency or healthcare institution that is responding to the COVID-19 outbreak and think Ro could be helpful in any way, please contact [email protected].

How is my information protected?

We will protect your information using the same safeguards that we use to protect the information of patients who access Ro’s other services. Ro safeguards all patient data in compliance with applicable state and federal laws. We may be required to report suspected cases of COVID-19 to local public health officials in some cases. You can learn more about the data that Ro collects and how it’s used in our privacy policy.

What is the source of the information in Ro’s Coronavirus Resource Hub?

We are updating the information provided in our Coronavirus Resource Hub regularly using the most up-to-date guidelines from CDC, WHO, and state/local, public health departments.

Will Ro be offering services internationally?

Ro’s services are only available in the U.S.

Additional resources