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Coronavirus: What You Need to Know​

March 16, 2020

Updated March 24, 2020

Community First Health Plans is actively monitoring the current Coronavirus Disease and the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in addition to, the World Health Organization. 

Community First Health Plans will continue to update our Members and Providers as more information becomes available, in addition to updated guidance.

Six practical COVID-19 prevention tips:

The best way to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to this virus, which are similar to the precautions you take to avoid the flu. CDC always recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  3. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  4. Stay home when you are sick.
  5. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

What to know about COVID-19 testing:

  1. If you are feeling sick, call your primary care physician’s office before going in.
  2. If you do not have a primary care physician, visit any urgent care or walk-in clinic in the community, but remember to call ahead before your visit.
  3. Community physicians and other clinical providers have access to CDC protocols to determine whether or not patients qualify for COVID-19 testing.
  4. Local testing for COVID-19 is currently available only by sending samples to the CDC, in coordination with Metro Health and the CDC.
  5. People who do not have CDC-defined symptoms and exposure history will not be offered testing for COVID-19.
  6. If you need additional information call the Metro Health hotline at 210-207-5779. (Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.).

The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District has opened a COVID-19 hotline for residents to ask questions about the virus. The hotline is available in English and Spanish.

Currently there are no community cases in Bexar County or the City of San Antonio. The only confirmed cases are individuals who were brought to Lackland Air Force base under a federally mandated quarantine, and those individuals have been in isolation for treatment. Therefore, the risk of infection remains low.

Visit the following pages for more resources and guidance on how to stay healthy.

Grocery Shopping Reminder

  1. Product limits are effective and work to help stabilize product availability.
  2. In the case of any government shutdown scenario, grocery stores will stay open. There is NO need to stockpile. The government will not shut down grocery stores.
  3. This is not a water emergency. There is no need to stockpile water. Our state and county water system are plentiful. Stop buying up bottled water so that H-E-B can use their trucks to get other items that families need.

Please be mindful of your purchases.

H-E-B Senior Support Line

H-E-B and Favor will staff its Senior Support phone line with volunteers from both companies to accept and process orders over the phone from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The service will be available to Texans starting Friday, March 20. To access the Senior Support Line, call 1-833-397-0080.

CPS Energy, SAWS, SAHA

CPS Energy and SAWS will be temporarily halting disconnections due to non-payment during this crisis. The San Antonio Housing Authority will be implementing certain policies at this time as well, including a moratorium on evictions.

VIA Metropolitan Transit

VIA will implement a system wide fare relief period for all VIA fixed-route bus service, VIAtrans trips, and VIA Link on-demand services, beginning Saturday, March 21, 2020. All fares will be suspended through 1 a.m. on April 1. For more information and the latest updates visit VIA's COVID-19 page.

Health Insurance

The Texas Department of Insurance has instructed health insurers and health managing organizations to waive costs associated with COVID-19. For more information, click here.

For individuals without insurance, free testing will be available and provided by public health laboratories in consultation with health departments. To find a provider or low-cost provider, please call 211.