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Treatment for COVID-19 and Long COVID

Learn about the options available to treat COVID-19, including long-term symptoms or long COVID.

Treatment

The Food and Drug Administration has authorized two oral medications to treat people who are at high risk of severe COVID-19. Paxlovid and Molnupiravir come in pill form and must be taken within a few days of your symptoms starting. The medications may reduce the severity of illness and your chances of hospitalization and death.   

There are a few options for getting these medications:

  • Talk to your health care provider: Many health systems and providers have their own supply of these medications or can write a prescription and direct you to a pharmacy to fill the prescription. Health systems may also have supplies of injectable and IV treatment medications. 
  • Access free treatment: Oregon Health Authority has partnered with Color Health to offer free telehealth visits for those at increased risk for severe COVID illness. This service is available in 16 languages. To find out if you are eligible, call 833-273-6330 or take this survey.
  • Find a Test to Treat location: The federal government's Test to Treat website allows you to search by zip code for pharmacies and clinics that will test and give you the antiviral medication at the same location. It also allows you to search for pharmacies where your doctor can send your prescription to be filled. Read the OHA story to learn more about who qualifies for treatment and how to use the website.
    • Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center has opened a new COVID-19 clinic that offers Test to Treat. The clinic is located at 232 SE 7th Avenue in Hillsboro. Hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Appointments are encouraged.
  • Find a health clinic: This website allows you to search by zip code for federally funded health clinics that may be able to provide the antiviral medications. You will need to call the clinic or visit the clinic website to find out if they have the antiviral medications.  

The medication should be free, but you may have to pay for a test, office visit or drug administration fee. Make sure to ask your insurance provider about what is covered. If you don't have insurance, ask the provider, health clinic or pharmacy where you are being treated.

If you are at high risk of COVID-19 complications, talk to your health care provider before you get sick so you have a plan to get treatment quickly. You may be eligible for other medications in addition to the antiviral treatments mentioned above.  

See the OHA treatment page for more information. 

See the CDC treatment page for more information. 

Treatment for long-term symptoms or long COVID

What is long COVID?

If you are experiencing new or recurring symptoms four or more weeks after being infected with COVID-19, you could have a condition called long COVID. Other names for this condition include post-COVID conditions, chronic COVID or long-haul COVID. 

The CDC estimates that 10-30% of people who get COVID-19 may experience lasting symptoms that can range from being bothersome to interfering with daily activities. In some cases COVID-19 can lead to serious health problems.    

  • Symptoms vary widely, but some of the most common are fatigue, brain fog, headaches, fevers, shortness of breath, and anxiety or depression.  
  • You may experience more than one symptom, and symptoms may get worse with increased mental or physical activity.  
  • You could also experience long-term heart, lung and neurological problems. 

Read this American Medical Association story to find out what doctors want patients to know about long COVID. 

What should I do if I have persisting symptoms?

If you have symptoms that last for longer than four weeks, or if you develop new symptoms after four weeks, talk to your health care provider. You may have long COVID, but you could also have a new condition unrelated to COVID, so it’s important to consult a health care professional. Here are helpful tips on how to prepare for your appointment.  

Several health providers have long COVID clinics, including OHSU, Providence and Kaiser Permanente. Contact your provider to see if they have a long COVID clinic or other resources. If you don’t have a provider, call the Washington County Health Care Resource Line at 503-846-8851.  

Can I qualify for disability benefits?  

Long COVID is recognized as a qualifying condition under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  

If your symptoms limit one or more of your daily activities — like caring for yourself, performing tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, speaking, breathing, working concentrating, thinking and learning — you may qualify for benefits. See this U.S. Health and Human Services page for more information.  

Read this OHA story to learn more about seeking ADA accommodations at work

What else should I know about long COVID?  

We still have a lot to learn about long COVID. This CDC page provides guidance about how to cope with the stress of the condition, how to care for someone with long COVID, how to enroll in research and how to get involved in a support group. 

See this list of support groups and resources compiled by an Oregon clinical social worker who has long COVID:

Long COVID Resources (PDF 154.8 KB)