Round-up of COVID-19 Resources & Information

Some of you may not know, but I am a public health researcher for a non-profit research institute and as part of my job I have been tracking different resources, news stories and updates related to COVID-19 so I thought I would compile what I have found, and share them with you all. There is A LOT of information in this post, and I don’t want it to be overwhelming, but I am hoping you can navigate to the information you need and find it helpful.

This is a living document–meaning I will update it as new resources and links are found. Please comment below if you know of any other resources I can include.

First and foremost, I wanted to share as many resources I could so that people that needed help could find it. So I start with a list of resources and links to find ways to get assistance and then it goes into additional information about COVID-19.

  1. Resources for Fact-Checking & Stopping Misinformation
  2. Medical resources
    • COVID-19 testing
    • Affordable & free medical resources
    • Virtual healthcare
  3. List of grocery delivery options
  4. Assistance
    • Financial
    • Housing
    • Food
    • Diaper banks
    • Mental Health, Emotional Support
    • Substance Abuse & Addiction Helplines & Support
    • Domestic Abuse Helpline
  5. Educational resources
    • School district closing information
    • Learning resources & companies offering free educational resources
    • Resources for Teacher and Student Resiliency
  6. Find ways to help
  7. Key Advice & Information from Public Health Agencies
  8. CDC’s latest guidance on masks
    • Mask template
    • Information on fabric options
  9. Check your symptoms
  10. Federal and Local Government updates
    • Tracking latest actions and legislation
  11. Info for Data nerds
    • latest stats, dashboards, and available datasets (grouped by worldwide and USA)
  12. Some Useful Articles Summarizing the Data
  13. Shareable graphics
  14. Symptom tracking apps (US, UK, CA, Japan)

Resources for Fact-Checking & Stopping Misinformation

If you come across something that you question whether it is true, there are a number of resources for you to fact check that information. Also, keep in mind that most people don’t intentionally share false information, so if you see someone post that you know isn’t true, you can link to the debunked claim to help share how you know it isn’t true and to help stop the spread of misinformation.


Medical Resources

COVID-19 Testing

  • Call your nearest health center or health department to discover their availability for COVID-19 screening and testing.
    • According to the CDC “The process and locations for testing vary from place to place. Contact your state, local, tribal, or territorial department for more information, or reach out to a medical provider. State and local public health departments have received tests from CDC while medical providers are getting tests developed by commercial manufacturers.”
    • There is a website that has a list of drive-through testing sites, but that list doesn’t confirm whether the drive-thru site is using an FDA-approved test, so it is best to go through your state’s health department.
  • For a list of State Health Department websites (which can direct you to more information on local testing centers, clinics, or telemedicine): Click here or this website links to many state department’s pages on COVID-19 and provides the COVID-19 hotline (when available)
  • Find a health center near you: Click here
    • “Health centers are an important component of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, your local health center may not currently have COVID-19 testing capability (e.g., access to tests and/or access to adequate personal protective equipment). Health Centers can assess whether a patient needs further testing, which may be done over the phone or using telehealth. Individuals may also receive primary health care services at their local health center at a reduced cost or free of charge depending on their economic status.”

Affordable and Free medical resources

National Association of Free & Charitable ClinicsFind a clinic
Access to Health Care for Immigrants and Their Families For general information: Click here
“Immigrants and their families can continue to seek services at community health centers, regardless of their immigration status, and at a reduced cost or free of charge, depending on their income.”
Some states and localities provide state- or locally-funded health coverage programs for immigrants (table of state programs available here).

Virtual Healthcare

What if you are sick or need other types of medical assistance and you don’t want to go into the doctor? In that case, there are a number of telemedicine and telehealth resources you can check out.
*Telemedicine refers specifically to remote clinical services, while telehealth can refer to remote non-clinical services

Source: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsr1503323
Telehealth policiesFor information on telehealth policies in your state: Click here or Here
Overview of some telemedicine providersThis is an old post (from 2015), but it could help you start to find some local resources in your state (click here).
Telemedicine & Telehealth Service Provider DirectoryThis Telemedicine & Telehealth Service Provider Directory is directed toward providers rather than patients but it may help you find various telemedicine resources near you (and you can search by medical specialty and type of service) (click here)
Telemedicine/Telehealth Resources Limited to only some statesVirtuwell (available in 13 states)
Oncare Minnesota only
Urgentcarekids is virtual urgent care for kids offered in Colorado, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas!
DrSays: available in 32 states

Some of the more well-known, private-pay telehealth providers are in the table below (note that prices, insurance coverage, and what conditions they cover varies)

TeladocEveryday Care: $49 or less
Dermatology: $75 or less
Licensed therapist cost: $90 or less
Psychiatry: $229 or less/first visit and $99 or less/ongoing visits
Medical Experts: no cost
AmwellUrgent Care and Women’s Health: $69 or less
Nutrition visits: $65
Counseling: $99 or less
Psychiatry: $199 initial visit
Cardiology: $99-199
Dermatology: $49-79
Pediatrics: $69-99
Doctor on DemandUrgent care: $75 for a 15 min consultation
Psychology: $129 for a 25 min consultation/$179 for a 50 min consultation
Psychiatry:$299 for initial 45 min consultation/ $129 for 15 min follow-up
MdLiveUrgent care: $varies based on insurance
Counseling: $99
Psychiatry: $259
Dermatology: $69

Grocery Delivery Options

  • Massachusetts Only : Website that shows where to shop & eat safely during Covid-19 (just enter your ZIP and it will show you which places have senior/immunocompromised shopping hours, delivery, social distancing and more). This resource is Awesome–if you know of other cities that have this let me know!: Click here
  • Grocery Delivery (For an amazing overview of these options, including costs and where they are available, click here)
    • Several major grocery stores have their own pick-up and delivery services, including Safeway, Walmart, Kroger, Harris Teeter, Albertsons, Shoprite, HannafordHy-Vee and Aldi. And other grcoery stores near you may have curb side options (like Lunds & Byerlys)
    • Meal kits (there are more in different states)

Find items you need in stock

  • https://www.instok.org/search
    • This new website designed by a sophomore and freshman studying computer science, helps to check inventories of big stores like Target and CVS and tell users where they can find the items they need.

Assistance

Overarching

  • Helpwhenyouneedit.org: search your zip code for local resources, including affordable health clinics, housing, food, heating assistance, etc.
  • If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles County in California, and in Gainesville, Florida, check out the 1degree website (which also lists ways that you can help in those communities as well)

Financial assistance

Financial assistance for individuals and small businessesThe Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides financial assistance for both individuals and small businesses.
Need Help Paying Billsneedhelppayingbills.com
Information on assistance programs, charity organizations, and resources that provide help paying bills, mortgage and debt relief (financial, rent and governmental assistance)
Federal Student Aid InfoCoronavirus and Forbearance Info for Students, Borrowers, and Parents: Click here
Restaurant workers, delivery drivers, and other tipped workersCash assistance available for Restaurant workers, delivery drivers, and other tipped workers who are seeing their income decline due to quarantines or other health concerns: Click here
Bartender Emergency Assistance ProgramBartender Emergency Fund

Housing

Homeless assistanceContact a person in your local community who helps people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. You can filter by state.
Homeless shelter directoryHomeless shelters and services including soup kitchens, rent assistance programs, and resources for the homeless
Homeless VeteransHelp for Homeless Veterans Helpline: 1-877-424-3838 provides 24/7 access to VA’s services for homeless and at-risk Veterans.
Local/national food resourcesTwitter thread of local/national food and housing resources

Food

Food Banks (nationwide)Find a local food bank:
feedingamerica.org
foodpantries.org
Food pantries in NYCFood pantries where you can reserve a time to pick up groceries in NYC: Click here
Food resources in LAPlaces to find free meals, Free Or Heavily Subsidized – Food Delivery Services, and food banks and pantries
Packaged fresh meals in communities that need supportChefs for america is working across America to safely distribute individually packaged fresh meals in communities that need support, for children and families to pick up and take home, as well as delivered to seniors who cannot venture outside. They are now serving tens of thousands of meals daily in New York City, Washington DC, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Newark, Oakland, San Francisco, New Orleans, Miami, Puerto Rico, and USVI

Caring for older adults in need of services

  • BenefitsCheckUp.org – screens seniors for 2500+ benefits programs to help pay for medicine, food, utilities, etc.
  • ElderCare.acl.gov – a hotline to help seniors and caregivers connect to local support services.
  • Meals on Wheels is also delivering food to seniors during COVID-19.

Diapers

  • Locate a Diaper Bank near you that distributes diapers to families in need.

Mental Health, Emotional Support

California “warmline”“A warm line is an alternative to a crisis line that is run by “peers,” generally those who have had their own experiences of trauma that they are willing to speak of and acknowledge)” Free, emotional support line for people with mental health challenges
**If you know of these warmlines in other states please let me know!**
Canada Youth mental health supportIf you are in crisis or require support right away, please choose from one of the crisis options below:
YOUTH: Text WELLNESS to 686868
US and Canada Mental health support (Crisis counselor)Text HOME (or CRISIS, both work) to 741741 from anywhere in the United States or Canada, anytime, about any type of crisis. A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds, all from our secure online platform (it is a free service). The volunteer Crisis Counselor will help you move from a hot moment to a cool moment (you can also go through Facebook Messenger): Click here
Ireland crisis lineText 086 1800 280
UK crisis lineText Shout to 85258
LGBTQ Suicide preventionThe Trevor Project Resources (LGBTQ Suicide prevention): Call (866) 488-7386, Instant Message a counselor on their website, or text “START” to 678678 24/7 (click here for more info)
Trans LifeLineTrans LifeLine is a trans-led organization that connects trans individuals to support, community and a variety of resources. Call (877) 565-8860 24/7
Veteran’s crisis lineVeteran’s Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 is available 24/7 to talk confidentially with veterans in crisis (and their families and friends).
Emotional support and counseling 7 Cups connects you to caring listeners for free emotional support
Also offers fee-for-service online therapy with a licensed mental health professional.
Service/website also offered in Spanish
Peer-to-peer online support community18percent is a free online Slack community for anyone living with a mental health issue
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – Information packetNAMI (the nation’s largest grassroots mental
health organization with 600 state organizations and affiliates across the nation) created a document that outlines a variety of COVID-19 resources (including links to online communities and other mental health resources).

Substance Abuse & Addiction Helplines

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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Hotline1-800-662-4357 for confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental health and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.
Resources for Parents, Families, and CaregiversProvides free and confidential mobile (phone- and text-based) education and support for family members struggling with a loved one’s addiction as well as links to other virtual resources.
Text a Message to 55753
Send an Email
Call 1-855-378-4373
Virtual Recovery MeetingsSAMHSA’s list of resources that can be used to virtually support recovery from mental/substance use disorders . It also provides resources to help local recovery programs create virtual meetings.
This Shatterproof article also lists a number of resources.
More online recovery meetingsUnity Recovery, WeConnect, SOS Recovery, and Alano Club: Offering online recovery support group meetings five times daily, a daily family and loved one recovery support meeting, and weekly LGBTQ+ and Women’s Only recovery meetings

Domestic Abuse Helpline

  • Co-quarantined with an abuser? Worried about having to self-isolate in a dangerous home situation? Reach out to National Domestic Violence Hotline: CALL 1-800-799-7233 or CHAT at http://thehotline.org Someone is available 24/7 to talk confidentially with anyone experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship.

Educational Resources


Ways to Help

I found this Google Doc that was designed “to serve as a resources for people with time, money, and/or a good heart who want to put their energy toward helping — locally, globally, or virtually.  This shared document is live and meant for people to add sources, links, ideas, etc.” It lists a wide variety of ways to donate & volunteer during COVID-19 (and you can contribute to that document!)

Can you sew?

  • Jo-Ann Stores is furnishing free, precut mask-making materials for donations to hospitals (more on that later)
  • Sewing and Craft Alliance has put together a regularly updated database, called WeNeedMasks.org, of institutions requesting supplies.
  • Hospitals need your help making masks from home

Have a 3D printer?

Participate in Mutual Aid Networks

Source: https://www.pjcvt.org/mutual-aid-and-other-resources-related-to-covid-19/

What is a mutual-aid network? Read more here

BritainCOVID-19 Mutual Aid Groups: Click here
USAThis google doc almost has a tab focused on local mutual aid resources: Click here
USAmutualaidhub.org: Find groups you can reach out to directly to get involved, offer resources, or submit needs requests.

Donate

  • You can donate blood to ensure a stable supply throughout this pandemic. The U.S. blood supply is facing unprecedented challenges and shortages. Donor centers have experienced a dramatic reduction in donations because of social distancing and canceled blood drives
  • People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 are encouraged to consider donating plasma, which could potentially help save the lives of other COVID-19 patients. COVID-19 patients develop antibodies (proteins that might help fight the infection) in the blood.
  • Sign the #LeaveNoOneBehind petition and tweet EU leaders urging them to take urgent action to protect refugees in Europe here
  • If you are in a financial position to do so, you should consider making a donation to directly to an organization to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key Advice & Information from Public Health Agencies

CDC (USA)How to protect yourself
Who is at higher risk
State Health Departments (USA)This lists the state’s COVID-19 hotline (when they have one) and links to the state’s health department page on COVID-19
CanadaHealth Canada’s COVID-19 Resource Centre
EUEuropean Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
UKUK COVID-19 Info and link to NHS resources
India Latest updates, and links to helpful videos and other information and resources from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
Urban Indian Health Institute Fact Sheets for Tribes and Urban Indian Communities

Latest Guidance on Masks

  • CDC guidance on face masks (CDC)
    • Discussion on Fabric options (there was a 2013 study looking at different mask fabrics to protect against the flu but more recently some researchers looked at how well various fabrics blocked incoming germs, you can find a summary from a NY times article here and the results are summarized in a graphic below).
      • What is important to keep in mind is that any face covering is better than none, especially if worn by a person who has the virus but doesn’t know it.
https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-homemade-mask-material-DIY-face-mask-ppe.html

Check your symptoms

Remember that COVID takes 3-14 days in general to show up. People generally develop signs and symptoms, including mild respiratory symptoms and fever, on an average of 5.1 days after initial infection. So you may have the virus and not know it for up to 14 days (although 97.5% develop symptoms within 11.5 days). And testing takes even longer in places that don’t have active COVID-19 testing and treatment responses already in place.


Federal & Local Government Updates

Federal

State level

  • United States And Abroad, What Actions States/Territories Have Taken To Address It, And The Latest Efforts By The Federal Government: Click here
  • Database of State/Territorial Resource Pages And Other Select State Actions: Click here
  • More State specific information, like the State COVID websites and hotlines: Click here
  • More State legislation: Click here

Symptom tracking apps

Symptom tracking apps can be very useful because it can help researchers find out where the COVID hot spots are or new symptoms to look out for.

  • US & UK: covid.joinzoe.com
    • This is an app-based study to help find out where the COVID hot spots are, new symptoms to look out for, and might be used as a planning tool to target quarantines, send ventilators and provide real-time data to plan for future outbreaksand a newer one:
  • CA: flatten.ca
  • Japan: coronatracker.com

For Data Nerds

Here are the latest stats, dashboards, and available datasets

First, an article on what you should know about COVID-19 data: Click here.

Worldwide

Johns Hopkins University CCSSE DashboardOne of the key data tracking and visualization resources showing Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering
DomoStay up-to-date with valuable coronavirus (COVID-19) data summarized by confirmed cases, geography, testing and treatment, projections, and economic impact. This one is interactive and really useful. The COVID-19 data is gathered every 10 minutes from credible sources, including WHOCDCJohns Hopkins UniversityWorldometerIHMEThe COVID Tracking ProjectFREDThe New York Times, the Wikipedia compilation of world testing, and data from AWS Data Exchange
coronawiki dashboardCoronavirus dashboard with a variety of stats and graphs regarding the COVID-19 disease outbreak.
Harvard University Health mapCOVID-19 interactive map that visualizes publicly available data
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control Situation dashboardDashboard presents surveillance data from multiple sources
University of Washington Infection MapInteractive map showing confirmed cases, deaths, and number recovered.
IHME COVID-19 projectionsIHME’s COVID-19 projections show demand for hospital services in each state (and for all countries)
worldometerCharts and data related to number of cases, growth factor of cases, recovered and discharged

United States

Impact planning dashboardInfographic-style dashboard with data on COVID-19 cases, local population stats and resources (best viewed on tablet or desktop) that you can tailor to your county (*This is one of my favorites)
CovidActNow.orgShows projections on how COVID is spreading in your area, when hospitals may become overloaded, and what you can do to stop it
Corona Tracking ProjectVolunteer project to collate/aggregate data from 51 public health departments. This is if you want the raw data for your own models or analysis.
Viswanath LabsCommunication and Information Dashboard on Covid-19 for CBOs working with vulnerable groups is now available in Spanish and Hindi.
1Point3acres dashboardUpdated daily with local and regional and national data. This has some additional features that the other datasets don’t have, like job tracking, PPE demands, food availability
NY Times Coronavirus DatasetCounty level data for COVID-19 case in the US
Modeling COVID-19 Spread vs Healthcare Capacity
Interactive visualization of the exponential spread of COVID-19
This visualization is updated daily with the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. The reason I really like it is because you can switch between the logarithmic scale or linear scale AND it shows the data normalized by population
USAfacts.orgMapping the COVID-19 outbreak in the states and counties

Some Useful Articles Summarizing the Data

  • Medium Article “What the US Federal Government and the States Should Do to Fight the Coronavirus”: Click here
  • Washington post article with an excellent visual example of why physical distancing works.
  • PEW research on how it is critical to understand how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting people differently, including indicators of mental health/distress.
  • For a massive amount of evidence-based information for healthcare professionals and researchers: Click here
    • LitCovid is a curated literature hub for tracking up-to-date scientific information about the 2019 novel Coronavirus. 

Graphics to share

List of CDC shareable resources (click here)

World Health Organization Myth Busting Graphics: Click here

Advice for public (in infographic form) (WHO)

Source: https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/how-you-can-make-difference-during-coronavirus-pandemic
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Research published in Feb in the Journal of Hospital Infection analyzed several dozen previously published papers on human coronavirus. Although it did not include the virus that causes COVID-19, it may provide a better idea of how this pathogen can survive outside the body.
The experience of a “super spreader” in South Korea demonstrated the importance of adhering of social-distancing strategies. The South Korean government had contained the COVID-19 cases to just 30; however the 31st patient refused to practice social distancing. She attended chruch, ate at a communal buffet, and continued her daily routine. AS a result, thousands of confirmed cases were in clusters linked to patient 31.

Source: https://woodburymag.com/woodbury-coronavirus-resource-guide
Source: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/mar/17/people-need-to-be-supportive-finding-community-online-in-the-coronavirus-crisis