Links & Resources
The following information can help you keep up to date on the latest local, regional and national coronavirus news. Staying informed can help all of us by slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Need Health Insurance? Sign up here
D.C. residents without insurance can get coverage during the coronavirus pandemic through DC Health Link whose special enrollment period runs through January 31, 2021. For more information or to enroll, visit the DC Health Link.
Maryland residents may obtain Individual coverage through the Maryland Health Connection until December 15, 2020, which is the traditional opening date of the following plan year’s enrollment period.
Virginia residents who have lost coverage since January 1, 2020 may use this life event to enroll in coverage at Healthcare.gov. Applicants may need to provide proof of their loss of insurance coverage and the date that coverage ended.
The coronavirus has put a great deal of stress on everyone. People with mental health issues feel this stress more than the rest of us. Not being able to see other people or stick to familiar routines only makes things worse. But there are some easy steps we can take to ease the pressure.
Get plenty of sleep, eat well and exercise regularly. These three things can improve our thinking and our emotions. But no matter what you do, having a plan for dealing with the extra stress of coronavirus is very important.
Here are a few resources to help get you started:
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – this site includes a Coronavirus Information and Resources Guide, as well as tips for people with mental illness.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – this site provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, as well as prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – this site provides a disaster distress line to help people deal with the emotional effects of major disasters.
- A list of providers in the CareFirst region (Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia) who specialize in behavioral health support that you may contact directly. Note: there are tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet for locations.
- Log in to the Sharecare app for guided meditation and other stress management tools.
Getting Tested for COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and contact your doctor for guidance. Testing for COVID-19 may not be appropriate for everyone, and only your healthcare provider (doctor) can order the testing.
Testing availability will expand as more testing supplies become available. For more information about COVID-19 testing, visit the Maryland Department of Health’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions About Testing.
Listen to Your Local Government
Members in Maryland, Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and West Virginia can check their government’s website for updates more specific to their community.
Resources for School Children
Mandatory school closings can challenge working parents and guardians. Additionally, many school children depend on school for meals.
For MD, DC and VA education and school-provided meal information, visit this page.
What is Social Distancing and How Can it Help?
According to Johns Hopkins University, social distancing is a public health practice that aims to prevent sick people from coming in close contact with healthy people in order to reduce opportunities for disease transmission.
Want to Help Spread the Word?
Here are some resources you can share with friends and family. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to protect yourself and the people you love.
Proper handwashing can keep you safe and covering your cough can keep others safe. Learn more here:
- Wash Your Hands Poster
- Cover Your Cough Poster (English)
- Cover Your Cough Poster (Spanish)
- Stop the Spread of Disease Poster (English)
- Stop the Spread of Disease Poster (Spanish)
- Stop the Spread of Disease Poster (Chinese)
Healthcare Terms and Definitions
There are a lot of medical and health insurance definitions flying around these days. If you’d like to double check the meaning of a term, check our online glossary.
Follow the Centers for Disease Control
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the leading national public health institute of the United States. They are the number one resource for any and all coronavirus-related news. Visit their website and social media pages frequently to stay informed.