New York officials on Monday launched a hotline meant to aid and provide telemedicine services to state residents who do not have a health care provider but are in need of COVID-related treatments. 

The 24-hour hotline, announced by Gov. Kathy Hochul's office, comes as COVID cases are once again rising in parts of New York, but also as more treatments are available to help speed recovery time and avoid hospitalization for patients. 

Oral antiviral medications like Paxlovid or Molnupiravir are only available through a prescription. 

New Yorkers who live outside of New York City can call 888-TREAT-NY (888-873-2869) or complete an evaluation at the state's COVID-19 ExpressCare Therapeutics Access website. New York City residents should call 212-COVID-19.

The telemedicine visit includes a clinical assessment by medical providers who can identify appropriate treatment plans for COVID.

"We've made real progress in our fight against COVID-19, but as new variants continue to spread it's important to continue to adapt and expand our efforts to protect New Yorkers," Hochul said. "Our new COVID-19 treatment hotline will provide New Yorkers with better access to early treatments that help prevent severe illness."

The hotline was launched following an agreement between the state Department of Health and NYC Health + Hospitals to use the Virtual ExpressCare platform. 

"Every New Yorker should have access to the latest COVID-19 therapeutics regardless of whether they have a regular health care provider," Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said. "Thanks to the Department's agreement with NYC Health + Hospitals, our new COVID-19 treatment hotline at 888-TREAT-NY is another tool to reduce the barriers to treatment and will help ensure traditionally underserved communities have access to the same care as other New Yorkers."  

Hochul's office on Monday reported New York state's overall COVID case count stands at 23.85 per 100,000 residents. There are now 2,266 people who are hospitalized with COVID, though 60% of those patients were admitted for a reason other than the virus.