When Covid-19 began spreading in the United States, Emory Healthcare was prepared in one way other health systems were not: A decade earlier — in response to the 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak — it had built an online symptom checker that could be quickly adjusted to screen patients for the new respiratory illness. The tool was launched on March 20, and in less than three weeks, more than 300,000 screenings had been completed, including many thousands in early hotspots such as California (18,500) and New York (17,000), according to data Emory provided to STAT. In nearly 22 percent of cases, patients reported signs of severe illness and were directed to seek emergency care.

 

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