Health Commissioner Alerts Providers About COVID-19 Treatment

Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan advises healthcare providers to inform patients about treatment and offer treatment to any eligible patient who tests positive for COVID-19

Preventive treatment is available for people who are immunocompromised or unable to be vaccinated

April 5, 2022 — Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan today alerted New York City health care providers about available treatments for COVID-19, including the oral antiviral Paxlovid, which can reduce the risk of hospitalization and death by up to 88% when taken within 5 days of symptoms starting.

"The tools we have available to prevent the worst outcomes of COVID-19 are better than they have been at any other point in the pandemic, but they’re only effective if providers know to use them, and how to access them for their patients," said Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. "We are raising awareness in the medical community that treatments save lives, and there are ready options for you and your patients who test positive for COVID-19."

The advisory states that every patient 12 and older, weighing at least 88 pounds, experiencing mild to moderate symptoms, and with at least one factor placing them at high risk for progression to severe disease should be offered treatment.

People at increased risk for severe COVID-19 should be informed about the availability of treatments. They should also get tested immediately if they develop symptoms or were recently exposed to someone with COVID-19 and seek treatment immediately if they test positive — including on a home-based test.

Treatments can improve symptoms and lower the risk of hospitalization and death. They work best when given as soon as possible after symptom onset.

The advisory also informs providers of the availability of Evusheld (PDF) preventative treatment for patients who are immunocompromised and may not sufficiently respond to the vaccines and for patients allergic to the vaccines. Evusheld is not a substitute for vaccination in people who can be vaccinated.

Oral antivirals Paxlovid (PDF) and molnupiravir (PDF) should be administered within five days of symptom onset. Paxlovid is the preferred treatment option for most high-risk patients with mild to moderate COVID-19, based on National Institutes of Health COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines. Oral antivirals are available by prescription at several pharmacies in New York City, including Test to Treat locations that can test and prescribe treatment in one location.

The Health Department has partnered with Alto Pharmacy to enable same day or next day delivery to patients at no cost. Alto Pharmacy will also deliver Evusheld to providers offices for administration to their patients.

Monoclonal antibody treatment can be provided intravenously within seven days of symptom onset. Treatment locations can be found at

If you have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19, talk to your health care provider or call 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319).

Read the full advisory here (PDF).



MEDIA CONTACT: Patrick Gallahue / Michael Lanza: