COVID-19 101

During the COVID-19 pandemic, UCare is here to help you understand what you need to do to stay safe and get the care you need.

Get tested

Find a testing location near you.

Learn more

Get vaccinated

UCare covers COVID-19 vaccinations. Get the latest information, including availability and safety.

Learn more

Get your COVID-19 101 booklet

Image of UCare COVID-19 1010 Booklet


I will

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Wash my hands often

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Cover my cough

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 Follow government and medical expert guidance on mask wearing and social distancing

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Stay home and isolate when
• I feel sick or have symptoms
• I've had contact with someone with COVID-19

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Get the COVID-19 vaccine when eligible

If you have one or more of the following symptoms, you might have COVID-19. It is important to go get tested if you have symptoms.

  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Get tested as soon as possible. Call your clinic or find a testing location near you on the Minnesota Department of Health website.

If you test positive for COVID-19, it is important to care for yourself, while also protecting your family and your community.

If you need emergency medical attention any time during the isolation period, call 911 and let them know you have been diagnosed with COVID-19. If you need to go to a clinic or hospital, do not use public transportation, taxis or ride-sharing services. For members who use UCare Health Ride, please call 1-800-864-2157 (TTY 1-800-688-8534), and we can arrange a safe ride for you.

Monitor your symptoms

Take your temperature regularly and pay close attention to any changes in your symptoms. Call your doctor or clinic with any concerns.
Download the UCare COVID-19 symptom tracker

Use a pulse oximeter

photo of pulse oximeter

Ask your doctor or clinic for a pulse oximeter or purchase one at your pharmacy to monitor your blood oxygen level at home. Ask your doctor how best to use the pulse oximeter and what to do in case of low blood oxygen.

All UCare health plans cover pulse oximeters ordered by a doctor, and some plans also cover oximeters purchased over the counter. If you have questions, call the Customer Service number on the back of your UCare member ID card.

Get medical care if you have difficulty breathing

If you feel short of breath or have difficulty breathing, call your doctor or clinic. If these symptoms are severe, call 911, and let them know you have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

If you need to go to a clinic or hospital, do not use public transportation, taxis or ride-sharing services. For members who use UCare Health Ride, please call 1-800-864-2157 (TTY 1-800-688-8534), and we can arrange a safe ride for you.

Get plenty of rest

You may feel more tired than usual. Sleep and rest as much as you can.

Drink lots of fluids

Staying hydrated when you are sick helps your body heal. Focus on drinking water and other caffeine-free and alcohol-free liquids.

Maintain a healthy diet

Make sure you are eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and healthy sources of protein, carbohydrates and fats.

Get follow-up care

If your doctor gave you instructions to follow after your visit or hospital stay, be sure to follow them. If you continue to have symptoms, set up a telehealth or office visit with your doctor.

Isolate yourself

Stay in a separate room or isolate as much as you can. Use a separate bathroom if possible. Talk to your doctor about how long you will need to isolate yourself.

Wear a mask

When you cannot isolate from the people you live with, wear a mask. Make sure everyone you live with wears a mask as well.

Avoid sharing household items

Do not share food, dishes, utensils, towels, bedding or other household items with other people in your home. After using items, wash them yourself using soap and water.

Wash your hands often

Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.

Clean shared surfaces

Clean frequently touched surfaces - like countertops, doorknobs, light switches and faucets - regularly with disinfectant cleaner.

Get Vaccinated

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, wait to be vaccinated until you recover and have met the criteria for discontinuing isolation. If you do not have symptoms, wait until you meet the criteria for discontinuing isolation before getting vaccinated. This guidance also applies if you get COVID-19 before getting your second dose of vaccine.

Stay home

Do not go to work, school or anywhere outside your home. Stay home until all three of the following are true:

  1. You feel better. Your cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms are better

  2. It has been 10 days since you started feeling sick

  3. You have not had a fever and have not taken medication that lowers fever within the last 24 hours

Wear a mask

If you need to leave your home or answer the door, wear a mask.

Keep your distance

If you need to leave your home, be sure to keep six feet between yourself and other people.

Do not use public transportation

Do not use public transportation, ride-sharing (such as Uber or Lyft) or taxis if you need to go to a clinic or hospital.

For members who use UCare Health Ride, please call 1-800-864-2157 (TTY 1-800-688-8534), and we can arrange a safe ride for you.


Throughout the pandemic UCare has provided enhanced coverage for our members, and we will continue to do so through 2021. For all members, we continue to fully cover COVID-19 testing services without cost sharing during the federal and state health emergencies. We will also continue to waive cost share for COVID-19 observation or inpatient hospitalization for all members through December 31, 2021. COVID-19 vaccines are covered without charge for members through 20211.

COVID-19: What's covered?

We’re helping to contain the spread of the virus by removing barriers to testing and care. As the COVID-19 situation changes, we’ll adjust our policies and coverage as best we can to protect our members and the community.

Your UCare plan will cover:

  • Vaccines: For all members, copays, coinsurance or deductibles for FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines, including vaccine administration both in-network and out-of-network. (Note for Medicare members: Bring your UCare member ID card and red, white and blue Medicare card. Unlike most of your UCare benefits, Medicare is covering COVID vaccines directly.) Learn more
  • Tests: Copays, coinsurance or deductibles for doctor-ordered COVID-19 tests for UCare members. To find a testing location near you, call your clinic or visit the Minnesota Department of Health website. (CAUTION: Members of Medical Assistance should not pay out of pocket for COVID-19 tests because UCare is not allowed to reimburse this payment. If asked to pay for a test, tell the testing provider to bill UCare.)
  • Services: For all members, copays, coinsurance or deductibles for in-network clinic, urgent care, emergency room visit and certain other related services when you receive a COVID-19 test.
  • Hospital services: Copays, coinsurance and deductibles when you receive in-network observation and inpatient hospital services to treat COVID-19 through December 31, 2021.
  • International coverage: Vaccines, tests and services provided outside of the country are not covered. (EXCEPTION: For UCare Medicare Advantage plans, COVID-19 testing is covered if done as part of emergency or urgently needed care.)
  • Medications: We will cover a 90-day supply of maintenance medications (except for controlled substances or specialty drugs for Medical Assistance members). Medicare and Individual & Family Plan members can also get early refills. To reduce exposure to the virus, we encourage you to use Express Scripts mail order services, home delivery services from your retail pharmacy if available, or delivery through CVS or Walgreens.
  • Supplies: Medicare plan members can use their Healthy Savings over-the-counter benefit to purchase preventive care items such as masks, gloves and hand sanitizers at participating stores. All UCare members can call the Customer Service number on the back of your member ID card to request no-cost masks, thermometers, hand sanitizers and pill boxes.
  • Wages and non-health care costs: UCare cannot cover lost wages or non-health care costs you may experience as a result of COVID-19.

How to connect with us during COVID-19

UCare is working closely with state leaders and public health authorities to keep our members, employees and communities safe. To protect against the spread of the virus, we’ve closed our doors for now. Although we can’t meet with you face to face, you can still reach us by phone and online.

UCare members

Call the number on the back of your UCare member identification (ID) card if you have questions about your plan or coverage.

For questions about COVID-19 or to get help scheduling a vaccine appointment, call the UCare COVID-19 vaccine hotline at 1-833-951-3189 (TTY 1-800-688-2534).

1: Source: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) (Pub. L. 116-127)

COVID-19 resources

COVID-19 facts

Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Resources

Get your COVID-19 questions answered. Find COVID-19 testing locations, Minnesota COVID-19 resources and up-to-date information.
TTY 711
9 am – 4 pm, Monday – Friday
Learn more

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 information

Get the most current facts and guidance on COVID-19 prevention, care and vaccines.
Learn more


Minnesota Black Community COVID-19 Hotline

Fully staffed hotline to support Minnesota’s African American community through the pandemic with COVID-19 information, testing sites, resources to support food insecurity, physical and mental health, employment, housing, childcare, legal rights and other issues stemming from the pandemic.
TTY 711
Learn more

Minnesota Department of Health COVID Community Coordinator Search Tool

This tool helps you identify organizations in your community by culture, language and county.
Learn more

UCare support for community resources

UCare can help members find resources within their community, such as food services, financial assistance and housing support.
TTY 1-800-688-2534

Mental Health

UCare Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Triage Line

For crisis support or ongoing help to manage a mental health or substance use condition at no extra cost to you.
612-676-6533 or 1-833-276-1185
TTY 1-800-688-2534
8 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday
Learn more

Mental Health Minnesota

No-cost, confidential, anonymous support from a mental health professional.
TTY 711
Learn more

Additional UCare support

Do you need home COVID-19 prevention resources?
UCare provides no-cost resources to support UCare members during this pandemic. Call UCare Customer Service at the number on the back of your UCare member ID card if you need masks, thermometers, hand sanitizers or pill boxes.

UCare COVID-19 vaccine hotline

Get help finding a COVID-19 vaccine appointment if available, signing up for the Minnesota Department of Health Vaccine Connector and finding answers to your questions and concerns about the vaccine.
TTY 1-800-688-2534

UCare 24/7 Nurse Line

TTY 1-855-307-6976

UCare pregnancy advisor nurse line

Nurses can offer expert advice, support, answers to your pregnancy questions and referrals to additional resources over the phone.
TTY 1-800-688-2534
9 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday

UCare Health Ride

No-cost transportation to and from COVID-19 testing, COVID-19 vaccines and medical, dental and pharmacy visits. (only available for certain plans)
TTY 1-800-688-2534
8 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday
Learn more

COVID-19 resources in other languages


Enfermedad del coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)


Cudurka Koronafayras 2019 (COVID-19)


Kab Mob Khaus Las Nas Vais Lav 2019 (COVID-19)

American Sign Language (ASL)

American Sign Language (ASL) Videos for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Response


Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Minnesota Department of Health

H2456_10275_072021 approved
U10275 07/2021