Virtual consults have replaced in-person visits for many home-isolated patients with COVID-19 disease.
To describe the natural history, clinical management and outcomes of community-dwelling patients with COVID-19, who received support from a family medicine-led, virtual CovidCare@Home program in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Observational, descriptive study conducted by retrospective chart review of 98 patients enrolled during the first 5 weeks of program implementation (8 April-11 May 2020); 73 patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, with symptom onset ≤ 14 days before initial consult were included for analysis. Patients were classified as mild, moderate or severe based on WHO Criteria.
All patients in the program experienced mild (88%) or moderate (12.3%) disease. No patients were hospitalized or died. Patients were mainly female (70%); with mean age of 43.3 years. Most patients (82.2%) worked in higher risk, healthcare settings. Almost 40% had no medical co-morbidities. Common symptoms were cough (65.8%), fatigue (60.3%), headache (42.5%) and myalgia (39.7%), followed by fever (32.9%), sore throat (21.9%), nasal congestion (21.9%) and rhinorrhea (20.5%). Headache (51%) and anosmia (45.1%) were common among females; fever and breathlessness among males (40.9%). Nine patients (12.3%) experienced worsening of symptoms (mainly respiratory) or exacerbation of co-morbidities, which required care outside the virtual service.
Patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 disease can be managed safely and effectively in a family medicine-led virtual program. Some sex differences in symptoms were observed. Future work should focus on long-term follow up in view of the existence of so-called ‘long-haulers’.

© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press.
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