PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – If you start to show any of the symptoms of COVID-19, doctors want you to call before going to the office or hospital.

There has been a huge rise the number of tele-doctor visits, and now Oregon Health & Science University has a new service to help patients.

The Andrew and Corey Morris-Singer Foundation donated $1.6 million to OHSU to help set up a new hotline and telemedicine service. They hope it will help prevent primary care visits and keep urgent care centers and emergency rooms from becoming overcrowded with patients who can be helped over the phone.

Veterinarians around the Portland metro area are using it to treat pets, too.

“Clients can come to the clinic and we do curbside service, basically where we go out, we pick up the pet, bring them in, do what we need to do, and then all communications over phone or video,” Conny Wagner, owner of Hawthorne Veterinary Clinic, said.

Wagner says she’s now seeing more animals over Facetime and Skype than she is in person.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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