What to Do if You Get Sick During the Holidays


It's a common question: What do I do if I get sick during the holidays?

Most holiday gatherings mean loved ones sitting elbow-to-elbow, eating and drinking together. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day all fall within prime flu season, when it can already be difficult to avoid getting sick. So, of course, people get sick more during the holiday season, making this time of year a busy time for hospitals and urgent care centers.

It's never a good idea to delay care or wait in a crowded emergency room for non-emergency care. However, your own doctor might not work holidays. This means you may have to take a different approach to getting a doctor's care on a federal holiday: virtual care.

BJC virtual care holiday hours

You don’t have to suffer through an illness that strikes on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s or any other holiday. Telehealth, or telemedicine, is a new, convenient and affordable way to see a provider for a treatment plan and a prescription, if necessary.

BJC’s virtual online doctors and nurse practitioners are ready to see new and existing patients every day, even weekends. You do not need to have a current BJC primary care provider or specialist to schedule a virtual care appointment.

Schedule Virtual Care

When should I schedule a virtual visit?

Online care is available year-round, but it’s especially useful on holidays or weekends, when you may need quicker care, can’t get an appointment with your primary care provider or simply don’t want to wait in long lines at an urgent care or an emergency room.

While your primary care doctor’s office may be closed on the holidays below, virtual care will be OPEN 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for patients age 12 and up.

  • New Year’s Eve

  • New Year’s Day

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day

  • Easter

  • Memorial Day

  • Independence Day

  • Columbus Day

  • Labor Day

  • Thanksgiving

  • Christmas Eve

  • Christmas Day

What can I be treated for in a virtual visit?

Virtual visits are appropriate for minor illnesses and injuries that don’t require emergency treatment* such as:

  • Earaches

  • Sinus infection

  • Sore throat

  • Nasal congestion

  • Rashes

  • Burns

  • Minor cuts

  • Urinary tract infections

  • Gynecological concerns

  • Cold and flu

  • Upper respiratory infection

  • COVID testing

*If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency such as chest pain, an injury with heavy bleeding or a possible stroke, call an ambulance or go immediately to your nearest emergency room for medical attention.

What to expect during a virtual care visit

A virtual care visit allows you to connect with a doctor or nurse practitioner through a video conference. You will discuss your medical situation and symptoms with the provider, just as you would in person. The provider will evaluate your illness or injury, review your medical history, and can prescribe a treatment plan and prescription medication, if needed.

How to schedule virtual care

All you need is a computer, smartphone or tablet to schedule online. Just visit the BJC Virtual Care page and select an appointment time that works for you. The online scheduling tool will prompt you to fill in your personal information, reason for visit, and sign up for a MyChart account so you can securely connect with the BJC provider.

BJC doctors and nurse practitioners provide virtual care seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Virtual care is available to anyone age 12 and older for treatment of minor illnesses or injuries, whether they are established with a BJC primary care provider or not.

Don’t wait—see a virtual care provider for your minor illness or injury today!

Schedule Virtual Care


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