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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Updates | Georgia

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Updates

Everything you need to know in one place. Stay updated on all the latest Covid-19 news as it impacts those with lupus from resources, news, and programming. We will be keeping you updated and provide virtual programming to get you through these unprecedented times. You are not alone.

This is my chapter   |   
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Virtual Town Hall: Living with Lupus and COVID-19 in Our Community

If you have lupus, you’re at higher risk for infections like the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Some people with lupus may also be at risk for more serious complications from catching the coronavirus.

Join S. Sam Lim, MD, MPH as he provides up to date information on a weekly basis about what we know and don’t know about COVID-19 and how it may impact those living with lupus in Georgia.

Send your questions to [email protected]

Details and Login Information
Georgia COVID-19 Resources
Daily Updates from the Georgia Department of Public Health

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is the state’s official COVID-19 response team.

Georgia DPH Coronavirus (COVID-19) Website

Emory University Risk Assessment Tool

Check your risk for COVID‑19

Based on best clinical practices, CDC guidelines, illness severity and risk factors like age and pre-existing conditions,


Healthcare Coverage and Medication Resources
Tips for refilling your hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) prescription

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), people who have been prescribed hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) and chloroquine (Aralen) to treat their lupus and other autoimmune diseases are experiencing difficulties getting their prescriptions filled. As stories in the news about the potential use of both for the treatment of COVID-19 circulate, supplies may temporarily decrease and become hard to find -- even for those who have taken the medication for years. 


Medicare to Cover Telehealth Costs During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, doctors and other health care providers can use telehealth services to treat COVID-19 (and for other medically reasonable purposes) from offices, hospitals, and places of residence (like homes, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities) as of March 6, 2020. Coinsurance and deductibles apply.

If you have coverage through a Medicare Advantage Plan, you won’t have to pay out-of-pocket costs (called cost-sharing) for COVID-19 tests.


Benlysta Resources

GSK Nurse Call Center

  • Call 877-423-6597
  • Trained nurses are available Monday through Friday, 8 AM- 8 PM ET and can answer questions about products.
  • Note, nurses will direct patients to their physician for any medical advice related to disease, treatment or referrals. 

Additional Patient Inquiries: Contact your provider or pharmacy directly. If additional information is needed, visit GSK For You or contact the GSK Response Center at 888-825-5249 Monday- Friday, 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM ET


Health Care Professional Inquiries: Contact GSK Medical Information: or call 877-475-6448 (Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM ET) for medical information. Product-specific information is only available to healthcare providers. 


CVS Caremark Health Resources

"Don't worry - at this time, there are no drug shortages as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) that would affect your ability to fill prescriptions.
We are closely monitoring the situation. Learn more, including how to get a 90-day supply of your maintenance medication delivered to your home at no extra charge."

-CVS Caremark

Order Hydroxychloroquine

Financial Resources
Governor Kemp submits request to help Georgians with coronavirus medical care (March 28, 2020)

Governor Brian Kemp and the Department of Community Health took steps to help Georgians who are need of medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"As we continue fighting COVID-19, these waivers will empower the healthcare community and increase their ability to care for patients by reducing federal regulations. From local health departments to major hospitals, healthcare providers in Georgia are on the front lines of this fight. I am proud to collaborate efforts across state government with the Georgia Hospital Association to let healthcare providers know we stand with them," said Governor Kemp.

According to a press release, the 1135 Medicaid and Medicare waivers are a significant step toward easing administrative burdens on Georgia hospitals and healthcare providers during this public health emergency without compromising quality of care or patient safety.

“The State of Georgia is pleased to be able to submit a section 1135 waiver to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to help mitigate - to the extent we can - consequences of the COVID-19 public health emergency on our healthcare systems. Pending CMS consideration and approval, Georgia’s 1135 waiver is designed to provide a number of flexibilities for Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids® providers and members," said Frank Berry, Commissioner of the Department of Community Health.


Federal Tax Filing Deadline

Tax filing deadline pushed back: In an effort to mitigate the financial fall-out from COVID-19, the U.S. Treasury announced the new tax filing deadline is July 15. 

Georgia Tax and Tag Filing Deadlines Extended

Notice: Department of Revenue Automatically Extending 2019 Filing Deadline

The Georgia Department of Revenue is automatically extending the 2019 income tax filing and payment deadline to July 15, 2020. 

Vehicle registrations that expire between March 16, 2020 and May 14, 2020 are being extended through May 15, 2020.

Coronavirus Tax Relief Information

Changes in Chapter Office Operations and Walks
Georgia Chapter Operations

Georgia Chapter Office

Beginning March 23, 2020 our staff will be working remotely to ensure the health and safety of our team, as well as our communities. It will be business as usual for us. 

We'll continue to monitor the situation in real time to determine when circumstances change. We are so grateful for the flexibility and dedication of our employees, who have already shown their commitment to this temporary model, and to ensuring no disruptions to our mission during this time. 

We will be available via e-mail and will respond to voice mail messages as quickly as possible. You can email us at [email protected].


Walk to End Lupus Now Events

The Walk to End Lupus Now - Atlanta (TBD)

We encourage you to continue registering and fundraising for the Walks as they are our biggest source of income for our chapter. Together we can make this work!

The Walk to End Lupus Now - Columbus (TBD)

We encourage you to continue registering and fundraising for the Walks as they are our biggest source of income for our chapter. Together we can make this work! 

More Information

Virtual Programs and Events
Weekly Virtual Town Hall with Dr. Sam Lim

If you have lupus, you're at higher risk for infections like the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Some people with lupus may also be at risk for more serious complications from catching the coronavirus.

Join S. Sam Lim, MD, MPH as he provides up to date information on a weekly basis about what we know and don't know about COVID-19 and how it may impact those living with lupus in Georgia.

Dr. Lim is Professor of Medicine and Professor of Epidemiology at Emory University. He is the Chief of Rheumatology for Grady Health Systems, where he founded and directs the Grady Lupus Clinic.

Please Note: Due to the size of the group, questions must be submitted  by 12 p.m. on the day of the call to [email protected].

Click here for details and login information.

Ask the Experts Teleconferences

Ask the Experts is a series of monthly educational teleconferences designed to provide you with important information about living with lupus and better managing your symptoms. Live teleconferences last one hour and are accessible through a toll-free phone number.

All registered participants will receive call-in/log-in information before the event along with any support materials.

Don't miss the opportunity to learn from some of the world's leading lupus experts from the comfort and privacy of your home. Participate in several or just the one that most interests you.



Listen to Previous Teleconfernce Recordings

Previous Ask the Expert teleconference topics include Lupus and the Immune System, Lupus and Intimacy, Lupus and Your Heart and much more.

Listen to previous recordings.

Support Groups

The well being of our patients is our highest priority. Due to COVID-19 and in accordance with CDC guidelines, all support will be held via teleconference until further notice.

New Telephonic Support Group

The telephonic support group is available via a toll-free conference call, held on the fourth Tuesday of every month from 7:00-8:00 pm.

Register to receive call-in information and an email reminder. Be sure to read the confidentiality rules below before registering. Feel free to reach out to [email protected] with any questions, or call our office at 770-333-5930.


Latest COVID-19 and Lupus News
FDA Issues Emergency Authorization of Hydroxychloroquine Amid Coronavirus Pandemic (March 30, 2020)

Late yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to allow hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for coronavirus COVID-19 treatment.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said in a statement that the authorization would allow for 30 million doses of hydroxychloroquine donated by Sandoz, the Novartis generics and biosimilars division, and one million doses of chloroquine donated by Bayer Pharmaceuticals to be donated to the HHS’ Strategic National Stockpile (SNS).

The donated doses of hydroxychloroquine will be “distributed and prescribed by doctors to hospitalized teen and adult patients with COVID-19, as appropriate, when a clinical trial is not available or feasible,” said HHS in its statement.

The FDA’s authorization does not mean hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are specifically approved as safe and effective for use for COVID-19, but instead that they are available for use for COVID-19.

Moreover, the HHS said that “use of the donated medications is expected to help ease supply pressures for the drug, and the FDA is also working with manufacturers of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to increase production to ensure these drugs also remain available for patients dependent on them for treatment of malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.”

While it is encouraging for the lupus community that the HHS’ statement indicates that it will help ensure people with lupus have access to these medications, it is still unknown at this point as to exactly how the medications will get distributed and the overall impact of availability of the drugs for those who need the drugs now.  

The Lupus Foundation of America has been talking with key stakeholders and companies involved in the drug supply chain, including state boards of pharmacy, federal government and agencies, and other important stakeholders – and our voices are clearly being heard. The actions from the FDA and HHS are certainly a step in the right direction, but our work is far from over.  

State Pharmacy Boards Urged to Ensure Availability of Critical Lupus Medicines

The Lupus Foundation of America in partnership with the Arthritis Foundation are urging state pharmacy boards and other important stakeholders involved with the drug supply chain to take immediate action to ensure the availability of hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) and chloroquine (Aralen) for people with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Read the letter.

TAKE ACTION: Access to Hydroxychloroquine for People with Lupus

Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) and chloroquine (Aralen) are medications that tens of thousands of people living with lupus rely on to manage their symptoms and avoid disability, illness and early death. Both are being studied as potential treatments for the coronavirus (COVID-19) and trials are underway to determine their safety and effectiveness. While it is important to investigate their potential use for this purpose, it is critical that people with lupus never lose access to them.

Take Action Now!

People with lupus nationwide already are unable to fill their prescriptions. We need to act now! Please, take one minute and contact your members of Congress now to ensure people with lupus can access the medications they need.

Corona Virus Updates

The CDC has recommended that people with serious underlying health conditions stay home and avoid other people as much as possible through March 30, 2020. Lupus is a serious underlying health condition that could lead to a compromised immune system. Read more.

Navigating You Health During the COVI-19 Pandemic

The most up-to-date health information on the coronavirus outbreak for people with lupus. Here, you'll find the most recent news; the steps that the Lupus Foundation of America is taking to protect the health and medication availability for people with lupus; and resources that will help you stay both mentally and physically healthy during this uncertain time.

Latest Updates

What the Coronavirus Means for People with Lupus (February 28th)

As the news moves quickly, make sure you're getting most current information.

I recent weeks, a new type of virus widely known as the coronavirus (sometimes called COVID-19) has been spreading around the world. There have been a number of stories in the news of people getting sick from this new virus.

Given that people with lupus are at higher risk for a number of types of infections, including viruses, it is only natural to be concerned about the coronavirus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely watching the coronavirus both internationally and here in the U.S. The risk of catching the coronavirus in the U.S. is very low.

It is important, however, for you to look after your health and keep your risk of infection low. The best way to do this is to take the same steps that you would to avoid other types of viruses like colds and the flu:

  • Avoid anyone—including family members—with symptoms of fever (over 100ºF), nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Specifically, you should avoid close, personal contact, such as hugging, kissing, and shaking hands.
  • Wash your hands (tops, palms, and fingers) frequently with hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Keep and use alcohol-based gel or wipes, both out in public and at home. Remember that surfaces—especially in bathrooms, on shared office equipment, on store counter tops, gas pump handles, any surface of the car, and in restaurants—can expose you to germs.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Use the crook of your arm to shield coughs and sneezing. Do not use your hands or handkerchiefs as they carry moisture that spread viruses.
  • Stay home from work or school if you are sick.
  • Please remember that you should never stop taking medications used to treat your lupus without first consulting with your doctor.

Call your doctor right away if you develop a fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

Recursos Acualizados de COVID-19
Recursos Acualizados de COVID-19

Oficina del Capítulo del Estado de Georgia

A partir del 23 de marzo de 2020, el personal de esta oficina trabajará fuera de nuestra cede para garantizar la salud y la seguridad de nuestro equipo, así como de nuestra comunidad. En caso de experimentar posibles retrasos, le pedimos sea paciente con nuestro personal ya que se hará todo lo posible por atender su petición. Continuaremos monitoreando la situación en tiempo real para determinar el cambio de las circunstancias. Estamos muy agradecidos por la flexibilidad y dedicación de nuestro personal, que ya ha demostrado su compromiso con este modelo temporal, garantizando que no se interrumpa nuestra misión durante este tiempo. Estaremos disponibles por correo electrónico y responderemos a los mensajes de correo de voz lo más rápido posible. Puede enviarnos un correo electrónico a [email protected]

Haga clic aquí para ver algunos de nuestros recursos en español.

Finding Joy Every Day
Finding Joy

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Audible, an Amazon Company, is offering a free 30-day membership where you can listen to audiobooks and entertainment

Free workout videos for every fitness level

With masses of people stuck at home amid coronavirus, the popular meditation and mindfulness app, Headspace, is offering free content to help manage stress and anxiety. 

Artists are taking their shows to social media for people to watch and listen at home

Museums, historical sites, and national sites are offering virtual tours from the comfort of their home

12 Museums From Around the World That You Can Visit Virtually

Here are 33 National Park Tours you can take virtually from your home. 

Netflix Party is a gathering of a groups of friends or family where you can get together virtually and watch your favorite Netflix titles on your computers at the same time. Grab your popcorn and enjoy movie night! The extension also comes with a chat room, so you can share your reactions to the programs as you watch.

Free Resources from Calm

Activities for Kids and Families

Scholastic is opening its digital hub of learning tools for free for kids to take while out of school

Free online classes launched to help kids home from school

Yoga, mindfulness, and relaxation designed especially for kids aged 3+, used in schools and homes all over the world

Story Time from Space - While in space, astronauts are videotaping themselves reading these books to the children of Earth.

Even when schools are closed, you can keep the learning going with these links for reading, math, and educational games. 

Scholastics Learn At Home




Staying indoors to keep safe and healthy is imperative but it doesn’t have to be boring or detrimental. After your children have finished with their e-learning tasks, click here to see what you could do with them.

10 Zoos and Aquariums who are sharing live feeds for people to enjoy from the comfort of their own homes

Charter is offering free access to internet for households with children