The short answer is yes! For now.
In light of the current coronavirus crisis, the US department of Health and Human services has allowed patients and doctors to connect over a select group of encrypted services like Apple FaceTime, Facebook Messenger video chat, Google Hangouts video, or Skype.
Prior to the current coronavirus pandemic, doctors were required to use a secure encrypted video chat service to discuss a patient’s health issues. All video chats were required to meet HIPAA compliance, which is a set of standards for health information security. The policies were changed for coronavirus, however, so that patients could safely practice social distancing while still remaining connected to their doctors and able to have their everyday health concerns tended to.
You can find the full policy, as updated for coronavirus, here.
Below is an excerpt from the HHS Policy.
While I always recommend patients coordinate care with their primary physicians, ENTs are specialists of the upper airway, which is where COVID-19 often presents itself. In light of long wait times at urgent care centers and primary offices, some ENT’s are willing to help perform coronavirus screening via online visits.
Indeed, many symptoms of a sinus infection mimic those of coronavirus. Both a sinus infection and coronavirus can lead to symptoms of cough, runny nose, fever, and fatigue. An ENT may be able to help differentiate between the two or suggest potential treatment options depending on your symptoms, or help determine when coronavirus testing may be needed.
One interesting symptom of the coronavirus is that there are emerging reports (that have not been fully verified) of a loss of taste or smell associated with the virus. In general, most patients with loss of taste or smell will be referred to an ENT, so many ENTs are already treating or seeing coronavirus patients. I recommend you call your ENT’s office first to discuss, and this would be a perfect question for a telemedical or telehealth visit.
Currently, there are no at-home testing options for COVID-19, however, in the next few weeks, there may be at-home test kits available.