RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — VCU Health announced that it is opening the first clinic in Virginia dedicated to caring for people with chronic symptoms from COVID-19.

“Many patients are experiencing chronic symptoms, whether they were hospitalized or weren’t even sick enough to be in the hospital,” said Wes Shepherd, M.D., a lung specialist in the Medical Respiratory ICU and Interventional Pulmonary Program at VCU Health, who helped develop the new clinic. “This clinic will give patients an opportunity to see specialists from a range of areas who can help them manage these long-term symptoms.”

The clinic will help patients who have tested positive for the coronavirus and have had symptoms persist for more than 12 weeks after their diagnosis.

“The longer your symptoms persist from the original COVID infection, the more applicable this clinic would be for you,” said Shepherd, also a professor of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine at VCU School of Medicine. “People who are at least a few weeks out from their illness and they’re still having shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue and other symptoms are the folks we are going to be looking for.”

Specialists from various departments will support the clinic. VCU added doctors will focus on lung, heart and brain symptoms, but other specialties and studies could be added depending on the clinic’s needs.

“As we see more reports of long COVID-19 nationwide, our specialists are prepared to offer much-needed care to patients across multiple specialties in one location through this Long COVID-19 Clinic,” said Tom Yackel, M.D., president of MCV Physicians. “We are excited about this opportunity to provide specialized multidisciplinary care for our post-COVID-19 patients.”

VCU Health said the Long COVID-19 Clinic will open to existing patients who have been referred by their provider, on Thursday.