Staying Connected During COVID-19

Time to Read: About 2 minutes

Laptop with video chatting application
As your healthcare providers work to stop the spread of COVID-19, you may notice that they enter your room less often or call you on the phone to check on you. We understand that this, along with not being able to have your friends and family with you, can lead to feelings of loneliness or even fear. Setting up regular phone calls or video chats with your loved ones may help you feel more connected and give you something to look forward to.

To call or video chat with your friends and family while receiving care at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK), follow the instructions below.

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Step 1: Connect to Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi is available in all MSK facilities. To connect on your mobile device or tablet, go to Settings, tap Wi-Fi, and connect to the MSK_Guest network.

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Step 2: Select an App

You may already have a video chat app installed on your smartphone, tablet, or computer with a camera. First, check your device for Facetime or Google Duo. If you don’t have these apps on your device, follow the instructions below to download Google Duo or WhatsApp. They both let you call, text, and video chat with people in the U.S. and other countries. Be sure to check with your loved ones to see which video chat apps they use so you can decide which one to download. The person you are trying to contact must have the same app.

  • Visit or
  • Download the app onto your Android device, iPhone, or laptop (Mac or Windows PC)
  • Open the app and follow the prompts to set up Google Duo or WhatsApp
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Step 3: Start a Video Chat

Based on the app you chose, follow the instructions below to start a video chat.

Facetime (Apple)

Facetime Icon
  • Open the app. Tap the “+” button in the upper right corner and start typing the name of the person you want to contact. When it comes up, select it.
    • If you don’t have the person’s contact information saved in your contacts, type in their phone number or email address then tap the “return” button.
  • Once your contact is in the “to” field, tap the video icon to start the video chat.

Google Duo (Android)

Google Duo Icon
  • Open the app. Tap “search contacts or dial” and type in the name or phone number of the person you want to contact. When it comes up, select it.
  • Once the name of the person you want to contact appears, you have the option to select voice, video, or message.
    • If you see “invite” when you select the person you’re trying to contact, that means they don’t have Google Duo. Ask them to download Google Duo to their device and try again.


WhatsApp Icon

To video chat or make a call

  • Open the app. Create a chat with the person you want to video chat with by tapping the “Chats” button on the navigation bar.
  • Click the icon on the top right of your screen. Then select or type in the person’s name that you are trying to contact.
  • Once the chat is created, click
    Video Call Icon
    on the top right of your screen for a video call or
    Phone Call Icon
    for a phone call.
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