Avoiding the Spread of Coronavirus

Haga clic aquí para ver esta página en español.

California is responding to the spread of a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Coronavirus is spread through inhaling respiratory droplets. Wearing a mask can reduce your risk of getting and spreading the disease. It also reinforces physical distancing, and shows you care about the health of others.

The California Department of Public Health now requires Californians to wear masks or cloth face coverings in most settings outside the home. In addition, many industries are required to have workers wear a mask while on the job. Read more here and here

You should stay home as much as possible, but when you are among people from outside your immediate household, you should maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others to help slow the spread of COVID-19. You can also engage in outdoor activities like biking, jogging, and walking, as an individual or as part of your household.
What are the COVID-19 symptoms?  Illnesses have shown symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. However, not everyone experiences symptoms. If you develop one or more of the following symptoms, consider calling your healthcare professional. Symptoms include:

• Fever 
• Cough 
• Sore throat 
• Headache 
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Chills
• Repeated shaking with chills
• Muscle pain
• New loss of taste or smell

You should call 911 or go to the nearest hospital if you are having trouble breathing (shortness of breath). 

How can I get tested? Free coronavirus testing is available by appointment for ALL LA County residents, whether or not they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. LA County residents can book a testing appointment at coronavirus.lacity.org/testing.

NOTE: Coronavirus testing and treatment does not count under the public charge rule, and neither does any preventative care related to the coronavirus. Uninsured LA County residents, regardless of immigration status, have access to the free coronavirus testing at coronavirus.lacity.org/testing, and can also sign up for coronavirus care at (844) 804-0055 or (844) 744-6452.

Contact tracing: California's contact tracing program is contacting people who have COVID-19 to help them get medical care and find out who they might have exposed, so those individuals can be contacted and protected as well. Read about this important program at covid19.ca.gov/contact-tracing.

How do I protect myself?  The CDC recommends the following daily preventive measures: 

• Avoid close contact with sick people.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Stay home as much as possible.
• Outside your home, practice social distancing and stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people. Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus.
• Wear a cloth face cover when going out in public (for example, to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities). Learn how to make, wear, and wash a cloth face cover here; do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker, such as a surgical mask or N-95 respirator. Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others, as the cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and then throw the tissue away.
• It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but the CDC is still learning more about how this virus spreads. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using soap and water or another detergent if the object or surface is dirty. Then, use a household disinfectant. Read more about cleaning and disinfecting your home from the CDC and from Safehome.org.
• Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
• If you don't have soap or water, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Click here for CDC guidance for communities, workplaces, and schools as some states begin to reopen.

Grocery Shopping: For information on how to shop for groceries safely, please view this video.

Pet Owners: Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low. However, it appears the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to animals in some situations. If you have pets, CDC advises that you not let pets interact with people or animals outside the household. If a person inside the household becomes sick, isolate that person from everyone else, including pets.