What to Do

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health recommends members of the public do the following to protect themselves and others from COVID-19:

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  • Follow Los Angeles County’s "Safer at Home" Public Health Officer Order. For more information, visit the "Safer at Home" Order page.
  • Follow all social distancing recommendations issued by Public Health.
  • If you are mildly sick, stay home for at least seven days and until 72 hours after being fever and symptom free. Call your doctor if you are concerned and/or your symptoms worsen. Individuals who are elderly, have underlying health conditions or pregnant should consider contacting their providers earlier when they are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unclean hands. 
  • Limit close contact, like kissing and sharing cups or utensils, with people who are sick. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands). 
  • Face masks are most effective when used appropriately by health care workers and those directly caring for people who are sick and by people who are sick (source control). 
  • Get a flu immunization to prevent influenza if you have not done so this season.
  • If you are self-quarantined, make sure you connect with the Department of Public Health so that you have all the necessary follow-up and supplies.
  • Call your health care provider or local public health department first before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken.

Department of Public Health COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)

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Guidance on Cloth Face Coverings

Face coverings are an additional tool to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others, but are not a replacement for social distancing and washing your hands often. Bandanas, scarves and homemade masks will work, but please leave the N95 and medical-grade masks for our frontline heroes.  

Face Coverings

Read the CDC’s guidance on cloth face coverings at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

Read the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s guidance on cloth face coverings at: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/GuidanceClothFaceCoverings.pdf 

Older Adults/Persons with Chronic Illnesses

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has prepared a public service announcement addressing the specific needs of older adults and persons with underlying medical conditions or compromised immune systems.

If You Test Positive or Were Exposed to Someone Who Did

Pursuant to Public Health Officer Orders issued by the County of Los Angeles, if you have tested positive for COVID-19 or are presumed to be positive, you must self-isolate for a period of 7 days and 3 days of being symptom-free, and all of your close contacts must self-quarantine for 14 days since their last exposure. 

Please note that the time period that a patient with COVID-19 is considered infectious begins 48 hours before symptom onset. This is based on new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Individuals with presumed or confirmed COVID-19 are required to notify all persons with whom they had close contact beginning 48 hours before their symptom onset. 

Home isolation instructions for people with COVID-19 are available at: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/docs/HomeisolationenCoV.pdf

Home quarantine guidelines for close contacts to COVID-19 patients are available at: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/docs/COVHomeQuarantine.pdf

Mental Health

If the coronavirus outbreak is affecting your mental health, the World Health Organization recommends minimizing watching, reading or listening to news that causes you to feel anxious or distressed. Seek information only from trusted sources and mainly to take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and loved ones. Seek information updates at specific times during the day, once or twice. Find more tips, visit https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/mental-health-considerations.pdf?sfvrsn=6d3578af_8

The County of Los Angeles has created a webpage with tips for coping with stress due to the coronavirus outbreak: https://lacounty.gov/covid19/coping-with-stress/

Additionally, you may call the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health’s 24/7 ACCESS hotline at 800-854-7771.

COVID-19 and Pets

The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control reminds the public that dogs and cats have their own coronavirus, which is NOT the same virus as COVID-19. There is no current evidence that you will get COVID-19 from your family pet. If you are sick with COVID-19, it is recommended to limit close contact with pets until more information is known about the virus. You should always wash your hands after handling animals as a general rule. Owners should include pets in their emergency preparedness planning, including a two-week supply of food and medications.

For more information, visit http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/FAQ-PetOwners.pdf