- What should I do if I've been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19?
If you have been in close contact with someone who is positive or presumed positive, you must self-quarantine.
Even if you feel well now, it is possible that you are also infected. It can take as little as 2 and as many as14 days to show symptoms, which is why you need to stay home and separate yourself from others in your home as much as possible. The L.A. County Department of Public Health website has detailed information on home quarantine in a dozen languages here. You can also learn more about COVID-19 symptoms and what to do if you’re exposed here. (See "Home Quarantine")
L.A. County Public Health contact tracing teams are working to identify people who may have been exposed to COVID-19, so we can help contain the spread of the virus. If you get a call from a contact tracer, depending upon your provider, it should show up on your phone as "L.A. Public Health." Please answer the call. Your information is confidential and you will not be asked about your immigration status. If you haven't received a call, you can reach them at 1-833-540-0473 seven days a week from 8 a.m. – 8:30 p.m, seven days a week.
- What are the primary symptoms of COVID-19?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Fever or chills
- Muscle or body aches
- Congestion or runny nose
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Nausea or vomiting
- What should I do if I’m showing symptoms of COVID-19 or a family member is?
If you or a family member are experiencing severe symptoms, please self-quarantine immediately and call your doctor to arrange for a test and check up. If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, please call 911.
- What should I do if I am diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus?
If you have tested positive for COVID-19, or been told by a clinician that you are presumed to be positive, you are required to isolate yourself at home. You should also immediately tell anyone you have been in contact with that you are positive so that they can immediately quarantine and get a test to find out if they are positive.
The L.A. County Department of Public Health website has detailed information on home isolation here.
L.A. County Public Health contact tracing teams are working to identify cases of COVID-19 and help contain the spread of the virus. If you get a call from a contact tracer, depending upon your provider, it should show up on your phone as "L.A. Public Health." Please answer the call. If you haven't received a call, you can reach them at 1-833-540-0473 seven days a week from 8 a.m. – 8:30 p.m, seven days a week.
- How long must I quarantine if I test positive for COVID-19?
If you had symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19 or if a healthcare provider thinks* that you have COVID-19, you must stay home until:
- At least 10 days** have passed since your symptoms first started and
- You have had no fever for at least 24 hours (without the use of medicine that reduces fevers) and
- Your symptoms have improved
If you tested positive for COVID-19 but never had any symptoms:
- You must stay home for 10 days after the test was taken, but
- If you develop symptoms, you need to follow the instructions above
*If a healthcare provider initially thought your symptoms were due to COVID-19 but they reassessed your diagnosis and concluded that you are not infected, you can stop isolating once 24 hours have passed since you have been fever-free without using fever-reducing medications. However, if you are under quarantine orders (because you are a close contact to a person with COVID-19) you must stay in quarantine.
**If you have a condition that severely weakens your immune system you might need to stay home for longer than 10 days. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information.
Visit L.A. County Department of Public Health’s website for more information.
Note: If you recently had COVID-19 (within the past 90 days) and you now have a new positive diagnostic test for COVID-19 but you don’t have symptoms, talk with your doctor to see if you have COVID-19 again.
Please help slow the spread of COVID-19 by answering if you get a call from “LA PublicHealth” or 1-833-641-0305 (see Contact Tracing).
If you tested positive but have not received a call, please call 1-833-540-0473 from 8 AM to 8:30 PM, 7 days a week.
- Do I have to cover my face when I leave home and interact with others?
Everyone* needs to wear a mask in certain settings — on public transportation, in businesses or workplaces, when attending large events. For rules on mask-wearing rules and recommendations, click here.
*There are some people who should not wear a mask due to their young age, medical condition, disability, or for other reasons. See Who should not wear a mask and Special considerations for persons with communication difficulties or certain disabilities.
For more information, visit the L.A. County Department of Public Health mask webpage ph.lacounty.gov/masks.