Managing Your Health
Know How it Spreads
The virus that causes COVID-19 primarily spreads between people in close contact when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. You might also get the virus if you touch something with the virus on it, and then touch your mouth, nose, or eyes.
If you're not vaccinated, take everyday preventative actions
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Put 6ft of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household
- Wear a face covering when in public and around others
- Avoid large gatherings and crowded spaces
- If you’re sick, stay home except to get medical care.
Protect Children and Vulnerable Members
- The best way to protect children and vulnerable members of the household is for everyone in the home to get vaccinated. Currently children age 12 and older can be vaccinated.
- Teach children the same things everyone should do to stay healthy. Children and other people can spread the virus even if they don’t show symptoms.
Separate a Household Member Who Is Sick
- Keep people at higher risk separated from anyone who is sick.
- Have only one person in the household take care of the person who is sick.
- Provide a separate bedroom and bathroom for the person who is sick, if possible.
- If you need to share a bedroom, separate the ill person’s bed.
- If you need to share a bathroom, clean and disinfect the frequently touched surfaces in the bathroom after each use.
- Maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other family or household members.
- If you are sick, do not help prepare food. Also, eat separately from the family.
- If you are vaccinated, it is much less likely that you will get sick while taking care of someone who is sick.
Learn more at Centers of Disease Control & Prevention.
If you’re sick, you must stay home (except to get medical care) for 10 days since your symptoms first appeared and at least 24 hours with no fever and improved symptoms, whichever is longer. Stay away from others and isolate in a separate room, if possible. Always wear a face covering when you need to be around others (even at home). To get tested, call your healthcare provider or find a testing site near you.
If a household member is sick and you are not fully vaccinated, you should quarantine. You should quarantine for 10 days or quarantine for 7 days with a negative test on Day 5 or after. You should verify which quarantine period is required by your workplace before returning to work. Consider having everyone in your home wear a face covering as soon as one household member becomes sick. If you develop symptoms, you should get tested for COVID-19. If your test is positive you should isolate for 10 more days.
If a household member is sick and you are fully vaccinated, you don't need to quarantine unless you develop symptoms. If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, you should isolate and be evaluated by a medical provider.
If you’re sick you must stay home and cannot return to school or work until it has been:
- at least 10 days since your symptoms first appeared; and,
- at least 1 day (24 hours) with no fever (without using fever-reducing medications) and improved symptoms, whichever is longer.
For example, if you have a fever and coughing for 7 days, you need to stay home 3 more days for a total of 10 days. Or, if you have a fever and coughing for 10 days, you need to stay home 1 more day with no fever for a total of 11 days.
Follow these guidelines
If you’re mildly ill and can recover at home, follow the steps below to care for yourself and to help protect other people in your home and community.
- Stay home except to get medical care
- Stay away from other people in your home
- Clean your hands often
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Wear a face covering if you must be around other people (even at home)
- Avoid sharing personal household items
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, like doorknobs, light switches, phones, and faucets
- Monitor your symptoms
- Call ahead before visiting your doctor
Learn more at Centers of Disease Control & Prevention.
Caring for someone who is sick
If you’re living with someone who is sick or have been in close contact with a person sick with COVID-19, you need to quarantine unless you have been fully vaccinated. Monitor your symptoms and do not go to work or school. If you’re caring for someone sick at home follow these guidelines from the Centers of Disease Control & Prevention.
If you’re an essential worker who has been exposed to COVID-19, you may continue to work, as long as you don’t develop any COVID-19 symptoms. Follow these CDPH recommendations for essential workers.
When to call for emergency medical attention
The list below is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you. Additional information can be found on the CDC website.
Adults: Look for the emergency warning signs below for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Bluish lips or face
- Constant pain or pressure in the chest
- Signs of low blood pressure (too weak to stand, dizziness, lightheaded, feeling cold, pale, clammy skin)
- Dehydration (dry lips and mouth, not urinating much, sunken eyes)
- Slurred speech or difficulty speaking (new or worsening)
- New confusion or difficulty awakening
- New or worsening seizures
Children: Parents, guardians and others caring for children should call their pediatrician if they notice these warning signs in a child:
- Fever for 5 days or more
- Not consolable or increased irritability
- Dehydration (dry lips and mouth, fewer wet diapers, not urinating as much as usual)
- Cold, pale skin
- Fast breathing, pulling in under the ribs and/or flaring of the nostrils when breathing
- Decreased activity, increased sleepiness or difficulty waking up
- Inability to keep any liquids or refusing to take liquids
Please call the child's healthcare provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.