Call your doctor: If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.
Watch for symptoms
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure (based on the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses).
- Shortness of breath
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning
LA County Emphasizes Importance Of Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Provides Resources And Support
Taking care of mental health needs and maintaining a sense of connectedness with others is extremely important during the COVID-19 health crisis. The County of Los Angeles continues to provide resources and help to support residents as they follow the Safer at Home health order.
“With the uncertainties surrounding coronavirus and the challenges of managing such significant changes to our daily lives in such a short period of time, it is normal to feel a loss of control, fear for safety, and heightened anxiety,” said Jonathan E. Sherin, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (DMH). “The County is here to help, and we remain available 24/7 with information, resources, and services to address mental health concerns and enhance wellbeing.”
The public should be aware of and use the following tips and guidance, provided by DMH and the Department of Public Health (DPH):
Know the Signs
Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can be demonstrated as:
- Fear and worry about personal health and the health of loved ones
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns
- Difficulty concentrating
- Worsening of chronic health problems
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs
There are some people who may experience stress more acutely during this time. For example:
- Older people and individuals with underlying health conditions who are at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19;
- Health care providers, first responders and other individuals who are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response;
- People with mental health conditions and substance use disorders; and
- Children and teenagers.
Practice Healthy Habits
Individuals feeling confined and claustrophobic under the Safer at Home order should begin and follow healthy routines in order to manage anxiety and stress. The following is a list of helpful tips:
- Connect with loved ones by reaching out virtually: call, text or video chat family and friends;
- Set a limit on media consumption and stay informed by referring to credible sources for updates on the local situation;
- Take care of your body by getting proper sleep, eating well and exercising regularly at home. Try an exercise app;
- Make time to relax. Deep breathing exercises and meditation or yoga can greatly help. Try a mediation app, start a new hobby, or finish projects that have been put off.
- Do not use drugs or alcohol to numb anxieties.
- Stay focused on your personal strengths and maintain your purpose.
- Join and participate in virtual communities based on your interests and hobbies.
The County offers a broad range of services to support you and your loved ones.
- If you are feeling overwhelmed, there is support available 24/7. Call the Department of Mental Health at 1-800-854-7771.
- Visit the Department of Mental Health website for Coronavirus/COVID19 Mental Health Resources
- People struggling with substance abuse can reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 (TTY 1-800-846-8517).
- The Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Mental Evaluation Teams (MET) provide compassionate field intervention in situations involving Sheriff’s deputy contacts. MET teams (a deputy with a clinician) service all of Los Angeles County. If you need MET assistance for a mental health crisis, call your local Sheriff’s station or law enforcement agency, who will contact the MET Triage Desk.
- Another supportive service is the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE (7233) and 800-787-3224 (TDD).
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019.”
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS which occurred in 2002) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS which occurred in 2012) and now with this new coronavirus.
For confirmed coronavirus cases, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath
The CDC believes at this time that symptoms of coronavirus may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
According to the CDC, the virus is spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
- Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly inhaled into the lungs
It may be possible that a person can get coronavirus by touching a surface or an object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes, but this in not thought to be the main way the virus is spread.
How easily a virus can spread from person-to-person is an important factor. Highly contagious diseases like the measles, can spread very quickly amongst people that don’t have vaccines and are in close contact. Another factor is whether the spread of the virus continues over multiple generations of people (if the spread is sustained).
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- 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.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Avoid shaking hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- If you're at work and don't feel well, go home.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including coronavirus.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of coronavirus to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).