COVID-19 Info & Prevention Tips


COVID-19 General Information 

  • Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are common among animals and humans. Most human coronaviruses cause only mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold.
  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within 6ft) or through respiratory droplets produced when someone coughs or sneezes.
    • Some people may be asymptomatic, which means they are infected with the virus, but not experiencing symptoms.
    • Others may experience mild illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure, and may include:
      • Cough
      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      • Fever
      • Chills
      • Muscle pain
      • Sore throat
      • Loss of sense of taste


The community is advised to: 

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Wash your hands 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.
  • Practice Social Distancing - 
    • having verbal salutations in place of handshakes and hugs
    • not sharing utensils, cups and linens
    • staying six feet apart from others at public events
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Get immunized against the flu to protect yourself and your family, and reduce the potential strain on the healthcare system, which may be impacted by COVID-19 concerns.
  • Wear Facemasks (homemade ones are fine) when going out to conduct essential services.  It is not necessary to have a surgical or N95 quality mask. Please save those supplies for medical and healthcare workers.

To further prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, it is also recommended that all “high-touch” surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, trash cans, phones, remote controls, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables are frequently cleaned and disinfected. When cleaning, use an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered product that cleans (removes germs) and disinfects (kills germs). As always, please be sure to follow the instructions on the labels of cleaning products and disinfectants. 

How to Protect Yourself

What to do if You are Sick

COVID-19 and Mental Health

The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) supports the wellbeing of our County family, friends and colleagues. News and updates about COVID-19 may trigger anxiety, panic, frustration and depression—even when your risk of getting sick is low. During an infectious disease outbreak, please take the time to care for your own physical and mental health, and please reach out to others in kindness and compassion.

LACDMH has published the following materials to address mental health & wellbeing needs and concerns:

LACDMH’s 24/7 Help Line at (800) 854-7771 is available to provide mental health support, resources and referrals. (LACDMH facility updates are available here.)

LACDMH has partnered with Headspace to offer a collection of mindfulness and meditation resources – for free – to all LA County residents.  The free Headspace Plus subscription includes access to hundreds of science-backed guided meditations in English and Spanish, as well as movement and sleep exercises to help manage stress, fear and anxiety related to COVID-19.

LACDMH is also a part of PsychHub’s COVID-19 Mental Health Resource Hub, which is dedicated to providing free resources to help people address their mental health needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.