Person wearing a face mask outdoors

Coronavirus and COVID-19

The world is facing an unprecedented medical crisis. Throughout this challenging time, your health and safety remain our top priority. Protect yourself and your loved ones with the help of this important information on COVID-19. Together, we can keep our communities healthy and strong.

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The latest on COVID-19

Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath — similar to the flu. They've also experienced chills or shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and loss of sense of smell or taste. While information so far indicates that most cases are mild, symptoms appear to be more severe in the elderly and people with chronic conditions. Most people who get it will not need to visit their doctor and will recover on their own.

COVID-19 causes a mild illness in many people. But some people may be at higher risk for having severe symptoms from COVID-19. A recent study found that 88% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients had more than one chronic condition,* and other factors can also increase your risk. You may be at high risk if you:

If you’re pregnant, it may be safest to consider yourself at higher risk because information on how COVID-19 affects pregnant women is limited. To learn more about how the virus could affect you or your care, visit  

If you have an ongoing health condition, here are some ways you can help keep yourself safe.

  • Stay home as much as you can.
  • Have supplies on hand, like food, household items, medical supplies, and over-the-counter and prescription medications
  • Routinely clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, and phones.
  • Limit visitors.
  • When you leave home, keep 6 feet of space between yourself and others.
  • Wear a cloth face cover when you’re near other people.
  • Wear gloves or carry tissues or paper towels with you to protect your hands when you need to touch things like door handles, shopping carts, and handrails.
  • Don’t touch your face, and wash your hands often.
  • Have a plan in case you get sick

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 — such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath — call your doctor.

*Safiya Richardson et al., “Presenting Characteristics, Comorbidities, and Outcomes Among 5700 Patients Hospitalized With COVID-19 in the New York City Area,” Journal of the American Medical Association, April 22, 2020.

Kaiser Permanente is prepared to test patients for COVID-19 if testing is necessary, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health agency criteria. If you're worried that you or a family member are showing symptoms of COVID-19, please call us first before coming in, as you need a referral from a Kaiser Permanente doctor and an appointment to get tested.

Click here to learn more about who is being tested and how to get care.

The coronavirus is spread from person to person — mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) — through tiny droplets made when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It’s possible, but not likely, that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly eyes. It’s important to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

To help protect yourself and others when you leave home for groceries or other essential items, you can make a simple face mask using towels, scarves, or T-shirts. If you have a sewing machine, you can make masks using our step-by-step instructions or instructional video.

COVID-19 is a new disease, so information on how the virus affects pregnant women is limited. Based on the most current information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pregnant women don’t appear to be more likely to get infected with COVID-19 than other people. Current reports also show that pregnant women who get the virus don’t have more severe symptoms than the general public. At this time, we don’t know if the virus can be transmitted during pregnancy or childbirth.

For more information on how COVID-19 could affect you or your care if you’re pregnant, visit You’ll find a detailed breakdown of what we know about COVID-19’s effect on pregnancy and newborn care, as well as changes to your pregnancy care.

Stay safe — get care from home first

To help protect yourself, your loved ones, and our staff, please don’t visit our facilities without an appointment. You have many other ways to get quality care, including phone appointments and email. Our clinicians will determine if you need an in-person appointment or meet the criteria for a COVID-19 test. 

If you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. Tell them if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

How do I get care and prescriptions?

You have many safe ways to get the care you need — whether you have COVID-19 symptoms or are facing a different health issue.

What is KP doing about COVID-19?

Our care teams are working closely with government agencies to prioritize safety, prevent spread in our communities, and test the first vaccine.

What if I lose coverage?

We can help you learn about coverage options, see if you qualify for financial help, and find local resources.

Help coping with COVID-19

Right now, it’s especially important to care for the whole you — mind, body, and spirit. We have many digital tools and articles to help your physical and mental health.