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.

To get information that's specific to your area, select your state or region below.

The latest on COVID-19

What are the symptoms?

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.

Watch this video to learn more about common symptoms of COVID-19.

Who is at higher risk for COVID-19?

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.

Watch this video to learn who’s at higher risk of complications from COVID-19 and what to do if you have symptoms.

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 kp.org/maternity-covid.  

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.

Should I get tested before attending a party, holiday gathering, or special event?

The safest way to help prevent getting COVID-19 is to avoid social gatherings with anyone you don’t live with or who isn’t part of a small group you've already been interacting with.

Keep in mind that a negative test result now only shows your status at the time you got the test. It doesn't prevent you from getting or spreading the virus while interacting with others. Because of these risks, we don’t recommend relying on a test to decide if you should attend a social gathering.

If you do choose to be part of a social gathering, make sure to take precautions, including wearing a mask anytime you’re not eating or drinking, practicing physical distancing, and frequently washing your hands.

I’m planning a trip. What do I need to know?

Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. But if you’re planning to take a trip, visit cdc.gov/travel for the latest travel recommendations and restrictions. 

To learn more about getting care while you’re away from home, visit kp.org/travel or call our Away from Home Travel Line at 951-268-3900 (TTY 711).1

We’ll keep you updated on what you need to know as travel restrictions change. You can also visit our “Before you travel” section to see if there’s any information you need to know about your destination, such as the latest COVID-19 testing guidelines for travelers to Hawaii. 

1This number can be dialed from both inside and outside the United States. Before the phone number, dial “001” for landlines and “+1” for mobile lines if you're outside the country. Long-distance charges may apply, and we can’t accept collect calls. The phone line is closed on major holidays (New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, July Fourth, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas). It closes early the day before a holiday at 10 p.m. Pacific time (PT), and it reopens the day after a holiday at 4 a.m. PT.

What are the different types of COVID-19 tests?

There are 2 different kinds of clinical tests available. One shows if you’re currently infected with a virus (diagnostic testing) and the other helps you understand if you’ve been infected in the recent past with a virus (antibody testing).  

  • Diagnostic testing for COVID-19 tells you if you’re infected right now. It’s done by collecting fluid from your nose, throat, or lungs. If the test shows you’re infected, you should isolate to help prevent spread. Testing also helps public health agencies monitor the spread of the disease. 
  • Antibody testing checks for antibodies in your blood from a prior infection. A positive test may not indicate prior exposure to COVID-19, and it doesn’t mean a person is protected from COVID-19 in the future.  

Click here to learn about testing in your area.

How does COVID-19 spread?

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.

What can I do if I don’t feel safe at home right now?

Staying home can help slow the spread of COVID-19, but it may not feel safe for those experiencing domestic violence. Stress and uncertainty during the pandemic, as well as limited access to help in your community, can make existing abuse worse — or lead to new family violence. 

If you feel there’s immediate danger, please call 911 right away.

Domestic violence includes abuse that can be emotional, physical, financial, and/or sexual. And it can look different for everyone. It’s important to remember that it isn’t your fault, and you shouldn’t feel ashamed for seeking help. If you’re not sure your home is a safe place for you or your family, here are some common signs:

  • You feel stressed or worried about your safety or your children’s safety at home.
  • You’re afraid of your partner or family member.
  • You or your children have been physically hurt or threatened, or the severity or frequency of violence has escalated.
  • Your partner or family member restricts your access to food, medication, transportation, money, connections with your family and friends, or your other activities, even at home.

If any of the above is happening to you or someone you love, you can:

  • Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline for immediate help in over 200 languages. Call 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233) or visit thehotline.org
  • Connect with your Kaiser Permanente care team. Call our advice line for 24/7 support, or email nonurgent questions to your doctor’s office for a reply usually within 2 business days. 
  • Download the myPlan app or visit myplanapp.org for self-guided online tools and resources. 

The above resources can also help you develop a safety plan for reacting to dangerous situations. A safety plan can include ways to cope with your emotions, how to tell others about the abuse, how to take legal action, and more. If you can, consider making a safety plan and discussing it with a trusted family member, friend, or neighbor. 

What’s your visitor policy?

For the health and safety of our patients, doctors, and staff, we’ve taken several precautions at our facilities, including limiting visitors. Please review the visitor policy in your area for more information.


Stay home this holiday season

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Kaiser Permanente’s national infectious disease leader, Paul Thottingal, MD, explains why not traveling and not gathering with family and friends is the safest choice for the holidays.

     


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.