Coronavirus and COVID-19: How to protect yourself and get care

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

Your health and safety are always our top priority. To help you protect yourself and your loved ones, we’ve gathered the most important information and guidance on the coronavirus and COVID-19. Check back for the latest information as we continue to update this page.

Looking for care options? Visit kp.org/getcare.

Getting care

Call if you think you have symptoms

It’s important to call us first if you think you have COVID-19 symptoms or believe you’ve been exposed. Calling ahead helps us direct you to the most appropriate care, and take precautions to protect other members, patients, and employees. Find your local information for appointments and 24/7 advice on your membership card or at kp.org/getcare.

 

Care by phone, online or in-person

You have many ways to get care without leaving the comfort of your home — including phone appointments and email. This allows you to still get great care while helping to address the community spread of COVID-19. If you need to come in, we’re here for you — and we’re taking every precaution to keep our facilities safe. 

To book an in-person appointment, or if you’re concerned about your specific health condition, visit kp.org/getcare for your local information on appointments and 24/7 advice.

If you’re a new member and haven’t selected a doctor yet, start by choosing your doctor at kp.org/newmember.

Elective surgeries and procedures

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that all nonurgent procedures be postponed in parts of the country where there is community transmission of the COVID-19 virus. As a result, Kaiser Permanente will be postponing elective or nonurgent surgeries and procedures in all locations.  

We'll proactively reach out to inform members of the change. If you have an upcoming surgery or procedure, you can also call or email your doctor’s office with any questions about your ongoing care needs. Once the outbreak has passed, we can work together to reschedule your procedure.


Prescriptions

You have options for getting the prescriptions you need. It’s a good idea to fill your prescriptions by mail, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak. You can avoid standing in line at the pharmacy, and with most prescriptions you can get a 3-month supply for the price of 2 months.

Sign in to kp.org/rxrefill and select the mail order option. Our pharmacies are experiencing a high volume of refill requests and calls, but we are working as quickly as possible to make sure you receive your mail order within 7 days. For urgent prescriptions, you should visit your closest available Kaiser Permanente pharmacy.


 

Tests

We’re prepared to test patients for COVID-19 if testing is necessary, per CDC and public health agency criteria. If you're concerned that you or a family member are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, please contact us first before coming in, as you need a referral and appointment to get tested.

As a Kaiser Permanente member, you won’t have to pay for costs related to COVID-19 screening or testing if referred by a Kaiser Permanente doctor. If you’re diagnosed with COVID-19, additional services, including hospital admission (if applicable), will be covered according to your plan details.

Protecting yourself and your family

Tips

It’s still cold and flu season, and the same practices that stop the spread of these common illnesses are recommended.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Wash your hands with soap and water regularly for at least 20 seconds. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Stay home when you’re sick (except to get medical care). If your children are still in school or daycare, keep them home if they are sick.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. Wash your hands afterward. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy foods, and manage your stress.

See additional guidance from the CDC and White House.

 



Masks
 
The CDC doesn’t currently recommend the use of masks for most people. Only people who are sick with COVID-19 and in some cases those who are caring for them should wear face masks. Kaiser Permanente facilities will provide masks to patients showing symptoms.


People at high risk

For most people, COVID-19 symptoms are mild and go away on their own. But if you're over 65, have a weakened immune system, or have an underlying health condition, you have a higher risk of developing serious symptoms. It’s important you take additional precautions, including:

  • Avoid large groups — including concerts, conventions, sporting events, and social gatherings.
  • Avoid visiting health care facilities except to get medical care — for example, nursing homes, clinics, and hospitals.

If you have a cough and fever, please call us and we’ll make sure you get the care you need.

General COVID-19 information


What is coronavirus?

The new coronavirus is a type of virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — an infection of the airways and lungs. It’s part of the same family of coronaviruses that causes the common cold. Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure.


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. Symptoms appear to be more severe in the elderly and people with chronic conditions. The latest data shows that about 80% of people with COVID-19 will show no or very mild signs of illness. Most people who get it will not need to visit their doctor and will recover on their own.

 




How does it spread?
 

We now know the virus 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.


Kaiser Permanente preparedness and response


Building on what we know

Across all of Kaiser Permanente, our caregivers have treated many COVID-19 patients. We’re actively applying what we’ve learned over the past several weeks and coupling that with our extensive experience in caring for people with infectious diseases to address the COVID-19 outbreak. Based on what we’ve experienced, we know much more now than we did in mid-January, when most of us first learned of this new version of the coronavirus.

We’re also working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and federal, state, and local agencies about the latest recommendations and guidance. Rest assured that your health is our top priority.

 

 

 

Emotional wellness resources

Wellness Resources for self-care, including apps, audio activities, articles, and more.

Manage Anxiety & Stress  CDC resource on managing mental health.

Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus for advice from a Kaiser Permanente physician