The best way you can protect yourself, your family and our community against COVID-19 is to:

It's important to note, cloth face coverings are not a replacement for these evidence-based measures; they are an additional tool that may be used to protect us from exposure to COVID-19 when used properly.  

Physical Distancing:

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services released its COVID-19 Hospital Demand Modeling Projections showing that physical distancing is slowing the rate of COVID-19 transmission in the county. The projections indicate that if current levels of physical distancing are not maintained, there will be an exponential rapid increase in the rate of infection, severely hampering the ability of the hospital system to meet that demand. 

Without a specific vaccine or treatment for this disease, physical distancing is an effective and readily available tool we have to slow the spread of COVID-19. Everyone should be aware and practice physical distancing. Physical distancing measures include: 

  • Staying home as much as possible
  • Staying at least 6 ft apart from others who are not part of your household
  • Avoiding nonessential travel
  • Avoiding public gatherings, places where large groups congregate and event venues
  • Avoiding crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces
  • Using verbal salutations in place of handshakes or hugs

The following groups are at higher risk for experiencing severe illness from COVID-19:

  • Older adults (65 years and older)
    • Early data suggest older adults are twice as likely to have serious COVID-19 illness. This may be because immune systems change with age, making it harder to fight off diseases and infection. Older adults also are more likely to have underlying health conditions that make it harder to cope with and recover from illness.
  • Pregnant women
  • Individuals with underlying health conditions such as heart, lung or kidney disease, diabetes, cancer or compromised immune systems

Cloth Face Coverings:

Recent data indicates that covering your nose and mouth can slow the spread of COVID-19 because:

  • Individuals can be contagious before the onset of symptoms. You may be contagious and not know it. If you have covered your nose and mouth, it can limit the spread of COVID-19.
  • We touch our face less when our face is covered. Touching your face after touching something contaminated with COVID-19 increases your chances of getting sick with COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that the general public wear non-medical cloth face coverings when interacting with others. Under the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health's Safer at Work and in the Community Health Officer Order, residents are required to wear cloth face coverings when around others who are not part of their household. 

The best community and individual defense against COVID-19 is washing our hands frequently, avoiding touching our eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, self-isolating if you are sick, practice physical distancing especially by staying home and wearing a clean cloth face covering. Cloth face coverings are not a replacement for these evidence-based measures; they are an additional tool that may be used to protect us from exposure to COVID-19 when used properly. 

How well do cloth face coverings work to prevent the spread of COVID-19? There is limited evidence to suggest that the use of cloth face coverings by the public during a pandemic could help reduce disease transmission. Their primary role is to reduce the release of infectious particles into the air when someone speaks, coughs, or sneezes, including someone who has COVID-19 but feels well.

Why might I cover my face now, when a face covering was not recommended before? The cloth face covering was not previously recommended for the general public for protection from getting COVID-19. We are learning that individuals may be contagious and spread COVID-19 without their knowledge, even if they do not have symptoms. This new information suggests that a cloth face covering may protect others from infection by preventing the spread of droplets that might be infectious.

When should I wear a cloth face covering? You should wear a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth when you are around others who are not part of your household. 

Acceptable, reusable face covering options for the general public include:

N95 and surgical masks are in short supply and should only be used by healthcare workers, first responders, essential workers providing care for people who are ill, and people who are ill.

Videos on Cloth Face Coverings:

Along with physical distancing and wearing cloth face coverings, practice these preventive tips to protect yourself and others.

When you’re sick, stay home and limit contact with others, even for mild illnesses
  • If you are mildly sick:
    • Self-isolate at home for at least seven days and until you are fever-and-symptom-free for 72 hours 
    • Call your doctor if you are concerned and/or your symptoms worsen 
    • Individuals who are elderly, have underlying health conditions or are pregnant should contact their provider as soon as they are sick
  • If you have questions, please call the clinic or your doctor before going in. If you do not have a healthcare provider, call 2-1-1 for assistance finding support near you.

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 is not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Sick people can spread viruses through close contact with others such as hugging, kissing, shaking hands or sharing utensils.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw it in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve or elbow (not your hands).

Get your flu vaccine to protect yourself and your family, and reduce the strain on the healthcare system, which may be impacted by COVID-19 concerns.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects. Germs can build up on frequently touched objects such as phones, keyboards, doorknobs, light switches and children's toys. 

Have an ample supply of essentials at home including water, food, hygiene, medications and pet food
  • Plan for the possibility of business disruptions, school closures, and modifications/cancellations of select public events

Stay updated on Travel Health Notices from the CDC to avoid nonessential travel.

Beware of scammers. There are no specific treatments or vaccinations for the coronavirus at this time.