Think you may have symptoms of COVID-19? Get tested, stay home, and isolate yourself. To protect yourself from infection, get vaccinated, avoid crowds, and stay out of poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
On this page:
- COVID-19 symptoms
- What increases your risk of infection
- Who is likely to get very sick
- Extra precautions for high-risk groups
- Stay safe by preparing
- Questions and answers
COVID-19 symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.
What increases your risk of infection
You are more likely to be infected with coronavirus if:
- You have close contact with an infected person (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes over a 24-hour period)
- You are frequently in a group setting (like an assisted living facility, college dormitory, homeless shelter)
- You have been in an area with high infection rates
You can reduce the risk to yourself and others by:
- Getting vaccinated
- Staying home and isolating from others when sick
- Wearing a mask
- Practicing physical distancing and avoiding crowds
- Washing your hands often
See other preventative measures you can take.
Who is likely to get very sick
Some people are at higher risk to get very sick from COVID-19, including:
- Seniors over 65
- People with certain medical conditions:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Down syndrome
- Weakened immune system from organ transplant
- Serious heart conditions
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 2 diabetes
There are more conditions which might increase risk for severe illness from COVID-19. See what specific actions you should take for your medical condition.
Extra precautions for high-risk groups
If you are at higher risk for serious illness, you should take extra precautions to protect yourself:
- Get a COVID-19 vaccine, a safer way to build immunity.
- Stay home. It’s the most important thing you can do.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick. Isolate anyone sick in your home in a separate room, if possible.
- Get food brought to your house through family, social, or commercial networks. Wipe off containers with disinfectant wipes.
- Listen to public health officials. They may recommend community actions to reduce exposure in times of local outbreak.
Stay safe by preparing
Find Family and Friends Caregiver Resources from the California Department of Aging, including guidelines to protect both you and your loved ones from COVID-19.
Read how to Prepare for a Public Health Emergency from Listos California.