For the most up-to-date information from UCLA Health, please visit our Coronavirus site or call our Patient Hotline at 310-267-3300
Learn how to schedule a video visit here.
COVID-19 stands for "coronavirus disease 2019". It is a respiratory virus that has the potential to cause severe illness and death. It was first identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019. As of January 2021, there have been more than 85 million cases worldwide and more than 20 million cases in the United States.
For the most up-to-date information from UCLA Health, please visit our coronavirus site or call our patient hotline at 310-267-3300. Calls received outside normal business hours (Mon-Fri, 7 am-7 pm) will be returned the following business day.
Some other trusted resources: LA County Department of Public Health | CDC Coronavirus Information | WHO (World Health Organization) COVID-19 Report
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include:
Fever, cough, shortness of breath and/or difficulty breathing.
Other symptoms can include:
Fatigue, body aches, runny nose and sore throat.
More symptoms to be aware of include
Chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell
For complete list, visit the CDC’s COVID-19 symptoms page.
If you need a primary care doctor, please call 800- 825-2631 or visit the Primary Care site.
The symptoms of COVID-19 are generally similar in children and adults. Children with COVID-19 have generally presented with milder symptoms, a milder clinical course and faster recovery. Symptoms mimic many common respiratory illnesses in children, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported more commonly in children.
If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, follow these steps:
Steps for COVID-19 testing:
If you are not a UCLA Health patient, LA County offers COVID-19 tests in many locations.
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice. Call 911 for severe shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
There is some evidence to suggest that being sick with COVID-19 can lead to strokes and other circulatory problems. It is important that if you are or a loved one is experiencing stroke-like symptoms to call 911 immediately.
Yes. It is normal for viruses to mutate, or change, as they spread, resulting in new variants. A few variants of interest, however, appear to either spread more easily between people, lead to more deaths, or render the existing vaccines less effective. The CDC has information on these emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of interest online.
The variant known as B.1.1.7 was first reported in the U.K. in the fall. Cases have since been detected in the U.S. and in Southern California. This variant is notable because it appears to be more infectious, and better at spreading between people. In January 2021, U.K. scientists reported evidence to suggest that this variant may be associated with an increased risk of death compared to other variants, but the CDC notes that more studies are needed to confirm this finding. There is no evidence to suggest that the authorized vaccines do not work as intended against this variant.
The variant known as B.1.351 was first reported in South Africa in the fall. Cases have since been detected in the U.S. There is no evidence to suggest that this variant is associated with more severe disease, or an increased risk of death. The vaccines do seem to be somewhat less effective at neutralizing this variant.
The variant known as P.1 originated in Brazil. Cases have since been detected in the U.S. This variant appears to be more infectious and better at spreading between people. The authorized vaccines may also be somewhat less effective at neutralizing this variant.
In light of these new, rapidly spreading variants, it’s important to continue following all public health guidance. Wear a mask, wash your hands, and keep your distance from people outside your household. With these measures and increased vaccinations, the goal is to slow and eventually stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2 before it gains additional mutations of concern.
A rare inflammatory syndrome similar to Kawasaki disease appears linked to COVID-19 in kids. For more, click here.
COVID toes is a condition in which painful red or purple lesions appear on a person’s fingers or toes. Also know as chilblains, the condition has recently been linked to some patients afflicted with coronavirus.
COVID toes is not on the CDC’s list of symptoms, however that update could happen at any time.
Wrestling with intense emotions day after day drains your energy, causing pandemic fatigue. The fatigue can stem from a number of emotions you’ve experienced during the pandemic, including:
Here are concrete steps you can take to feel better while staying safe.
Having symptoms of a heart attack or stroke? Go to the Emergency Department. COVID-19 concerns or not.
Since mid-March, 20% of people in the U.S. experiencing either a heart attack or a stroke have not called 911 or come to the ER. Learn what symptoms to look out for and why you should never wait to seek emergency care.
UCLA Health COVID-19 testing continues at three drive-through testing sites, three specialized clinics and more than 65 primary care clinics to ensure we have capacity for symptomatic patients, symptomatic and exposed health care workers and pre-procedural and admission screening for patients. All primary care, pediatrics and immediate care clinics now offer testing, but you must have a telehealth appointment with a physician first.
Call your primary care physician to set up a video visit.
Discuss your symptoms or exposures with the physician during this visit. Your physician will determine if you require a test order or recommend another plan of care.
If a test is ordered, the physician will provide information on how to schedule the test.
Visit your testing site at your scheduled time and complete the test.
Test results available on myuclahealth.org within 24 hours.
All patients who are admitted to UCLA Health through our emergency departments will also be tested for COVID-19, as will most patients undergoing a surgery or procedure in one of our hospitals or clinical facilities.
UCLA Health uses a nasopharyngeal swab test (molecular/PCR), administered by a health care worker, to diagnose a COVID-19 infection. The test is sent to a lab for testing and results are returned in about a day.
We co-test each sample for the flu, since many of the symptoms of COVID-19 and influenza are the same.
For more information about COVID-19 diagnostic tests, visit the CDC site. For the most up-to-date information at UCLA Health, visit our coronavirus page or call our Patient Hotline at 310-267-3300.
COVID-19 diagnostic tests are generally covered by insurance if the test is medically required or you have symptoms. Please talk to your primary care physician about your individual case and contact your insurance provider prior to scheduling to confirm coverage. If you do not have a primary care physician, please call 310-825-2631.
If you’re not a UCLA Health patient, LA County has expanded its test capabilities. Click here for more.
Currently there is no blood test available for COVID-19.
Drive-thru testing sites:
In-clinic testing locations:
Testing locations for motion picture patients:
We are currently seeing results in 1-2 days.
Positive Result – If you receive a positive result, the ordering UCLA Health physician will reach out to you directly within 1-2 days and the result will be posted within MyUCLAHealth.
Negative Result – Most tests are negative. Due to the high number, people with a negative result will not be receiving a call however the results will be posted within MyUCLAHealth. For any specific questions, please reach out to your Primary Care physician’s office.
If you do not have a primary care physician, call 1-800-825-2631 or visit the Primary Care page.
An antibody or serology test is a blood test that looks for signs of a previous COVID-19 infection. It detects antibodies or proteins in the blood that are found in response to an infection. Detailed information about antibody (serology) testing, who is eligible and how it works can be found here: Antibody Testing FAQs.
The expected turnaround time is 24 to 48 hours.
All patients who are scheduled for surgery and various other procedures at UCLA Health are required to be screened for COVID-19 1 to 2 days prior. We use for self-administered nose swab, called mid-turbinate testing, for these pre-procedure screenings.
COVID-19 test results from other laboratories will not be accepted. The surgery or department coordinator should reach out to you in advance to review this process with you. If you haven't been contacted, please reach out to the department or call 310-825-2631.
UCLA students should be tested for COVID-19 through orders issued by their primary care doctors or take advantage of LA County testing services.
If you are a UCLA student with a campus insurance plan and want to know about COVID testing and testing sites, please visit the student insurance page for more info.
If you have active COVID-19, you will not yet have the antibodies present.
A doctor may order a COVID-19 diagnostic test if you show no symptoms only when you:
If you do not qualify for one of the requirements, we cannot authorize a test for you, regardless of your insurance policy or self-pay.
Please speak to your doctor if you qualify for testing under these requirements. If you do not have a primary care physician, please call 310-825-2631.
Other testing resources
For other COVID-19 diagnostic testing resources, please visit LA County's free COVID-19 testing website, CVS or EXER urgent care.
UCLA Health does not recommend home testing at this time. If you are sick and think you need to be tested for COVID-19, please consult with your doctor immediately to ask about COVID-19 testing options.
If your test results for COVID-19 are positive, this means that COVID-19 (coronavirus) was found in your test sample and you have been diagnosed with a COVID-19 infection.
Do not panic. For most people who test positive, COVID-19 produces mild symptoms, such as cough, fever and runny nose. Only a small number of patients get a severe illness.
If you have not already done so, please isolate yourself at home right away. You must stay in isolation even if you do not have any symptoms.
You can stop home isolation when all of the following conditions are met:
If you did not receive your diagnosis from a UCLA doctor because you went to an outside testing site, you should also contact your medical provider right away.
VIDEO: A UCLA Health primary care doctor shares: "What to expect if you're diagnosed with COVID-19".
To isolate, you must stay home.
Separate yourself from other people in your home.
Wash hands often.
Yes, and this is very important. Anyone with whom you had close contact (within 6 feet of one another for 10 minutes or more in a confined space, household contacts, etc.) should stay home for 14 days from their last contact with you and monitor for symptoms.
Everyone living with you should quarantine during your 10 day isolation and for 14 additional days from the last date of contact with you during their 10 day isolation period. The CDC has additional guidance on when and how to quarantine.
They should also call their doctor to see if they should be tested for COVID-19. UCLA Health is offering diagnostic COVID-19 testing in more than 65 locations. LA County is also offering free diagnostic COVID-19 testing in many locations.
Please note that a negative test for family members does not mean they don’t have to quarantine. They can have been exposed to COVID-19, take a test and get a negative result, only to develop symptoms and get a positive result a few days later.
We do not recommend that anyone comes out of quarantine due to potential contact before the recommended 14 days because of a negative test result.
People experience COVID-19 differently.
If your symptoms get worse, mainly if you struggle to breathe, contact your medical provider right away.
Other worrisome symptoms that necessitate a call to your doctor, or if it feels like an emergency, 911, include:
When you call your doctor, you should:
Please note that every patient’s symptoms and disease progression are different. If you’re ever concerned, call your doctor to discuss.
Just like symptoms can differ, the progression of each person’s illness can also differ.
Many people recover fully from COVID-19 after about 14 days. If you have a mild illness, you will likely feel better after about a week, or you will feel roughly the same in your first and second week of illness.
Note that how you feel in the first week does not predict how you will feel in the second week. If you are going to develop more moderate symptoms, week one is often milder than week two, and significant shortness of breath often develops in the second week.
Many people who experience symptoms go through periods of feeling well, as if they are over the hump, only to feel unwell again a number of hours or days later.
Some people may experience “flares” of their illness after recovery. A flare is when someone’s initial COVID-19 symptoms reappear after they’ve recovered. If you experience a symptom flare, you should isolate and stay away from others when you have symptoms. Track your symptoms, and if they don’t go away, contact your doctor.
Some people may also experience symptoms for longer than one or two weeks, or develop what has been named “long COVID” or “post-COVID syndrome,” consisting of persistent mental and physical symptoms, often for months. Unfortunately, at this point, we don’t know how long these symptoms will last and how they will affect general health.
Some people who test positive for COVID-19 may experience symptoms for longer than one or two weeks, or develop what has been named “long COVID” or “post-COVID syndrome.” These people are sometimes referred to as “long-haulers.”
Patients with “long COVID” experience persistent mental and physical symptoms, often for months. Unfortunately, at this point, we don’t know how long these symptoms will last and how they will affect general health.
Please talk to your primary care doctor about COVID-19 treatment options for non-hospitalized patients. There are now approved medications for certain high-risk individuals, as well as investigative clinical trials (uclahealth.org/covid-19-clinical-trials).
There are also many things you can do to manage your COVID-19 symptoms at home. Unless you have been told by your medical provider to do differently, you can:
You may be able to be part of a research study that UCLA is doing on COVID-19. If you want more information about this, please go to uclahealth.org/covid-19-clinical-trials.
Yes. UCLA Health offers a COVID-19 Care Companion Home Monitoring Program.
Patients must be referred by their primary care physician into this program. It is open to COVID-positive patients who transition from the hospital or emergency department to their home and patients who are never hospitalized but require close monitoring.
Home monitoring involves daily symptom tracking through a mobile app called Care Companion. Any reported “red flag” symptoms, such as shortness of breath or breathing difficulties, are sent to your physician as an alert.
If a patient cannot use the mobile app, monitoring can be conducted over the phone by a registered nurse, care coordinator or physician who monitors high-risk patients.
Call your primary care physician to learn more.
UCLA Health has a dedicated and multidisciplinary team of COVID-19 physicians who can follow patients in the outpatient setting. This team includes internists, pulmonologists and cardiologists, among others.
The following are specialty groups that follow COVID-19 positive patients who have symptoms that continue after their initial illness.
Pulmonary / Critical Care Clinic
The pulmonary / critical care team is available to help anyone who is recovering from COVID-19 and has ongoing oxygen dependence, breathlessness at rest, shortness of breath when walking, or cough.
They can order tests to further diagnose the cause of symptoms; prescribe medications to help alleviate symptoms; and design an individualized lung exercise and rehabilitation plan to target symptoms.
In addition, there is specialized post-ICU clinic dedicated to anyone who was hospitalized in the ICU and required mechanical ventilation (aka, a “breathing tube”). In addition to working with a pulmonary/critical care physician, patients will meet with a respiratory therapist, physical therapist, occupational therapist and social worker. The goal of this multidisciplinary expert team is to help patients work through an individualized recovery process outside of the hospital, at home.
Talk to your primary care physician to learn more.
Cardiology – COVID Clinic
UCLA Health has cardiologists who specialize in treating effects of COVID-19 on the heart, which can linger after an initial COVID-19 diagnosis and illness. This impact on the heart can delay a patients’ return to their usual activities.
The following patients should reach out for this specialized care:
A primary care physician or cardiology referral is required.
Neurology – Post-COVID clinic
The neurology team has a neuroinfectious disease specialist who offers consultative care to patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are experiencing post-COVID related symptoms, including memory loss, persistent headaches, neuropathy, persistent muscle aches and balance disorders.
Talk to your primary care physician or neurologist for more information. A physician referral is required.
The UCLA Division of Infectious Diseases has clinics throughout Los Angeles County, including locations in Encino, Santa Monica, Westwood and Torrance. Infectious disease physicians see patients with COVID-19 who may have other infectious complications. Many faculty members are also leading COVID-19 clinical trials, investigating therapies for both hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients.
Please reach out to your primary care provider for a referral to either the infectious disease clinic or to be considered for a clinical trial
There are several treatments available for COVID-19. These have been granted emergency use authorization (“EUA”) by the FDA. The specific treatment depends on the severity of illness, the patient’s symptoms, and other factors. You should discuss treatment with your physician. Additionally UCLA Health is conducting multiple research studies on other treatments for COVID-19.
Find more information about all of our COVID-19 clinical trials.
The FDA recently approved emergency use authorizations for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. This means they can be administered to people 16 years of age and older, the Pfizer vaccine, and 18 years and older, the Moderna vaccine.
UCLA Health will be following the guidelines and framework set by the CDC and state health departments to distribute vaccinations. These guidelines require that shots be made available first to those facing the greatest risk. This includes health care workers and first responders who have close, prolonged and repeated contact with patients who have COVID-19.
Other vaccines we are closely monitoring include those from AstraZeneca/Oxford University and Johnson & Johnson. For more about what you need to know about COVID-19 vaccines from our experts, visit the UCLA Health connect blog.
Click here for all current research and clinical trials related to COVID-19, which are open and actively recruiting volunteers.
If you have fully recovered from COVID-19, please consider donating plasma through our Convalescent Plasma Donation study.
The FDA approved the use of the antiviral drug remdesivir to treat patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Given by infusion, this treatment is widely available to UCLA Health patients and part of an ongoing clinical trial.
Find more information about all our COVID-19 clinical trials.
Dexamethasone is a steroid that can be given to people hospitalized with severe COVID-19 to reduce an overactive immune response. Dexamethasone is among multiple steroids widely available to UCLA Health patients.
Based on current information, there is no reason to avoid ibuprofen to manage COVID-19 symptoms.
Yes. The FDA authorized the emergency use of two monoclonal antibody treatments for symptomatic, high-risk COVID-19 patients in the outpatient setting in Dec. 2020. Given by infusion, this treatment shows promise at reducing hospitalization rates among particularly vulnerable adults.
We proactively offer this treatment to eligible patients if their diagnostic COVID-19 test is processed at a UCLA Health lab and returns a positive result. If you recently tested positive for COVID-19 and your test was processed at an outside lab, please contact your primary care physician to see if you are eligible for a monoclonal antibody treatment.
UCLA Health also offers monoclonal antibody therapies for patients hospitalized with COVID-19 as part of ongoing clinical trials.
Additionally, in January 2021, new research showed that nursing home staff and residents given one of these monoclonal antibody drugs preventively before they were exposed to SARS-CoV-2 were significantly less likely to develop a symptomatic or serious COVID-19 infection once exposed. This suggests that monoclonal antibody therapy given proactively could prevent symptomatic COVID-19 disease. While this is an exciting development, data from this study has not been peer reviewed or published, and research is ongoing.
No. There are clinical trials testing the use of fluvoxamine and metformin to treat patients with COVID-19. UCLA Health is not participating in these trials, and neither drug has been approved for use.
UCLA infectious diseases experts strongly recommend against the use of fluvoxamine and metformin to treat or prevent COVID-19. Do not take these drugs unless they are prescribed by your doctor.
For more information, please consult your primary care physician.
There are two COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use by the FDA. The Pfizer vaccine is given in two shots, 21 days apart, and is authorized for use in people 16 years of age and older. The Moderna vaccine is given in two shots, 28 days apart, and is authorized for use in people 18 and older. There are also several other vaccines in various stages of clinical development.
The Pfizer vaccine is given in two shots, three weeks apart. The Moderna vaccine is given in two shots, four weeks apart. Both vaccines are given as an injection into the muscle. You must receive the same vaccine for both doses.
The Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines are about 95% effective at preventing symptomatic illness for COVID-19 after both doses are received, according to FDA data.
SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19. The vaccines increase the body’s immune response by making antibodies. These antibodies block the SARS-CoV-2 virus from injecting itself into human cells, thereby preventing it from reproducing and making you sick.
There are a few variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, that scientists are actively tracking. These include the B.1.1.7 variant, first reported in the U.K.; the B.1.351 variant, first reported in South Africa; and the P.1 variant, first reported in Brazil. Research is underway to see how effective the currently authorized vaccines are against these variants.
As of January 2021, it appears that both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines work as intended against the B.1.1.7 variant. They appear to be somewhat less effective against the B.1.351 and P.1 variants, which includes a mutation that impacts the spike protein’s ability to infect a cell. However, even with this reduction, the vaccines still offer significant protection. Moderna announced they are developing a booster shot to better target B.1.351 and other emerging strains.
The CDC has more information on these variants online.
No. You cannot become infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from the vaccine.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines include one little piece of what’s known as messenger RNA (mRNA). This mRNA contains genetic instructions, which tell your cells to produce a viral “spike” protein. Your immune system recognizes this as a “threat” and mounts a response, producing antibodies that protect you against future infection.
The little piece of RNA in the vaccine cannot replicate itself and it does not have any of the components needed to infect your body or spread the virus.
The ingredients for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are listed on the FDA website.
The ingredients include:
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use the same mRNA technology, but contain different ingredients to protect the mRNA, maintain the pH, and stabilize the solution. Neither vaccine uses the live virus that causes COVID-19, and neither contains eggs or preservatives.
Johnson & Johnson issued a press release announcing Phase 3 clinical trial results for their single dose COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 29. It was found to be 72% effective in the U.S (and 66% overall) at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19, 28 days after vaccination. It was also found to be 85% effective against severe disease after 28 days, with no hospitalizations or deaths after this time.
What’s different about this vaccine? The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses what’s known as “viral vector” technology. This means a harmless cold virus is engineered to contain the gene for the SARS-CoV-2 “spike” protein. Once someone gets this shot, their body mounts an immune response and produces antibodies that prevent them from a future severe COVID-19 infection.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine does not need to be transported frozen like the two currently authorized vaccines. This means it will be easier to store and distribute to smaller offices and outlying areas.
When is it likely to be available? Johnson & Johnson applied for emergency use authorization (EUA) with the FDA on Feb. 4.
As of February 2021, COVID-19 has killed more than 465,000 people in the United States. This is significantly more deaths than other viruses that we routinely vaccinate against, such as influenza, which according to the CDC typically causes 24,000 to 62,000 deaths in the U.S. per year.
In addition to the high death toll, COVID-19 can also cause other long-term complications. The COVID-19 vaccine will save lives and decrease the likelihood of long term COVID-related problems involving the brain, heart and lungs.
COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and death rates are disproportionately higher in lower-income communities and communities of color. Vaccines are needed to stop the virus and prevent COVID-19’s devastating health, social and financial effects on lower-income communities of color.
No. Just like getting the flu vaccine shot is not mandatory, getting the COVID-19 vaccine will not be mandatory either. However, it will likely be highly encouraged as a way to protect yourself and those around you.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have undergone rigorous review, after which the FDA authorized them for emergency use.
We understand there may be skepticism about the COVID-19 vaccine, especially among people of color, because of historical medical racism and experimentation in people of color. The COVID-19 clinical trials included people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. The vaccine was found to be effective and safe for all participants. Participants in the original clinical trials will continue to be followed for two years.
Experts believe getting the approved shots, along with wearing a face covering, maintaining physical distancing, and avoiding indoor crowds is the best way to protect yourself, your family, your friends and your community.
Both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines work by helping your body produce antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that help fight infections from viruses, bacteria and other germs. Mild symptoms are common as when the body produces antibodies, and are not a sign of infection.
In ongoing clinical trials, the most common side effects included:
Side effects are generally mild and went away after a day or two. They are likely to be more pronounced after the second shot.
As with any vaccine, there is a low chance of allergic reaction. If you have a history of severe allergic reaction to other vaccines, please talk to your doctor about whether you should receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Yes. Mild adverse reactions, such as soreness at the injection site, body and muscle aches, fatigue, and mild fever, are common. Serious adverse reactions may occur but are very rare.
Of the millions of COVID-19 vaccinations that have now been given in the United States, there have been a small percentage of adverse reactions reported through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). There have been less than 75 cases of anaphylaxis (serious life-threatening allergic reaction) reported out of 6 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna administered. This is within an expected level for a vaccine.
All UCLA Health facilities providing COVID-19 shots have staff with proper training and resources to care for those that experience adverse reactions.
No, but you should not get the COVID-19 vaccine if you have had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in the vaccine or if you had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine.
Below is some additional information and context.
All UCLA Health facilities providing COVID-19 shots have staff with proper training and resources to care for those that experience adverse reactions. Please talk to your doctor if you have additional questions.
If you take aspirin, acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) or ibuprofen (e.g., Motrin, Advil) for a medical reason, you can continue to take it as directed. However, we suggest that you do not take any of these medicines before getting your vaccine shot because they could dull your body’s immune response.
If you have a fever or body aches after being vaccinated, you may take these medicines as needed.
It is better to get vaccinated. Getting the actual COVID-19 disease is much worse.
With the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, you get only one piece of the virus’s RNA, which is not able to replicate itself or spread. However, it does help you build up antibodies to keep the spike protein from infecting your cells.
When the virus that causes COVID-19, called SARS-CoV-2, infects a cell, it injects all of its own genetic material into the cell to begin replicating itself. Contracting the virus naturally can cause both direct damage to cells and inflammation due to your immune system reacting, which can harm the entire body.
We don’t know. The Pfizer and Moderna clinical trials tested the vaccines ability to prevent symptomatic COVID-19 disease in vaccinated individuals. The trials did not test if vaccinated individuals could still become infected with COVID-19 or transmit the illness. But just because this wasn’t tested in the clinical trials doesn’t mean the COVID-19 vaccine isn’t preventing vaccinated individuals from catching and transmitting the disease. Based on experience with other vaccines and early data, it is likely that people who are vaccinated will at most have an asymptomatic illness, and will be less likely to pass the virus to others.
It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. The COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t reach its full effectiveness until about two weeks after the second shot. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after their vaccination and still get sick.
We do not know yet. Clinical studies have so far followed patients for only a few months after vaccination. Patients in the studies will eventually be followed for two years. After that, we should know more about how long immunity lasts.
For most people, the answer is yes. The vaccine is currently authorized for use in people 16 years of age and older.
You should talk to your health care provider before receiving the COVID-19 vaccine if any of the following apply:
You should also talk to your doctor if you have any questions, either in general or specific to your medical history.
You should not get the vaccine if you have had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in the vaccine, or if you had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine.
You can find the ingredients and fact sheets for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines here.
You must be 16 years of age and older to receive the Pfizer vaccine, and 18 years of age and older to receive the Moderna vaccine.
Yes. There is not currently enough information available to say if or for how long after infection someone is protected from getting COVID-19 again, so you should still get the COVID-19 vaccine if you have already recovered. You cannot receive the vaccine if you have an active COVID-19 infection.
Yes. If you recently received monoclonal antibody therapy or convalescent plasma to treat a COVID-19 infection, you should defer your vaccination for at least 90 days from when you last received that therapy. If you received this therapy after your first vaccine dose but before your second, you should defer your second dose for at least 90 days following receipt of the therapy.
If you are receiving antibody therapies not specific to COVID-19 treatment, such as intravenous immunoglobulin, you do not need to wait to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
The CDC recommends that the COVID-19 vaccine should be administered alone, with a minimum interval of 14 days before or after receiving any other vaccine. If the COVID-19 vaccine is inadvertently administered within 14 days of another vaccine, doses do not need to be repeated for either vaccine.
Yes. Pregnant women have two options – to get a vaccine when it’s available to them or to wait for more information about how the vaccine affects pregnant women, since they were not included in clinical trials. This is a decision best made in collaboration with a health care professional who knows your personal medical history.
The American College of Obstetrician and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) recommend that COVID-19 vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant individuals who meet criteria for vaccination. UCLA Health also stands by this statement from the ACOG and SMFM regarding the World Health Organization's position on this topic.
The COVID-19 vaccine should be offered to people who are lactating/breastfeeding. Although lactating individuals were not part of the vaccine clinical trials, based on experience with other vaccines, the benefits of vaccine outweigh any safety concerns. You do not have to delay or stop breastfeeding if you receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists offers additional guidance on this topic.
Yes, you can safely get the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine if you’ve received injectable dermal fillers. Infrequently, people who have received dermal fillers may develop swelling at or near the site of filler injection (usually in the face or lips) after a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This appears to be temporary and can resolve with medical treatment, including corticosteroid therapy. Please reach out to your primary care physician if you have any questions.
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is currently authorized for people 16 and older and the Moderna vaccine is authorized for people 18 and older. Before a vaccine can be offered to children under 16, clinical trials must be run in different age groups to test its safety and effectiveness.
Both Pfizer and Moderna announced that they are running clinical trials to test the vaccine in kids 12 and older. This trial is expected to be run in early 2021 and to be completed by mid-summer. No clinical trials have been announced for children under 12.
In most cases, yes. People with medical problems can and should receive the vaccine if they do not have a severe allergy to the ingredients in the vaccine. This includes people living with HIV, autoimmune disorders, such as Lupus, or any other medical problem that leads to a weakened immune system.
If you have questions, please talk to your doctor.
Yes. If you are a transplant recipient, you should get vaccinated. Discuss optimal timing to receive your vaccine with your transplant doctor. One of the easiest ways to connect with your doctor is through the myUCLAhealth patient portal. If you do not have an account, please create one today.
For additional guidance on this topic, please see information from The Transplantation Society and the American Society of Transplantation.
In general, the answer is yes. COVID-19 poses a much greater risk to your health than the risks posed by vaccination. There may be special circumstances in which individuals awaiting a transplant should not be vaccinated, such as if they had a very recent transplant or are receiving treatment for transplant organ rejection or allergic reactions. Please contact your transplant team before you receive any vaccination.
Reach out to your clinical trial study team coordinator with questions about your eligibility to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine technology, used in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, is new, but not unknown. While this is the first time mRNA has been used in a licensed vaccine, the structure and technology have been studied for years. Advancements in biology and chemistry have improved mRNA vaccine safety and efficacy, and it is now thought to be less dangerous than other types of vaccines.
Given the importance of stopping the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine experts focused their time on developing a safe and effective vaccine. They used pre-existing vaccine models that have been studied for years.
Each vaccine was developed and tested following the same rules as other medications and vaccines that have been approved for use, such as antibiotics and the flu shot.
No. There is no way for the COVID-19 vaccine to alter your genetic material (DNA).
RNA is a short-lived, temporary messenger, and it only works in one direction. This means that the RNA does not interact with your DNA and never enters the part of the cell where your DNA is located.
The vaccine was created by expert scientists, not the government. Under “Operation Warp Speed,” the U.S. government provided additional money and support to assist in the production and distribution of the vaccine.
The vaccine does not contain a live or whole virus, microchip, or any other harmful items. Each vaccine was developed and tested following the same rules as other medications and vaccines that have been approved for use, such as antibiotics and the flu shot.
No. There’s absolutely no evidence that the vaccine interferes with fertility or pregnancy.
The vaccine includes only one protein of the virus, which causes your immune system to respond against it. This is something our bodies are used to — it happens every day.
There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine will cause autoimmune problems. The immune response caused by the vaccine only targets the spike protein of the virus, not the other cells in your body.
No. UCLA Health is working with the CDC and California Department of Public Health to make sure that everyone who wants to be vaccinated will be able to do so in an equitable and orderly way. However, additional vaccine educational outreach is being made to communities of color to help stop the high rates of COVID-19 infection, hospitalizations, and death seen in Black, Latino, and Indigenous people.
The US has a history of medical racism and unethical experimentation on people of color. The National Research Act of 1974 outlawed unethical human experimentation on people of color and other vulnerable groups.
The COVID-19 vaccines were created by people of diverse backgrounds and reviewed by leading doctors and scientists of color, including the president of Meharry School of Medicine. The vaccines were tested in people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds and was found to be safe and effective.
The COVID-19 vaccines have been endorsed by the National Medical Association and the National Hispanic Medical Association, the country’s leading organizations of Black and Latino doctors.
The State of California requires that the COVID-19 vaccine be made available first to those facing the greatest risk. This includes health care workers, staff and residents of skilled nursing facilities, staff and residents of long-term care facilities, and all residents who are 65 and older.
UCLA Health has invited all active patients who are 65 and older to schedule their COVID-19 vaccination. If you are not a UCLA Health patient, you can schedule your vaccination appointment online through the LA County Department of Public Health website. (See information for Ventura County and Orange County.)
The next groups eligible for COVID-19 vaccination include people ages 16-64 who meet the employment criteria for Phase 1B of the state’s current distribution plan. These include people who have jobs in education and childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture. Please see the state’s detailed information on all essential workforce employment sectors and then complete your employment questionnaire in myUCLAhealth.
We are awaiting additional guidance from the state and county about when we can offer the COVID-19 vaccine to patients with high-risk medical conditions. We plan to review our patients’ medical records to identify people with these conditions.
While the vaccine supply remains limited, we are inviting our most vulnerable, highest risk patients first. This determination is based on age, medical conditions, and social/demographic factors.
We’re committed to working with LA County, the California Department of Public Health and the CDC to make sure that everyone who wants to be vaccinated will be able to do so in an equitable and orderly way. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated wherever they can get it the soonest.
The LA County Dept. of Public Health has a helpful guide that details distribution plans and phases. Phase 1A includes all health care workers, as well as staff and residents of skilled nursing facilities and long-term care facilities. Everyone in phase 1A is available to receive the vaccine now.
Phase 1B, tier 1 includes people who are 65 and older and people who work in education and childcare, emergency services and food and agriculture. As of February 2021, only people 65 and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. They can schedule an appointment through the LA County website (or Ventura or Orange County website), or book an appointment at UCLA Health.
UCLA Health launched an employment survey in myUCLAhealth so that patients can share details about their current job to determine COVID-19 vaccine eligibility.
The state has detailed information on professions included in the “essential workforce” designation, as well as information on jobs that all within education and childcare. After reviewing this information, please complete your survey.
Need help? Click here for detailed instructions on how to find and complete your employment survey.
UCLA Health has now invited all active patients who are 65 and older to schedule their COVID-19 vaccination. Invitations were sent via email from sender "UCLA Health" (email@example.com), with the word "invitation" in the subject line. If you do not have an email on file or you have unsubscribed from email updates, your invitation letter was sent by mail to your home address. Please follow these step-by-step instructions (in Spanish) to schedule in myUCLAhealth.
If you are a UCLA Health patient who is 65 or older and you have not received a COVID-19 vaccine invite, please reach out to your doctor.
UCLA Health is following public health guidance for prioritizing and administering the COVID-19 vaccine to those facing the greatest risk. We assure you that each UCLA patient will be offered the opportunity to get vaccinated.
We are committed to vaccinating as many people as possible and are currently working on a plan to distribute the vaccine more broadly. Keep checking this website for updated information.
Likely sooner than others in your family. Transplant patients have an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 due to their immunocompromised state. This means you will likely receive your notice to be vaccinated before others in your family without a transplant.
One of the easiest ways to be notified and to schedule for the vaccine is through the myUCLAhealth patient portal. If you do not have an account, please create one today.
No. UCLA Health will continue to receive vaccines produced by different manufacturers, and for now, patients will not be able to choose which vaccine they receive.
It is important that you receive the same vaccine for both doses, as vaccines cannot be “mixed.” For example, if you receive the Pfizer vaccine for your first dose, you must get a Pfizer vaccine for your second dose. This is the same for the Moderna vaccine.
The COVID-19 vaccine is free. If you have insurance, your insurance provider may be charged for the vaccine administration, but there will be no out-of-pocket cost for you. If you don’t have insurance, there is no cost.
Your invitation to schedule your vaccination appointment will be sent via email from "UCLA Health" (firstname.lastname@example.org), with the word "invitation" in the subject line. If you do not have an email on file or you have unsubscribed from email updates, your invitation letter will be sent by mail to your home address.
Once you receive an invitation, please follow these step-by-step instructions (in Spanish) to schedule in myUCLAhealth. You will be able to choose the date, time and location in myUCLAhealth. If you do not have a myUCLAhealth account, create one today.
We are currently distributing the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. You will not be able to choose which vaccine you receive. You must receive the same vaccine for both doses.
After you receive your first dose of the vaccine, you will be prompted to return to myUCLAHealth to schedule your second dose 3-4 weeks later.
If you have not yet been invited by UCLA Health, you can check the LA County, Ventura County or Orange County website, depending on where you live, to see if you can schedule your vaccination appointment through a local department of health.
We use a standard health care model to identify active patients. You are considered an active UCLA Health patient and will receive an invitation if you fall in one or both of these categories:
Given these criteria, if you don’t think you’d be considered an "active" UCLA Health patient, you can book an appointment for a video or in-person visit or establish care with a primary care physician. We update our list every day, and continually pull our most vulnerable, highest risk patients within the eligible tier to the top of the list.
No, please do not check in with or show up at our vaccine sites to see if extra doses are available. Invited patients can schedule their vaccination appointment in myUCLAhealth. In order to avoid wasting doses, we book all appointment slots. Please remain patient, and do not come to our offices without an appointment.
The second vaccination dose should be received 21 days after the first dose for the Pfizer vaccine and 28 days after the first dose for the Moderna vaccine.
The CDC offered additional guidance on this topic, noting that if it is not feasible to receive the second dose within the recommended interval, it may be scheduled up to six weeks (42 days) after the first dose. While there is limited data on how well vaccines administered beyond this window will work, if a second dose is given beyond the six-week window, the CDC notes that there is no need to restart the series.
It is important to get the vaccine when it is offered to you. Strategies are in place to provide the vaccine to those highest at risk first.
If you are concerned about potential long-term side effects related to vaccination, please note that all previous vaccine studies show that serious vaccine-related side effects normally occur within 6-8 weeks (2 months) after a vaccine shot. Approximately 100,000 people received the vaccine more than 6 months ago and there have been no serious side effects.
Getting the vaccine will keep you safe and other people safe who cannot receive the vaccine. It is important that everyone who can get the vaccine get it so that we can end the pandemic through herd immunity.
Yes. Once you have been offered the opportunity to schedule your vaccine appointment, this order will not expire, and you may self-schedule later through myUCLAhealth. However, it is important to get the vaccine when it is offered to you to keep yourself and your community safe.
Once you receive an offer to schedule the vaccine appointment, it will not expire, and you can wait to schedule your appointment. While our goal is to offer vaccinations close to where patients live or work, we may not be able to offer the COVID-19 vaccine at your regular doctor’s office.
No. Based on allocation and distribution plans, you should plan to receive your second vaccine dose at the same location where you received your first vaccine dose.
If you received your first dose through LA County, their website notes that they will email you to confirm the date and place for your second dose appointment. If you received your first dose at a pharmacy, health center or city clinic, please contact that provider or site to confirm your second dose.
If you already received the COVID-19 vaccine elsewhere, such as through your employer or through a health department, please inform your UCLA Health provider. They can update your immunization records to reflect this. We will also be able to query outside registries to identify patients who received the vaccine outside UCLA Health and update their immunization records accordingly.
Yes. While data suggest the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are very effective, no vaccine is 100% effective, and we do not yet know how long immunity will last after getting the two required shots. Therefore, we must continue to follow public health guidelines, such as wearing a face covering, practicing physical distancing and avoiding indoor crowds. UCLA Health will continue to follow universal masking in all medical clinics and hospitals even after employees and patients start receiving the vaccine.
According to CDC guidance, fully vaccinated people who have been exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 do not need to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:
If they do not meet all three criteria, they should still follow current quarantine guidance.
UCLA’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force hosted a town hall on Jan. 14 to discuss the university’s planned approach to vaccine distribution and what to expect in the next few months.
The quickest answer is, we don’t know.
Scientists are currently studying how long immunity might last after a COVID-19 infection. Until there is a clear answer, continue to follow the recommended advice on how to protect yourself from COVID-19 and wash your hands, wear a mask, and follow physical distancing guidelines.
Herd immunity is when enough of a population has built up immunity to a virus that it can no longer easily spread. Researchers estimate that the United States would reach herd immunity for COVID-19 only after at least 60% to 70% of the population — about 200 million people —has had COVID-19 or been vaccinated. Read more about herd immunity in this blog post.
In general, pregnant women are at higher risk for developing complications from some viral respiratory infections because their immune defenses are lowered during pregnancy. While there is not much data on COVID-19 in pregnancy, a study found that pregnant women are at increased risk for severe illness.
Pregnant women should follow the current recommended preventive actions to avoid infection, such as wearing a mask, washing their hands, avoiding contact with people who are sick, and following physical distancing guidelines.
If you are pregnant and are worried you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or you are sick, stay home and call your doctor.
As you know, prenatal visits occur every four weeks in the first and second trimester, every two weeks until 36 weeks and then weekly until birth. We usually check your blood pressure, monitor your weight and check baby’s heart rate at every visit. Given the pandemic of COVID-19, we may modify the schedule and reduce the frequency of these visits based on essential pregnancy testing and indicated medical care during testing. Your provider may offer telehealth visits and limit in-person visits to decrease the potential exposure to COVID-19. Please talk to your physician or midwife and follow their instructions.
To learn more about coronavirus precautions for pregnant women watch COVID-19 in pregnancy video with Drs. Afshar and Rao.
Yes. Given UCLA Health’s rigorous infection-prevention protocols, we believe that it is very safe for you to deliver your baby at UCLA-affiliated hospitals.
Based on the CDC recommendations, please do not come to Labor and Delivery, the hospital, or the outpatient clinic setting without calling your provider first to determine if a face-to-face evaluation is needed. Other alternatives may be available.
Any patient with fever and respiratory symptoms, regardless of travel history, will be provided a mask to wear, be placed in their own room promptly, and evaluated by essential health care providers wearing appropriate personal protective equipment. Throughout labor and delivery, you will be asked to wear a surgical mask at the time of delivery to decrease potential exposure of the newborn, healthcare personnel, and other labor and delivery patients to infection. To limit possible exposures, no visitors are allowed. For more information about the companion policy, please see: https://www.uclahealth.org/coronavirus
Visitors in Labor and Delivery are limited to one support person – spouse, partner, doula, etc. – during your labor. Healthy visitors will be educated to clean hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after touching the patient or the newborn. Nurses will screen all visitors for signs/symptoms of fever and respiratory illness. A visitor with febrile respiratory symptoms will not be allowed to be the support person for a laboring mother. Unfortunately, during this pandemic, and to limit possible exposures, visitors will be restricted from postpartum and nursery.
If you have confirmed or probable COVID-19, you will likely be moved during the postpartum period to a negative pressure room to prevent potential spread of infection. If you have suspected COVID-19, you will be in a routine postpartum room with the door closed. Transmission of COVID-19 after birth via contact with infectious respiratory secretions remains a concern, but this is based on limited data. It is unknown whether newborns with COVID-19 are at increased risk for severe complications, therefore the risks and benefits of temporary separation of you and your baby should be discussed with your healthcare team.
Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most infants. However, according to the CDC, little is known about COVID-19. Whether and how to start or continue breastfeeding should be determined by you in coordination with your family and healthcare providers. If you are temporarily separated from your baby and intend to breastfeed, we encourage you to express your breast milk to establish and maintain milk supply. A dedicated breast pump will be provided. Prior to expressing breast milk, you should practice hand hygiene. If possible, consider having a healthy person feed the expressed breast milk to your baby. If you and your newborn baby are rooming-in and you wish to feed your baby at the breast, you will be asked to wear a new surgical mask and practice hand hygiene before each feeding.
In limited recent case series of infants born to mothers with COVID-19 published in the peer-reviewed literature, the virus was not detected in samples of amniotic fluid or breast milk.
As the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, continues to spread across the globe, so do fears and anxiety surrounding the virus.
Anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress. And while it is normal to feel anxious before starting a new job or speaking in public, too much anxiety can be unhealthy. Read more about coping with coronavirus fears and anxiety.
Also, take a moment to watch this video featuring UCLA Health psychiatrist Jenna Lee, MD.
We are open. If you have a medical procedure, appointment or screening that you would like to schedule, we're here to help. Please contact your doctor through my.uclahealth.org, call 310-825-2631 or complete new patient appointment request.
While many health care needs can be managed through telehealth or video visits, you should be assured that we have implemented the most effective infection prevention policies for our patients and staff so that you can feel safe when coming in for care.
UCLA Health has made it a priority to service patients with surgical cases that may have been postponed and those who are seeking enhanced diagnostic testing. If your appointment is scheduled within the next 7 days and/or if you have any concerns about pending treatments, you should contact your doctor to discuss the best course of action for your personal situation at 310-825-2631.
Many primary care and specialty care providers have the capability to do a video visit (virtual visit). We are trying to convert as many in-person visits as possible to telemedicine (video visits). Some appointments warrant in-person visits. Please call your doctor's office directly or 310-825-2631 to schedule your video visit. Learn more about video visits here.
As a tertiary and quaternary medical center, UCLA Health will continue to treat patients who rely on us for their health and safety.
For the most up-to-date information from UCLA Health, please visit our Coronavirus site or call our Patient Hotline at 310-267-3300, 7 days a week , from 7 am to 7 pm. Calls received outside of business hours will be returned the following business day.
Other resources include: LA County Department of Public Health | CDC Coronavirus Information | WHO (World Health Organization) COVID-19 Report
How your in-person doctor’s appointment visit will work:When you arrive at the clinic a UCLA Health employee will greet you outside, take your temperature and ask you a few questions about any symptoms you're experiencing that may be related to COVID-19. Your visitor will undergo the same screening (see our visitor policy here).
Everyone will then be provided with a mask to wear, if needed, and you will be escorted into an exam room, where members of your health care team will provide your care. UCLA Health staff will also be wearing masks to maximize infection prevention.
For information about dental or orthodontist services or appointments, visit the UCLA School of Dentistry Patient Care page.
We offer a full array of surgical procedures from complex to non-emergency surgeries. To schedule your surgery, please reach out to your provider through my.uclahealth.org.
No. Please do not delay preventive care appointments because you’re concerned about COVID-19. We have rigorous infectious prevention policies in all of our more than 200 medical clinics and hospitals. Talk to your primary care physician if you have any questions.
May I visit friends and family in the hospital?
Hospital COVID-19 Visitor Guidelines: Please see new hospital visitor guidelines here.
Outpatient COVID-19 Visitor Guidelines: Every UCLA Health patient can bring one healthy person with them to appointments in the outpatient setting. This person can be a family member or support person who is necessary to help the patient during the visit or to help the patient return home.
Please note: Visitors presenting with visible signs of fever, cough or other flu-like symptoms will be politely asked to wait outside the office.
Yes. We regularly treat patients with infectious diseases and complex illnesses and have rigorous infection-prevention protocols. Our infectious disease specialists are highly trained, in continual contact with local, state and federal public health officials and closely monitoring developments.
All patients being admitted via our emergency departments will be tested for COVID-19, as will all patients undergoing surgery or procedures at Ronald Reagan, Santa Monica UCLA Medical Centers and many of our other clinical facilities.
All of our more than 200 medical clinics and hospitals have rigorous infection prevention policies in place, including:
Feel free to call your primary or specialty care clinic for specific details about infection prevention practices at that location.
Our physicians are also available for telemedicine appointments and video visits if you don't require an in-person visit.
We follow enhanced disinfection and sterilization procedures in exam rooms, on all machines after every patient, and on high-touch surfaces, such as elevator buttons and digital screens.
While we recognize that all of us must remain vigilant with face covering, physical distancing and hand washing, we value the importance of our patients’ families and friends in the healing process. New visitor guidelines have been put in place so that patients can now begin receiving visitors.
The coronavirus is found in respiratory particles, or air, from an infected person. Large respiratory droplets are released when someone sneezes, coughs, sings or talks. Most people are infected when they breathe in these large droplets.
Scientists now agree that some people are infected through this respiratory mist, that can travel further and linger in the air longer, especially in enclosed spaces with poor ventilation.
To read more about airborne transmission study and report at the CDC, visit the CDC website.
Yes. All Californians must wear a mask or face covering when outside of their home, with limited exceptions. For more about the expanded mask guidance, visit the California Department of Public Health site.
To learn more about the critical role mask wearing plays in limiting the spread of COVID-19, visit the UCLA Health connect blog.
The CDC updated their guidance on this topic, noting that not all masks provide the same protection.
You can continue to wear one quality mask with at least two layers of tightly woven, breathable fabric, and make sure you are wearing it properly. This means it should completely cover your nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of your face and under your chin, without gaps. Select a mask with a nose wire at top, which you can bend over your nose to ensure a good fit, and make sure your cloth masks blocks light from coming through the fabric if held up to a bright light source.
The CDC notes that another option is to wear one disposable mask with a cloth mask on top, which will push the inner mask against your face. A mask fitter or brace can also be worn over a disposable or cloth mask to prevent air from leaking around the edges.
The CDC notes that you should NOT:
See more CDC information on how to improve the fit and filtration of your mask.
The best protection against COVID-19 is to stay healthy and to avoid getting sick. For you and your family, the best protections include:
To read more on best protection guidelines from our experts, visit the UCLA Health connect blog.
Visit the CDC site for guidelines on sickness prevention.
Research suggests that COVID-19 lives for up to 72 hours on hard, shiny surfaces and up to 24 hours on cardboard, paper and fabric. It is not known if the virus present on surfaces remains infectious, surfaces suspected of contamination should be disinfected.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes.
For the most up-to-date information from UCLA Health, please visit our Coronavirus site or call our Patient Hotline Monday to Friday, 7 am to 7 pm at 310-267-3300. Calls received outside of business hours will be returned the following business day.
There is currently no evidence that someone can be infected through mail or packages. But, it is a good idea to open and discard packages outside and to then wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water. For more on safety guidelines for daily life, visit the CDC website.
It is thought to be safe to order food from restaurants. Additional helpful steps could include to wipe down the packaging and containers with a sanitizer, and removing the food from the container, transferring it to clean plate and washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds prior to eating. There’s no evidence to suggest coronavirus is transmitted through food.
In the current context, “social distancing” really means physical distancing and refers to staying at least 6 feet away from people to help avoid getting sick.
For guidelines to keep you, your family, and Los Angeles safe, including outdoor activities, visit the LA Coronavirus FAQs page.
If you have experienced close contact (defined as less than 6 feet away for more than 10 minutes) with someone who has tested positive, or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, then you should self-quarantine for 14 days. COVID-19 symptoms typically appear within 2-14 days.
Individuals should call their personal doctor if they have come in close contact with a person who has COVID-19. For more information please reference the CDC’s site with information on what to do if you are sick.
To properly self-quarantine, separate yourself from other people and animals in your home. As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available.
If you or a member of your household is sick or has been diagnosed with COVID-19, you or the infected person should stay isolated at home.
Here are some first steps:
Isolate infected person in one room to keep the virus away from others
Wear masks when sharing spaces to reduce the chance of transmission
Avoid sharing personal items, such as food and drinks; keep laundry separate
If possible, avoid sharing a bathroom.
For a complete list of isolation guidelines from the CDC, visit the CDC website. Or view this UCLA Health blog post on how to care for someone with COVID-19 at home.
For more information on quarantine bubbles, please see this blog post, written by two primary care physicians.
Data has shown that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes older adults as well as people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.
To learn more about coronavirus precautions for pregnant women watch COVID-19 in pregnancy video with Dr. Afshar and Rao or refer to the Pregnancy & COVID-19 section above.
Data has shown that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes adults age 65 years and older and those who live in nursing homes. The following medical conditions are considered high risk to a person of any age.
Your prescription insurance plan, state law, and the medication type determine the quantity of medication or supplies you can fill at one time. Try these steps:
All UCLA retail pharmacies in both campuses including UCLA specialty pharmacy are open with regular operating hours and can be reached at 310-206-DRUG.
Patients looking for alternative ways to access their prescriptions that are ready at one of the UCLA retail pharmacies, can receive medications via mail delivery. UCLA pharmacies are waiving delivery fees for all eligible prescriptions.
To reach our UCLA retail pharmacies, please call 310-206DRUG (310-206-3784).
To contact UCLA Health Department of Pharmacy Services, Ambulatory & Community Practices, call: 323-22DRUGS (323-223-7847).
Yes. Some Medicare Part D plans allow “refill too soon” overrides under certain circumstances. For more information, please visit www.cms.gov or call your part D plan provider directly.
If you feel unwell, particularly if you have a fever, intense achiness, coughing, or trouble breathing, it is very important to contact your doctor immediately for assistance direction. Typical OTC medications and their use is below.
Always follow the dosing instructions and do not take more than the recommended doses listed on the product packages.
According to the FDA, there is no evidence that the use of NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, can worsen COVID-19 symptoms at this time. Currently, the FDA is investigating this issue and will provide more information when it is available. Speak to your health care provider if you are concerned about taking NSAIDs or rely on these medications to treat a chronic illness. For a more detailed discussion, please visit UCLA Health Connect blog, NSAID article. Dr. Otto Yang, an infectious disease expert at UCLA, comments on the issue in depth.
No. Both the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology recommend that you keep taking your ACE or ARB medications. If you have high blood
pressure or heart disease and are diagnosed with COVID-19, it is very important to discuss with your doctor before adding or removing any treatments.
No. It is very important to discuss with your doctor before adding or removing any treatments. Contact your doctor to build an individual plan based on your specific situation.
Contact your doctor. It is not known if pregnant women are at a greater risk from COVID-19. Additional information can be found on the UCLA Health OBGYN website.
Many pharmacies are offering to bring your prescriptions to you at the curb or in the parking lot. Call ahead and see if this is an option. However, given the current situation, please be patient as there may be a wait.
Some pharmacies are not physically accepting credit cards or cash from patients in order to avoid close contact. When you contact your pharmacist, ask how they prefer to be paid.
What is PPE?Personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as "PPE", is equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazard or illness. This includes gloves, masks, eye protection, respirators, gowns and more.
For more on PPE donations or philanthropic support for research and education, click here.
Our COVID-19 hotline is open every day, from 7am – 7pm. The number is 310-267-3300. Calls received outside of business hours will be returned the following business day.
California is under a Stay at Home Order currently, which orders all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence, except as needed to maintain continuity of operation of the federal critical infrastructure sectors. This Order could change at any time. Please visit the Stay at Home Order page for updates.
The CDC has reported that it is aware of on a small number of pets, including cats and dogs, reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19. For more on animal care and developments, visit the CDC Animal Care page.
There is no evidence the coronavirus survives in well-maintained swimming pools and hot tubs, however physical distance advice still applies. If you’re planning to go to the pool, stay away from other people. For more information about pool safety, visit the CDC’s guidance on aquatic venues.
UCLA Health encourages patients to closely follow the Los Angeles Safer at Home order and check the Safer at Home website for any updates. If you live in another county, please visit the California Dept of Public Health or your county website for more information.
The California COVID-19 website features the latest information on COVID-19 in the state, including guidelines for the Stay-at-Home order.
For advice on online learning, supporting your child’s social and emotional development, nutrition and more, click here.
We advise cancer patients minimize their exposure to COVID-19 by limiting direct contact with friends and family (who do not share the same household as the patient). We also recommend that patients practice good handwashing hygiene, physical distancing, wearing a mask in public, and also clean and sanitize high-touch areas, such as counter tops and doorknobs on a daily basis.
Learn more about myUCLAhealth