Stay up to date on vaccines and wear a mask when cases are high to take good care of yourself and our communities!
- Prevention and COVID risk reduction for everyone
- Prevention for people with immunocompromise and other risks for severe COVID-19
- More on: vaccines | testing | masks | ventilation | COVID PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis)
- What COVID-19 symptoms feel like
- Where to get tested and care
Prevention and COVID risk reduction for everyone
Here’s a quick guide for safer gatherings when cases are high:
- Encourage guests to get updated vaccines.
- Ask guests to stay home if sick.
- Ask guests to do a rapid COVID test right before you gather (ideally 15-30 minutes before) and make sure everyone coming is negative.
- Maximize ventilation by being outdoors and if indoors, keeping windows/doors open and running HEPA air filters.
- Wear high quality masks: N95 (best), KN95, KF94 (very good), double-masking with a surgical mask under a tight-fitting cloth mask (good) or at least a surgical mask with gaps tucked in (decent).
- Keep it small, such as 3 households or fewer.
When to get tested for COVID-19:
- When experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- When you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
- Before gathering with others.
- Stay home (“isolate”) and wear a mask to protect people around you, including at home, following the guidance in the graphic below.
- Let your medical provider know ASAP because antiviral treatment may be available, especially if you are immunocompromised or have other risks for severe illness. Treatments are available for people at risk and are more effective taken as soon as possible after the start of symptoms.
- Click here for more details and treatment options.
Click for more from the CDC: general guidance, travel guidance and the scientific brief. Click here for our harm reduction guidance and graphics.
If you are immunocompromised or have other risks for severe COVID-19:
- Stay up to date on vaccines and/or get COVID PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis).
- Wear high quality masks (K/N95, KF94, surgical masks) when out in public.
- Avoid non-essential travel to places with medium to high levels of cases.
- Stay away from people who are sick or at least limit contact.
- Have 2 weeks of food and other household necessities on hand when possible.
- Create a plan for getting your clinical care by phone or video.
- Get the maximum refills of antiretrovirals and other medications you can safely store and track.
- Here’s more guidance for people at risk for severe COVID-19 from the CDC.
- Click here to learn more and check your COVID-19 community level.
Self-care and wellness
UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center has science-based practices and activities for self-care and managing anxiety and stress during the coronavirus outbreak.
Please see below for the Trauma Stewardship Institute’s Tiny Survival Guide infographic.
If you feel sick:
Call your provider before going to the clinic to get up-to-date instructions. Most clinics are now providing assessments, consults and guidance over the phone or via video chats.
If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, go to your nearest emergency room if unstable, or if stable, please call your provider to get instructions so you can be routed to the appropriate health facility.
Top 5 Omicron variant symptoms (UK Zoe study):
- Top 5 symptoms in unvaccinated people:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Persistent cough
- Top 5 symptoms in vaccinated people: “Feels like allergies or a bad cold.”
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Loss of smell/taste
COVID-19 symptom chart from Alameda Health Consortium:
If you want/need COVID-19 testing:
- Alameda County free COVID testing sites: This webpage includes community-based sites offering free testing for anyone with symptoms, including people without health insurance.
- Contra Costa County free COVID testing
- Solano County free testing sites
- Each US household can click here or call 1-800-232-0233 to request 4 free COVID home tests, with shipments starting December 19, 2022.
- If you have health insurance, you can get 8 free home tests each month.
- If you have a health care provider, school or workplace, check for testing availability with them.
- Please check the listing for updates and call the testing site before you leave to make sure they are open for testing, you are eligible, and register if needed.
- If you don’t have a provider and have COVID symptoms: In Alameda County, call Alameda Health System 510-437-8500 for a phone screen and guidance. In Contra Costa County, call 844-729-8410. In Solano County, the county COVID warmline is 707-784-8988.
- If you’re having difficulty breathing and unstable, please go to your nearest emergency room.