Take good care of yourself and the community and help us prevent the spread of COVID-19!
People living with HIV are recommended to follow community guidance around COVID-19 prevention, ensure they are taking and have an adequate supply of HIV medications and have phone access to providers.
California state’s system for evaluating how counties are doing and closures/restrictions based on case, test positivity and ICU bed availability is described on this website: Blueprint to Safer Reopening.
HIV services during COVID-19: Click here for Contra Costa HIV services and see our online directory for Alameda County HIV services.
- What vaccinated people can do
- Prevention for everyone in public spaces
- What COVID-19 symptoms feel like
- Where to get tested and care
What fully vaccinated people can do (2 weeks after completing all doses)
Here is the updated CDC’s guidance for what fully vaccinated people can do:
- Gathering with other vaccinated people in small groups indoors and without masks,
- Visiting one low-risk household indoors without masks, and
- Masking and distancing in public spaces until more people get vaccinated.
For example, this means grandparents who received all their vaccine doses at least 2 weeks ago may visit unvaccinated low-risk children and grandchildren in one other household without masks and distancing.
CDC travel guidance for fully vaccinated people:
- If you travel in the United States, you do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
- If you travel internationally, find out the pandemic situation at your international destination before traveling outside the United States and requirements for testing.
- Fully vaccinated people do *not* need to self-quarantine after arriving in the US or after exposure to COVID-19 unless you live in a large group setting.
- The good news is that fully vaccinated people are very well protected against serious COVID-19 and infection risk is low.
- Are you experiencing any symptoms?
- If you don’t have any symptoms and are not in a healthcare setting or congregate living situation, you don’t have to quarantine. Just watch for symptoms for 14 days after your last exposure. If you’re in a healthcare setting, please let your supervisor know and follow workplace guidelines.
- If you have symptoms or develop them, self-isolate and let your health care provider know about your symptoms, that you’re vaccinated and get tested (ideally PCR and sequencing to evaluate for variants with report to public health).
- If you live in a congregate setting (e.g., correctional and detention facilities, group homes) you should quarantine for 14 days and get tested to help further reduce the risk of transmission to others in these crowded settings.
- If you work in a congregate setting or crowded workplace (e.g., meat and poultry processing and manufacturing plants), you do not need to quarantine, but testing is recommended.
Click for more from the CDC: general guidance, travel guidance and the scientific brief. Click here for our harm reduction guidance and graphics.
Prevention and reducing spread in public: for everyone
The COVID-19 virus is transmitted via respiratory droplets and mainly spread person-to-person.
The safest way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is staying home and using phone or video to connect with others. If you gather in person, keep it:
- outside with open air flow
- small with people from no more than 3 households
- short: no more than 2 hours, and
- stable: avoid multiple gatherings with many different households.
- Wear a mask or face covering!
Everyone, including people living with HIV are advised to take the same precautions:
- Cover your face (nose and mouth) with a mask or face covering to prevent transmission of coronavirus when leaving the house for essential activities.
- Stay outdoors and minimize time spent indoors since infectious droplets spread much more easily indoors and in poorly ventilated spaces.
- Avoid crowds and keep your contacts to no more than 3 households, ideally in a stable social bubble/group.
- Avoid close contact (less than 6 feet) with anyone outside your household.
- Clean your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol frequently and before and after touching things touched by many other people (door knobs, light switched, bus/BART/escalator/stair handles and rails, elevator buttons, etc.).
- Carry hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and clean tissues with you.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
- Avoid touching your face; if you do, use a clean tissue and/or sanitize your hands before and after.
- Greet people with smiles, waves, bows or elbow bumps rather than shaking hands or other physical contact.
- Get the flu vaccine if you haven’t already.
- If you smoke or vape, consider quitting, as it can put you at increased risk for COVID.
- Take your regular medications every day as prescribed.
- Have at least 2 weeks to 3 months of medications on hand when possible.
People older than 60, with lower CD4 counts, with heart or lung conditions, and people living with HIV who are not on antiretroviral treatment are also advised to:
- 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.
- Avoid non-essential travel.
- 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.
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.
COVID-19 symptom chart from Alameda Health Consortium:
If you want/need COVID-19 testing:
- Alameda County 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 drive-through or walk-in COVID testing
- Solano County free testing sites
- Please check the listing for updates and call the testing site before you leave your home/shelter/camp/car 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.