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What to Do if You Are Sick

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?


People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Older adults and people who have underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes are at higher risk for developing more serious complications.

If you have a fever with cough or shortness of breath, you are presumed to have COVID-19. Let your doctor know and get a test for COVID-19. To protect others, stay home, wear a facemask when you seek medical care, and follow the Home Isolation Instructions.

Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus and may include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Congestion or Runny Nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • New loss of taste or smell


This list does not include all possible symptoms of COVID-19. Some people with COVID-19 never get symptoms. Please talk to your regular doctor for any other symptoms that are severe or concern you.

There is no specific antiviral treatment for the coronavirus. Treatment focuses on easing symptoms.

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and feel sick, L.A. Care members should call L.A. Care's Nurse Advice Line at the number on the back of your Member ID card or your primary care doctor right away.


If you have symptoms


During this outbreak, anyone in Los Angeles County with fever, cough, or shortness of breath is assumed to have COVID‐19 and must self‐isolate at home.

This is by order of the Los Angeles County Public Health Department (LAC DPH) for all residents of L.A. County. Follow the LAC DPH Home Isolation instructions.

Many people with COVID‐19 will have a mild illness and get better at home. Call your primary care provider if you are 65 years and older, pregnant, or have a health condition such as a chronic disease or a weak immune system as you may be at higher risk of serious illness.

  • Stay at home until at least 10 days have passed after your symptoms first appeared AND you have had no fever for at least 24 hours (without the use of medicine that reduces fevers) AND your symptoms have improved (for example, cough or shortness of breath).
  • Tell everyone you had close contact with, starting 48 hours before your symptoms, that they need to quarantine for 14 days. LAC DPH details guidance about home quarantine.
  • Keep track of your symptoms and seek medical care right away if your symptoms get worse.


When to Seek Medical Care

Seek medical care right away if your symptoms get worse, especially if you are at a higher risk of serious illness. If you can't reach your regular doctor, L.A. Care members can use Teladoc or call the Nurse Advice Line at 1.800.249.3619 (TTY 711).

Call 911 if there are emergency warning signs for COVID-19:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • Confusion or having a hard time waking
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Other symptoms that are severe or concern you


Notify the 911 operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. 



Screening and testing related to COVID-19


If you are interested in getting tested, visit our COVID-19 Testing web page for more information.

L.A. Care has waived all costs associated with screening and testing for COVID-19. If you are asked to pay for screening or testing related to COVID-19, please call the L.A. Care Member Services phone number on the back of your Member ID card.  Members enrolled in L.A. Care Covered™ or L.A. Care Covered™ Direct will have a zero dollar ($0) share of cost for medically-necessary treatment for COVID-19 for dates of service that fall between March 1, 2020 through December, 31, 2021. For inquiries regarding coverage of emergency services, please refer to the Evidence of Coverage (EOC).

If you are experiencing symptoms, the CDC recommends calling your doctor or the Nurse Advice Line.