Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, First 5 LA will be gathering information and sharing resources to help partners, parents and L.A. County residents impacted by the crisis.

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COVID-19 — also known as Coronavirus — is a contagious virus that is part of a large family of coronaviruses that cause diseases of varying severities, ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. COVID-19 is also called a novel coronavirus because it is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.

In general, transmission of coronaviruses is most likely while a person has symptoms and is spread through:

  • Droplets produced through coughing and sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as caring for an infected person
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands

The symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to practice good hygiene with frequent hand washing and by avoiding close social encounters.


More County, State and Federal Resource Sites:

The State of California’s COVID-19 Resource Page

L.A. County Department of Public Health: Coronavirus

L.A. County Responds: Confronting COVID-19

Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Coronavirus

211 L.A. County Resource Line – 211 LA is the central source for providing information and referrals for all health and human services in LA County. It is open 24 hours, 7 days a week, with trained Community Resource Advisors prepared to offer help with any situation, any time.


Los Angeles Remains in Tier 1 Reopening

  • Coronavirus outbreaks tied to gatherings and workplaces are preventing L.A. County from reopening further.
    • Los Angeles County public health officials said that an uptick in coronavirus cases linked to social gatherings and workplace outbreaks are largely keeping the area from moving out of the state’s most restrictive tier for reopening.
    • While officials remain hopeful the county will be able to progress in California’s reopening plan in the coming weeks, the area is still firmly in Tier 1, one of only 10 counties in the state still considered to have a widespread risk of community transmission.
    • Though the county’s positivity rate has dropped to below 4 percent, it has still been hindered by a high number of new COVID-19 cases driven largely by outbreaks by personal gatherings, according to LA County Department of Public Health (LADPH) Director Ferrer.  “The only way we get to Tier 2 is to really double down,” Ferrer said about the county’s goal to move to the next tier. “We’re going to have to get used to living our lives with a different set of rules.”
    • Worksite outbreaks where there are clusters of three or more cases have also contributed to the county’s slight uptick in cases, which began around the end of September. Such outbreaks come on the heels of a staggered reopening plan in which the county most recently allowed indoor shopping centers to resume operations last week.
  • Coronavirus transmission rate grows in L.A. County.
    • The novel coronavirus is spreading faster in Los Angeles County, with the rate of new cases expected to increase in the coming weeks, officials said.
    • Although most businesses have complied with COVID-19 safety protocols, Ferrer said the county has issued more than 130 citations, mostly to fitness centers and places of worship.
    • Large gatherings have also contributed greatly to infection increases, which is one reason that with Halloween less than three weeks away, Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti asked residents to be creative in their celebrations and to avoid trick-or-treating.  “Door-to-door trick-or-treating is not recommended as it makes social distancing nearly impossible,” Garcetti said.
  • As holidays approach, California unveils new rules on family gatherings, social events.
    • With the holiday season approaching, California last week released new guidelines for socializing that prohibit gatherings among more than three households.
    • “We are entering into the holidays, but also we’re entering into the part of the year when things cool down and people are more likely to congregate … in settings that put their physical proximity and likelihood of transmitting disease at higher risk,” Governor Newsom said.  “Don’t be misled that this disease is any less deadly. Quite the contrary: it is as deadly as it’s ever been in the context of those that are high risk.”
    • Newsom has also warned about the upcoming flu season, which could create added challenges in battling the coronavirus, as well as the arrival of colder weather that may prompt people to spend more time indoors.
    • To protect public health and slow the rate of transmission, the state had previously banned all gatherings of any kind as well as any mingling of households.  DPH Director Ferrer said L.A. County would adopt the state guidelines while also acknowledging that they were a “slippery slope” and that private gatherings should occur sparingly.
  • The U.S. is facing a renewed wave of infection and hospitalization related to COVID-19.
    • After a month of warning signs, data now makes it clear: The third surge of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is underway. Outbreaks have been worsening in many states for more than a month, and new COVID-19 cases jumped more than 18 percent this past week. Though testing rose by 8 percent nationally, that’s not enough of an increase to explain the steep rise in cases. Meanwhile, COVID-19 hospitalizations, which had previously been creeping upward slowly, jumped more than 14 percent from a week earlier.
    • This week’s spike in new cases was spread across the country, rather than being concentrated in a few states, as occurred in the Northeast in the spring, in the Sun Belt in early June, and in the Midwest over the past few weeks. Seventeen states posted peak new-case days in the past week, including nine of 12 states in the Midwest and six of 11 states in the West.
    • The surge in hospitalizations is  less abrupt than those earlier in the year, and much more geographically widespread. And this time, more states that experienced major outbreaks earlier in the year are seeing hospitalizations rise again.
    • While California is yet to experience this new surge, the rise in new cases and hospitalizations across much of the rest of the U.S. should serve as a significant warning sign for the state.


Mayor Eric Garcetti has issued an order requiring Angelenos to wear face coverings outside their homes.


The order will aid the fight against COVID-19, as restrictions are gradually eased to allow more people to return to work and outdoor recreation. The order exempts young children who are at risk of suffocation and people with certain disabilities from being required to wear a face covering.

Face coverings help stop the spread of the virus, and wearing them in public creates a layer of protection. However, a face covering is not a substitute for other critical measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 — most importantly, staying home as much as possible, washing hands frequently, and practicing safe physical distancing of at least 6 feet in all settings.

For more information, click here.



Starting May 8, the City and County of Los Angeles will enter Stage II and begin the process of slow and gradual adjustments to the Safer at Home order. Physical distancing, face coverings and other safety measures will remain in place and will be even more important.

A gradual approach is necessary to safely navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal is to slowly taper restrictions so we can avoid a surge of new COVID-19 cases that could overwhelm our healthcare and other systems. This strategy will be slow, deliberate, coordinated, and driven by data and public health criteria.

The first stage — where Los Angeles has been over the last several months — is crisis management mode, which has the goal of saving as many lives as possible.

The second stage aims to transition Angelenos back to a “new reality,” with a slow and gradual change to some restrictions, while always ensuring that there are adequate safety measures in place.

In the third and fourth stages, the City will transition to a state of monitoring, and aim to lift additional restrictions. In the fifth and final stage, the City will be fully reopened and turn its attention to reimagining itself in a post-COVID-19 period.

Stages ultimately become less restrictive as they progress. Key milestones must be reached before the City can transition to the next stage of recovery.

To learn more about the stages of recovery, visit:


Los Angeles County expands free coronavirus testing to all residents


The City of Los Angeles, in partnership with the County of Los Angeles and CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort), is providing free COVID-19 testing to ALL Los Angeles County residents, whether or not you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Priority for the same or next day testing is still given to people with symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, headaches, sore throat, or a new loss of sense of smell.

Testing is also prioritized for certain critical front-line workers who interact with the public while working. Click the Testing for Front Line Workers button for more details.

Testing is by appointment only. To book an appointment, visit:


LAUSD to remain closed for the rest of the school year


Los Angeles Unified School District campuses will remain closed for the remainder of the school year and courses through the summer will continue online amid ongoing coronavirus concerns, Superintendent Austin Beutner announced April 13.

For more information, view Beuter’s announcement here:


Los Angeles County extend stay-at-home order through May 15.

Los Angeles County health officials shared the latest COVID-19 modeling and warned Friday that the region needs to significantly increase physical distancing to slow the spread of coronavirus and that stay-at-home restrictions could remain into the summer.

For more information, click here.


The City of Los Angeles has issued new guidance to L.A. residents on the importance of wearing face coverings in public. The California Department of Public Health has also issued public guidance on the use of face coverings.
Early data suggests that many who are infected with COVID-19 are not symptomatic, which is why we recommend all members of the public wear cloth face coverings when leaving the house for essential activities. However, a face covering is not a substitute for other critical measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 — most importantly, staying home as much as possible, washing hands frequently, and practicing safe physical distancing in all settings.

For more information, visit:


Los Angeles County issues new self-quarantine and self-isolation orders

  • The new orders ensure that individuals who test positive for COVID-19, and those who are told by a clinician they are presumed to be positive for COVID-19, are required to self-isolate and self-quarantine
  • Self-quarantine is required for anyone exposed to a person diagnosed with or likely to have COVID-19. Individuals must stay in quarantine for 14 days from the last time they had contact with the ill person, and they cannot leave their place of quarantine, with the only exception being for medical care
  • Self-isolation is required for anyone diagnosed with or showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 within 14 days of being in close contact with a person who had or was believed to have COVID-19. Individual self-isolation periods must last at least 3 days without symptoms, including being fever free without taking medicine, and 7 days since symptoms started, whichever is longer, and the individual notify anyone they’ve had close contact with while symptomatic to self-quarantine themselves. The only exception is to leave self-isolation for medical care.


As of March 19th, Gov. Newsom has ordered Californians to stay at home except for leaving for essential needs. The order will be in place through April 19, 2020 and is subject to extension. For more information, visit:

Here are the key parts of the “Safer at Home” order:

  • Angelenos are directed to stay in their residences and limit activity outside of their homes beyond what is absolutely necessary for essential tasks — including to secure food and health care, safety and medical necessities, as well as to care for children, older adults, and people with disabilities.
  • Many businesses — including malls, many shops, companies, and nonprofit organizations — must stop operations that require workers to be present in-person.
  • No public and private gatherings that would occur outside of a single home will be allowed.

There are exceptions to this order. Please see this Safer at Home FAQ for a list of the essential activities and businesses that will remain open and other important information.