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City of Los Angeles - Emergency Management Department
Thursday March 12th, 2020 :: 05:52 p.m. PDT


COVID-19: How to stay safe and help prevent spread of the novel coronavirus

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Good afternoon, 

The City of Los Angeles is working closely with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the County Office of Emergency Management to share updates, guidance and information about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19. 

What we know:

  • COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath — and may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

  • Person-to-person spread mainly occurs via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes (similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread). In rare cases, it may be possible that COVID-19 can be transmitted by touching an infected surface or object.

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most ill. Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms.

  • Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) are not recommending personal face masks be used by individuals who do not have prolonged exposure to individuals who have been identified as at risk.

What you can do:

You can help reduce the spread of the virus by taking a few simple actions.

Use healthy hygiene practices

If you are sick, stay home. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Cover your cough or sneeze. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Plan ahead

As Angelenos living in earthquake country, we know the importance of personal preparedness on any given day. Have extra food, medical supplies, and emergency kits. Talk to your family, friends, and neighbors to develop emergency plans.

Monitor your health

If you have recently traveled in an area with coronavirus infections, OR been in contact with someone who has tested positive, OR are showing symptoms, monitor your health and contact a medical professional. If you are having difficulty breathing or keeping fluids down, go to an emergency room or call 911. Otherwise, it is better to call your doctor before going in to seek care.

Keep your distance

Practice social distancing, such as keeping six feet between yourself and others, avoid shaking hands, and avoid crowded areas. If you have a chronic disease, like lung disease, diabetes, cancer, a compromised immune system, are over 60 or pregnant, avoid unnecessary travel, unnecessary gatherings and events.

Stay informed

Stick with official sources for accurate and up-to-date information, including and You can sign up for our City’s Mass notification system at

What the City is doing:

Beginning today, Mayor Garcetti has instructed City Departments to implement statewide guidance and safety measures in our City policies to limit the spread of the virus. 

City Hall will be closed to members of the public, except for public meetings of the City Council, and board and commission meetings will transition to accessible phone or video conference sessions that will allow constituents to make comments, ask questions, and engage with local leaders. 

Additionally, the City is deploying hand-washing and sanitizing stations in City-owned public buildings and limiting gatherings and entry of visitors into public buildings to no more than 50 people at a time. 

Thank you for all you are doing to keep Angelenos healthy and safe. These guidelines are designed to protect our most vulnerable neighbors. Our city is strong, and we will get through this together. 


City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department

City of Los Angeles - Emergency Management Department
200 N Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Emergency: 9-1-1

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