About COVID-19

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to it. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). This occurs through respiratory droplets produced by an infected person and which can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 

Typically, human coronaviruses cause mild-to-moderate respiratory illness. Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Symptoms are very similar to the flu, including: 

  • Fever 
  • Cough 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • COVID-19 can cause more severe respiratory illness.

Treatment for COVID-19 

If a person develops symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough or shortness of breath, they should call their health care provider before seeking care. From the international data available, of those who have tested positive for COVID-19, approximately 80 percent do not exhibit symptoms that would require hospitalization. For patients who are more severely ill, hospitals can provide supportive care.

Vaccine Information

The supply of COVID-19 vaccines in the United States is currently plentiful and many clinics are offering walk-up services. For most up-to-date information on vaccines in Sonoma County, please visit socoemergency.org/vaccine.

Reopening California

California is moving Beyond the Blueprint to safely and fully reopen the economy.

As of June 15, 2021, the Governor terminated the executive orders that put into place the Stay Home Order and the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. He also phased out the vast majority of executive actions put in place since March 2020 as part of the pandemic response, leaving a subset of provisions that facilitate the ongoing recovery.

The new public health order effective June 15, 2021 supersedes all prior health orders. The order has limited restrictions, only related to masking and mega-events, as well as settings serving children and youth pending an expected update to the K-12 schools guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Restrictions that ended on June 15, 2021 include:

  • Physical distancing
  • Capacity limits on businesses
  • County tier system

Read the Governor’s orders: N-07-21 and N-08-21. Find details in the California Department of Public Health’s Beyond the Blueprint for Industry and Business Sectors and the Questions & Answers.

Continuing Safety Measures

Everyday life will feel a lot like before COVID-19. But reopening safely means continuing vaccinations and protecting the health and well-being of Californians.

Do’s and Don’ts for Daily Life

Protect yourself and others by keeping these common-sense safety steps in mind.

Get vaccinatedLose your proof of vaccination
Wear a mask where required, in public indoor spaces, and on public transitThink you can’t get the virus or pass it on because you feel well
Turn on exposure notifications on your phoneAssume everyone is vaccinated
Get tested if you’re sickExpect all COVID-19 rules everywhere to be lifted
Honor mask rules in place at a private businessTravel into the U.S. without proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test
Get tested if required by your workplaceAttend large events if you’re sick
Wear a mask when you travelTravel if you’re sick


To stay up to date on the most recent travel requirements, please review the CDC’s travel guidelines as well as CDPH’s travel flyer.

Do NOT travel if…

  • You are sick.
  • You tested positive for COVID-19 and haven’t ended isolation.
    • After you end isolation, avoid travel until a full 10 days after your symptoms started or the date of your positive test if you had no symptoms.
    • If you must travel on days 6 through 10, properly wear a well-fitting mask when you are around others for the entire duration of travel. If you are unable to wear a mask, you should not travel during days 6 through 10.
  • You had close contact with a person with COVID-19 and haven’t ended quarantine.
    • Get tested at least 5 days after your last close contact and make sure your test result is negative and you remain without symptoms before traveling. If you don’t get tested, delay travel until a full 10 days after your last close contact with a person with COVID-19.
    • If you must travel before the 10 days are completed, properly wear a well-fitting mask when you are around others for the entire duration of travel during the 10 days. If you are unable to wear a mask, you should not travel during the 10 days.
  • You are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test. If your test comes back positive while you are at your destination, you will need to isolate and postpone your return until it’s safe for you to end isolation. Your travel companions may need to quarantine.

Health and Safety Tips for Families & Households 

The novel coronavirus, which causes the respiratory disease known as COVID-19, is a member of the same family of viruses that causes colds. For the latest developments on COVID-19, visit socoemergency.org/coronavirus 

Safety in Your Home

What you should know if someone in your home has these symptoms consistent with COVID-19:  

  • Fever  
  • Cough  
  • Shortness of breath  

Pay attention to your own health. Watch for signs of illness, especially after someone in your home is treated by first responders or is taken to the hospital for COVID-19 and flu-like symptoms  

  • If someone in your home becomes ill, call your health care provider for instructions.
  • Keep your home as clean and as safe as possible. Follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on home cleaning, including regular cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces, such as tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, handles, phones and computer, toilets, and sinks.
  • If you need to call 911, please advise the emergency dispatcher if you have had an illness within your home.
  • Follow any special instructions provided for the safety of responders and other household members.

Prevent the Spread by Practicing Good Hygiene

Practice good hygiene to reduce your risk of becoming infected with a respiratory virus, such as influenza or COVID-19. Recommendation from the CDC include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty
  • For information about hand washing, see CDC’s Hand washing website
  • Get your flu shot to protect against flu if you have not done so this year. The flu shot, will not protect against the coronavirus, but is encouraged for the following reasons:
    • Fewer people getting ill frees up medical resources, and
    • Avoiding the flu will help keep your immune system healthy

Animals and Pets

It appears the COVID-19 virus can spread from people to animals, but the number of pets infected is small. The risk of COVID-19 spreading from animals to people is considered to be low.

Monitor Your Health

Get tested if:

  • You have a fever over 100.4° Fahrenheit or 38.0° Celsius
  • You’re shivering
  • You have a cough
  • It’s hard to breathe
  • You feel tired or sore
  • You can’t smell or taste anything
  • Your throat hurts
  • Your head hurts
  • You have a runny or stuffy nose
  • You have diarrhea, feel sick to your stomach, or throw up

For more information, please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention