While COVID-19 case rates are declining and LA County entered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) medium community level, knowing one’s health status remains key to slowing the spread in schools, workplaces, and homes.
Residents should get tested when they have been exposed; have symptoms; before and after gatherings; and when they travel.
Residents who test positive, even with an at-home test, need to isolate to avoid infecting others. Residents who test negative but have symptoms should remain home and test again in 24-48 hours to be sure they aren’t infected.
If a test is still negative, but a person remains ill, they may have another virus/illness. Anyone with symptoms should remain home until they are fever free, and symptoms are resolving. Individuals should call their provider if they have concerns about their illness. If an individual does not have a provider, they can call 2-1-1 to get connected to care.
Free over-the-counter (OTC) tests can be picked up at Department of Public Health vaccination sites and at a variety of locations and partners. Currently, free OTC tests are being distributed at the seven Public Health PODs.
To date, 18,816,372 at-home OTC tests have been distributed county-wide by Public Health, the California Department of Public Health and the CDC, with many distributed by schools and community partners in areas hard hit by the pandemic.
As schools reopen, 62 public school districts, plus 203 private and charter schools have testing programs in place. Other K-12 schools which need support with their testing capacity can reach out to Public Health at ACDC-Education@ph.lacounty.gov.
There are many FDA-approved rapid OTC tests that can be used for self-testing at home, at a business, or at other community settings. At-home tests can be ordered at no charge from the federal government at www.covidtests.gov. Residents who have health insurance can receive eight free at-home tests each month for each insured member in their household.
Call the Public Health COVID-19 information line at (833) 540-0473, 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, or visit www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.