About COVID-19

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. 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.  

Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 

  • Order of the Health Officer (No. C19-15): Stay Well Sonoma County
    • Date of Order: June 18, 2020 (Supersedes Order No. C19-14 and its Amendments No. 1)
    • Effective 12:01 a.m. on June 19, 2020, and will continue until it is extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended by the County of Sonoma Health Officer.
    • The intent of this Order is to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible and mitigate the impact on delivery of critical healthcare services. All provisions of this Order must be interpreted to effectuate this intent. This Order also includes County-specific restrictions, including social distancing and hygiene requirements.
    • This order expands the type of outdoor recreation or sports activities from previous orders to include groups not to exceed 12 persons with no direct physical contact, including in areas for boating, kayaking, and other on-water activities. Childcare and summer camp programs must also keep groups of 12 or fewer and which will not co-mingle with other groups, with person-to-person contact not allowed.
    • This order expands the list of businesses to operate in the County consistent with the State’s Variance and includes those in the travel industry and personal service businesses, including nail salons and massage and tattoo studios. Business must post their Social Distancing Protocol at or near the entrance of the relevant facility, and shall be easily viewable by the public and employees.
    • Facilities that may have higher risk activities will remain closed. This groups includes, but is not limited to, indoor swimming pools, saunas, hot tubs, steam rooms; playgrounds and group picnic areas; ice rinks, roller rinks, and indoor playgrounds; festivals, public events, and other gatherings over 12 people; convention centers; live theater and concert venues; live audience sports; nightclubs; theme parks; higher education; any other activity prohibited by the State.
    • FAQs: Stay Well Sonoma County
  • Protect Others through Social Distancing
    Social distancing is a practice recommended by public health officials to stop or slow down the spread of contagious diseases. It requires the creation of physical space between individuals who may spread certain infectious diseases. Achieving space between individuals of approximately six feet is advisable.

  • Follow common-sense preventive measures: 
    • Wash hands with soap and water frequently 
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. If surfaces are dirty, clean them using detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. 
    • Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. 
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow. 
    • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick. 
    • Stay away from other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough. 
    • If you smoke or vape, consider quitting. Smokers who already have lung disease or reduced lung capacity could be at increased risk of serious illness.  
  • Wear a Face Covering
    Public health officials requires the use of cloth face coverings to protect against COVID-19 when you leave your home to conduct essential activities. The use of cloth face coverings could reduce the transmission of COVID-19 by individuals who do not have symptoms and may reinforce physical distancing. Public health officials also caution, however, that face coverings may increase risk if users reduce their use of strong defenses such as physical distancing and frequent hand washing. 

This Order excludes individuals experiencing homelessness. The City is actively working with our homeless service providers to urge individuals experiencing homelessness into our shelters where social distancing measures have been implemented to help ensure their health and safety. If you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness, call 1-866-542-5480.  

Statewide Shelter in Place Order Issued by Governor Newsom

Additionally, on March 19, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newson issued a Shelter in Place Order that is in effect until further notice. The order means all Californians must stay home, except for those reasons outlined in local and state Orders. The Governor’s Order underscores the severity of the situation all communities are facing.   

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. Because COVID-19 is new, we are learning more each day about how it spreads, and information is changing frequently. 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.  
  • Stay home as much as possible to comply with Sonoma County’s shelter in place order.   
  • Go out only for essential needs such as food and healthcare for yourself or family.  When possible, use home delivery services to limit trips outside your home.   
  • 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  

Wear a Face Covering When Outside of Your Home

Based on updated information from the CDC, the Sonoma County Health Officer now requires that everyone who leaves home for an essential activity wear a face covering to the extent possible, such as a scarf, bandana, or similar garment while outside their home. For more information, use this link: Health Order Guidance on Face Coverings for General Public in All Age Groups. 

It’s a good idea to wash your cloth face covering frequently, ideally after each use, or at least daily. Have a bag or bin to keep cloth face coverings in until they can be laundered with detergent and hot water and dried on a hot cycle. If you must re-wear your cloth face covering before washing, wash your hands immediately after putting it back on and avoid touching your face. Discard cloth face coverings that: 

  • No longer cover the nose and mouth 
  • Have stretched out or damaged ties or straps 
  • Cannot stay on the face 
  • Have holes or tears in the fabric 

Staying safe while driving with others

Before Getting into Vehicle:

  • If you feel sick, stay at home
  • Wash or sanitize your hands
  • Wear a face covering
  • While in the Vehicle
  • Open the windows
  • Always wear a face covering
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth

While at Work

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Always stay 6 feet away from others
  • Wear a face covering
  • Don’tshare food or drink
  • Clean your home regularly

Every day, clean all surfaces that people touch often, such as:

  • Counters
  • Tabletops
  • Doorknobs
  • Bathroom fixtures
  • Toilets
  • Phones
  • Keyboards
  • Tablets
  • Immediately clean any surfaces that have bodily fluids on them, like blood or feces. You can use most household cleaning sprays or wipes. Follow the instructions on your cleaning products.

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