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State of California—Health and Human Services Agency
California Department of Public Health

December 21, 2020

All Californians

COVID-19 Preventative Care Guidelines

This guidance is no longer in effect and is for historical purposes only.

​Getting Preventive Care during COVID-19

Key Messages

  • Preventive care is important for maintaining good health for people of all ages.

  • Talk to your doctor about which types of preventive care you need.

  • There are low riskways to seek preventive care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is preventive care?

Preventive care includes lifestyle changes, tests, and treatments that prevent or detect disease early. Some types of preventive care, like vaccines, can prevent disease. Other types of preventive care, like diabetes or cancer screening, can identify and treat problems before they become more serious.

Why is preventive care important?

Preventive services are important for maintaining everyone's health because they can reduce your risk of many illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, and infections. Unfortunately, preventive care has decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic.[1]

Getting preventive care and having good control of chronic diseases is even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Common chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure increase your risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19.[2]

What type of preventive care do I need?

The type of preventive care you need depends on your age and your health conditions.[3] Talk to your doctor about what services you may need. Here are some common preventive care recommendations by age group:


  • Vaccines: Yearly flu vaccine for children 6 months and older.

    • Other vaccines depending on age and health conditions[5]

  • Vision and hearing screening

  • Developmental assessment

  • Dental care and application of fluoride varnish

All adults[6]

  • Vaccines: yearly flu vaccine for all.

    • Other vaccines may be needed based on age and health conditions.[7]

  • High blood pressure screening

  • Diabetes screening

  • HIV infection screening

  • Colon cancer screening (people 50 and older)

  • Dental care

Women (Including Pregnant Women)[8]: Additional Preventive Services

  • Cervical cancer screening (women ages 21-74)

  • Breast cancer screening (women 50 and older)

  • Osteoporosis screening (women 65 and older)

  • Folic acid supplementation

  • Gestational diabetes screening during pregnancy

  • HIV, Hepatitis B, and syphilis screening during pregnancy

How can I safely get preventive care during the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • Telemedicine: Talk to your doctor by phone or video call about any tests or services you need.

  • Discuss safe alternatives with your doctor. Some tests can be done from home. For example, the fecal immunochemical (FIT) test is a type of colon cancer screening test that can be done at home.[9]

  • Check with your clinic or hospital before your visit about physical distancing, masking policies, and sanitizing protocols used to keep you safer during your visit.

Where can I get more information?

[1] Alexander et al. Use and Content of Primary Care Office-Based vs Telemedicine Care Visits During the COVID-19 Pandemic in the US. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(10):e2021476. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.21476









Originally Published on December 21, 2020