This guidance is based on what is currently known about the transmission and severity of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) will update this guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available. This document is intended to provide guidance to help older adults and individuals who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness.While most individuals with COVID-19 have mild clinical symptoms, some individuals may experience severe symptoms. Reported COVID-19 infections range from no or mild symptoms to severe illness, including illness resulting in death. In general, your risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19 increases as you get older. In fact, 8 out of 10 COVID-19-related deaths reported in the United States have been among adults aged 65 years and older.Adults of any age with the following conditions are also at increased risk of severe COVID-19:
COVID-19 is an illness caused by a novel virus that has spread worldwide. As the pandemic continues, we continue to learn more about how COVID-19 spreads and how to best treat individuals with COVID-19. Person-to-person spread is the main mode of the virus (SARS-CoV-2) transmission identified by CDC. The CDC reported that, like other respiratory viruses such as influenza, the virus can spread between people who are in close contact with one another, through exposure to respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes. When these respiratory droplets are inhaled or contact mucus membranes, such as those in the eyes, nose or mouth, they can cause an infection.
The CDC has also concluded that under certain conditions, people with COVID-19 have infected others by airborne transmission, which occurs when smaller particles linger in the air and are inhaled. Smaller particles containing the virus can linger for minutes or hours and infect people who are farther than 6 feet away from the infected person or after the infected person has left the space. People infected with SARS-CoV-2 can have no signs or symptoms of infection but can still spread infection to others. The CDC estimates that about 50% of transmissions occur from asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic infected people who feel well and are unaware that they are infectious. CDPH is monitoring COVID-19 cases, increasing access to testing, and providing guidance and resources to prevent, detect and respond to COVID-19 cases in California.
Everyone should take steps to prevent getting and spreading COVID-19 to protect themselves, their communities, and people who are at increased risk of severe illness. CDPH recommends implementing the following steps: