What is COVID-19?LACoPH Opens in new window

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that typically causes mild to moderate illness, like the common cold, but can lead to dangerous complications. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China and is now infecting people around the world. Click HERE to visit L.A. County's Daily COVID-19 Date Page. 


Symptoms may also include: chills, muscle or body pain, fatigue, headache, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, congestion or runny nose, or new loss of taste or smell. This list of symptoms is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

How it Spreads

The virus spreads when a person with COVID-19 releases respiratory droplets into the air—for example, when speaking, singing, coughing, shouting, or exercising. These droplets are then breathed in by other people or land on their nose, mouth, or eyes. The virus also spreads by touching a surface with droplets on it and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth but this is less common.

There are certain places where COVID-19 spreads more easily:

  • Closed spaces with poor airflow
  • Crowded places with many people nearby
  • Close contact settings especially where people are talking (or breathing heavily) close together

Get Help

If you have questions and would like to speak to someone, or need help finding medical care, call the Los Angeles County Information line 2-1-1, which is available 24/7.

Learn More

To learn more about COVID-19 visit the Los Angeles Department of Public Health Website to read about testing, vaccines, contact tracing, exposure guidance and more.