FAQs

Questions

Where can I get a test?
Test Results

COVID test results are usually available 2-5 days. The provider that administers the test provides the result. Please contact the provider that administered your test for the results. Some providers will be send out an email with a link to create an account to access your results.

I don’t feel sick, so why should I get tested?

People can spread COVID-19 without knowing that they are sick, so protect your family, friends, and neighbors by getting tested. You can get tested for free, whether you have symptoms or not. People who are at higher risk, such as healthcare workers, first responders, people living with or caring for the elderly, and workers with lots of contact with the public, should get tested at least monthly. Employees in certain sensitive professions may be notified by their employer if they need to be tested more frequently than once a month.

Widespread testing provides a more accurate picture of how many cases exist in our community and where the virus is spreading. It also helps identify people without symptoms who could be spreading COVID-19 so that they can stay away from work and public places until their infectious period is over. Testing is one of the key indicators we are tracking as we assess whether, and to what extent, we can move away from the existing shelter-in-place restrictions.

What are they symptoms of COVID-19

Most common symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with Chills
  • Muscle Pain
  • Headache
  • Sore Throat
  • New Loss of Taste or Smell
  • Temperature of 100.4 or greater

Other less common symptoms include:

  • gastrointestinal symptoms such as loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
If you have been exposed to someone that tested positive or that you believe was positive for COVID and are experiencing any of these symptoms:
  • Call your healthcare provider and explain that you believe that you have been exposed to Covid and your symptoms. Tell your provider in advance that you believe that you have been exposed to make sure that they can take precautions.
  • While you wait for care, take the following precautionary measures: avoid contact with other people and wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. (CDPH)
What is considered an exposure to someone with Covid or a "close contact"?
  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils
  • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you
What is Quarantine and Isolation?
  • All individuals who have been diagnosed with or are likely to have COVID-19 must immediately take the following actions:
    • Isolate themselves in their home or another residence. They may not leave their place of isolation or enter any other public or private place, except to receive necessary medical care.
    • Carefully review and closely follow all requirements listed in the Home Quarantine Instructions
    • Tell their close contacts who were with them hours before symptoms began until isolated (or the date of the positive test if no symptoms) that they have been exposed, should quarantine themselves and follow the Home Quarantine Instructions
    • Close contacts are persons who:
      • Live in or have stayed at their residence, OR
      • Are intimate sexual partners, OR
      • Provide or provided care to them without wearing a mask, gown, and gloves, OR
      • Were within feet of them for 15 minutes or more
  • Individuals who test positive for COVID must isolate themselves in a residence and follow this Order until they are no longer at risk for spreading COVID-19 based on the following:
    • When at least days have passed since symptoms first appeared and there has been at least 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and other symptoms have improved.
    • If tested positive for COVID but have no symptoms, as long as they continue to have no symptoms, may leave isolation when10 days have passed since the date of the COVID-19 test.
When can I come out of quarantine?

If they meet these 2 criteria then they can come out of isolation on the 11th day:

  • No fever in the past 3 days (without the use of fever-reducing medication)
  • Cough or shortness of breath have improved.
What businesses can operate in San Joaquin County?

San Joaquin County is now following the state guidance (Blueprint for a Safer Economy). Those activities allowed to function in the current tier are approved to operate following the state guidance in San Joaquin County.

Are gatherings permitted?

Yes, some outdoor gatherings are permitted, but they must meet certain conditions. This is because gatherings pose an especially high danger of transmission and spread of COVID-19.

Gatherings are defined as events that bring together people from multiple households in one space, indoors or outdoors. That space could be as large as an arena or as small as a private home.

On May 25, 2020, in an effort to balance First Amendment interests with public health, the State Public Health Officer created an exception to the prohibition against mass gatherings for faith-based services, cultural ceremonies, and protests. Those types of gatherings are now permitted indoors in counties in Substantial (red), Moderate (orange), and Minimal (yellow) tiers, subject to certain restrictions in those counties.

As of October 9, 2020, outdoor private gatherings are allowed under the following conditions:

  • Attendees must be from no more than 3 separate households
  • Duration should be 2 hours or less

At any gathering, observe these safety protocols:

  • Wear a mask, practice physical distancing, and wash your hands frequently
  • Do not attend if you have COVID-19 symptoms
  • Do not attend if you are at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19 (seniors, those with certain medical conditions)

Read more details in the state’s private gatherings guidance. Be aware that local health departments may have additional restrictions.

Crowds and limited physical distancing increase the risk for COVID-19. If you attended a gathering, remember that confidential, free COVID-19 testing is available. If you test negative it does not mean that you may not develop COVID-19 later on. Therefore, it is advisable that you self-isolate for 14 days if possible.

Are weddings allowed?

Yes, but only wedding ceremonies are allowed, not receptions. Wedding ceremonies should follow the guidance for Places of worship or cultural ceremonies. As required by that guidance, social distancing should be practiced by all attendees. Wear masks, wash hands frequently, and keep 6 feet from anyone you don’t live with.

Ceremonies have restrictions on their setting or capacity, depending on your county’s tier status:

  • Widespread (purple) tier:
    Outdoors only
  • Substantial (red) tier:
    May be held indoors, but with max capacity of 25% or 100 people, whichever is fewer
  • Moderate (orange) tier:
    May be held indoors, but with max capacity of 50% or 200 people, whichever is fewer
  • Minimal (yellow) tier:
    May be held indoors, but with max capacity of 50%

While wedding receptions are not permitted, consider safer options like sharing your wedding online via video conference (Zoom, Google Meet, or other platforms). This protects all your loved ones, especially those at high risk like seniors or people with chronic conditions. See more details in guidance for Places of worship and cultural ceremonies.

Should I be wearing a face covering/ mask?

Yes. The County’s August 31, 2020, Health Order requires that people follow the State’s Guidance for Face Coverings issued June 18, 2020, unless they are exempt.

When should I wear a face covering?

The guidance specifies when face coverings should be worn and the exceptions for wearing a mask. Generally one should be worn when in public, when inside or in an enclosed places where you cannot socially distance or outside where you cannot socially distance.

Who does not need to wear a face covering?

Those under 2; those with medical conditions or disabilities; those working in a job where it is deemed a safety hazard; those eating or drinking; those recreating outdoors where social distance can be maintained; and those who are incarcerated (because they have specific rules they will follow).

Should I use an N95 or surgical mask?

Do not purchase masks designed for health care professionals. N95 and surgical masks are in limited supply and designed to protect those who are working in high risk situations with a likelihood of exposure.

What type of face covering should I use?

The statewide guidance issued on 6/18 specifies cloth face coverings. A cloth face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. It can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk, or linen. A cloth face covering may be factory‐made or sewn by hand or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T‐shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.

I am an employer; can I require my employees to wear a face covering/mask OR do my employees have to wear face coverings/masks?

Yes. The County’s August 31, 2020, Health Order requires that people follow the State’s Guidance for Face Coverings issued June 18, 2020, unless they are exempt. The Order requires that face coverings/masks be worn when a person is working at a workplace or performing work off‐site when:

  • Interacting in‐person with any member of the public;
  • Working in any space visited by members of the public, regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time;
  • Working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others;
  • Working in or walking through common areas, such as hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities;
  • In any room or enclosed area where other people (except for members of the person’s own household or residence) are present
  • When unable to physically distance
How do I vote?

Elections are an essential activity. The Governor has issued executive orders to ensure elections are safe and accessible. Vote-by-mail ballots will be sent to all registered voters for the November 3, 2020 General Election. Most counties will provide three days of early voting in-person starting the Saturday before the election. Open ballot drop-box locations will be available between October 6 and November 3, 2020. Existing laws addressing the use of vote-by-mail ballots in California elections remain in effect except where suspended by Executive Order. Find guidance for the safe administration of elections during COVID-19.

Visit online voter registration to register to vote or check your voter registration status.

Practice physical distancing and follow other applicable public health directives while engaged in election-related activities. These include collection and drop-off of ballots, and collection of signatures to qualify candidates or measures for the ballot.

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Have questions about COVID-19 in San Joaquin County? Contact SJ 2-1-1 for more information!


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