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Frequently Asked Questions

We know you have many questions about what is happening and how it affects you and your loved ones.  Below is a collection of common questions from the community.

Last updated: 3/31/2020

Do you have unanswered questions?

Call 211 for frequently asked questions about coronavirus, or text the word "coronavirus" to 211-211.

About the Virus

COVID-19 is another name for the novel coronavirus that has recently been circulating and was first identified in Wuhan, China. There are many different types of coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans, causing mild illnesses. COVID-19 patients are evaluated and cared for differently than those with common coronavirus diagnoses if their symptoms are severe. Learn more about COVID-19 symptoms.

COVID-19 is spread through the transmission of respiratory droplets. If a person infected with COVID-19 coughs or sneezes, they put anyone within six feet of them at risk of developing the virus.

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness. It can present in a similar way to other respiratory illnesses, including the flu. There is a range of symptoms, but the most common ones are fever, cough and trouble breathing. People could also have a sore throat, body aches or other symptoms that are less common.

You may choose to wear a cloth face covering when you must be in public for essential activities, such as shopping at the grocery store. Wearing a cloth face covering does not eliminate the need to physically distance yourself from others. Learn more about face coverings guidance here.

It depends on the severity of your symptoms. If the symptoms can be managed at home, we encourage you to do that. If your symptoms are severe enough that you need to seek medical care, or if you have underlying healthcare conditions, please contact your primary care provider or seek care wherever you would normally seek care. Either way, if you are sick, it is important to isolate yourself from others whenever possible.

Not everything is known about this new virus, but medical professionals currently believe that people will acquire immunity once they've recovered from COVID-19. However, it is possible that the immunity will wane over time.

Yes. All the Shasta County hospitals have emergency plans in place for situations such as COVID-19. Local hospitals have been preparing contingency plans for several weeks that are specific to this situation. Frontline staff who interact with patients have been given special training and refresher courses on personal protective equipment and other safety measures. Teams at the hospitals are collaborating on a daily basis to ensure that the most up-to-date recommendations are followed.


There isn't a black-and-white answer to this question, because the Shasta County Public Health Lab is required to run a number of control tests. Right now, the Public Health Lab (along with many other labs across the country) is experiencing a low supply on some of the materials required to perform the COVID-19 test, which are also used to do other tests in the lab. There are enough materials to keep up with the current demand. More materials and supplies have been ordered. Private laboratories are also performing COVID-19 tests.

DoINeedTestingIf you feel symptoms rise to the level of needing medical attention, call your primary care doctor.

Your provider will determine if you would benefit from testing, and may contact Shasta County Public Health to determine the next step.

Public Health uses guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prioritize testing. If a patient does not meet the testing criteria of the Shasta County Public Health Lab, a medical provider may elect to order a test through a commercial laboratory.

Patients with a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 are isolated at home until they test negative for COVID-19. If the patient was in close contact with anyone, those people are quarantined for 14 days. After that time period, if the patient's contacts are not showing symptoms, the quarantine is lifted. If they do develop symptoms, the Shasta County HHSA Public Health Department determines if they needed to be tested for COVID-19. 


211NorCal is an excellent resource that will connect you to a variety of community partners. It also provides updated COVID-19 information.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has great answers to these questions and more.

Statewide "Stay at Home" Order

In spite of the coronavirus threat, Shasta County will continue to provide mission-critical services. Vital services cannot stop, so the County is looking into creative ways to offer services online or from a distance. If you rely on Shasta County services that can be fulfilled online or over the phone, please do so.

Essential workers are defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. If your workplace or business has been closed because of the shelter in place order, you can find resources for assistance.

The City of Redding has updates on their website regarding the steps they are taking with parks and other local entities.