The following information is to help people understand who is most at risk of getting infected and sick from COVID-19 and which situations are riskier. It outlines what steps people can take to stay safe and slow the spread of COVID-19.
To see what the current LA County community COVID-19 level is click here.
People who are not vaccinated are at the highest risk of getting infected with COVID-19. Unvaccinated adults who are older or who have certain medical conditions are more likely to get severe COVID-19 disease. In addition, some people with severely weakened immune systems can get very sick from COVID-19 even if they are vaccinated.
Most people who are fully vaccinated are well protected from getting very sick and dying from COVID-19. Booster doses provide added protection. When vaccinated people get infected with COVID-19, they usually get mild symptoms, if any. But they can still spread the virus to other people.
Understanding how the COVID-19 virus is spread is important. It will help you to assess your risk and take steps to protect yourself in different situations.
The virus spreads from person to person mainly through respiratory droplets that are released into the air by a person who has COVID-19, for example, when they speak, sing, cough, shout, sneeze, or breathe heavily. These droplets are then breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, nose, or mouth. A person’s risk of getting infected goes up the closer they are to someone with COVID-19. Enclosed places with poor air flow can also increase the risk of getting infected. This is because the droplets that have the virus can concentrate and spread in the air past 6 feet. They can even stay floating in the air after an infected person has left the room.
This is why masks are important. They lower the number of respiratory droplets people release into the air AND also the number that they breathe in.
It is also possible, but less common, for the virus to spread by touching a surface with droplets on it and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Knowing the level of spread in your area can help you decide what protective measures to take. Everyone needs to take extra precautions when the risk is high. When the risk is low, you can make decisions based on personal preference and comfort level. You should also consider your own level of risk and the level of risk to others in your household or workplace. Consider the following:
To learn about the current situation in LA County, see COVID-19 community risk level.
There are certain places where COVID-19 spreads more easily
Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19. It will slow the spread of COVID-19 including variants of the virus.