Health Support

General COVID-19 Health Information edited by UCSF Medical Students

Here is an amazing resource of health information on COVID-19 in many different languages.

Here is a great video on COVID-19 in Spanish.



  • Symptoms of COVID-19 vary per person and can range from fever, dry cough, shortness of breath and/or fatigue. Physicians in several countries have also reported that loss of smell and loss of taste are symptoms associated with COVID-19 infection.
  • Many young, healthy people are likely asymptomatic or have symptoms that mimic the common cold or flu. However, they are still carriers of the virus who can come in contact with and spread it to those who are most vulnerable. Please stay home. 
  • COVID-19 seems to especially have potential bad consequences for those who are elderly and/or have pre-existing heart/lung issues including hypertension, diabetes, and coronary artery disease. 
  • There is no accepted treatment for COVID-19. If admitted, the hospital will give supportive care (e.g. IV fluids, oxygen) to help you stay alive while your body fights the disease (i.e. to prevent sepsis). 
    • Please do not hoard hydroxychloroquine. There is currently no consensus in the medical community about its effectiveness against COVID-19. There are ongoing research efforts about its use against coronavirus. In the meantime, hydroxychloroquine continues to be an essential medicine for many folks with autoimmune issues. 



  • Currently, the Bay Area is limited in capacity for COVID-19 testing but services are slowly expanding.
    • East Bay:
      • Lifelong will be providing no charge COVID-19 testing, but you must be enrolled with Lifelong as your primary care provider, have symptoms and must call (510) 981-4100 first to see if you’re eligible for testing or to enroll with Lifelong.
      • Lifelong COVID-19 updates
      • Hayward Fire Department is offering free COVID-19 screening and tests regardless of residency or status. No referral needed. Results can be available in as little as 6 hours or next day in most cases. Can test up to 350 cases/day.
        • 28270 Huntwood Ave, Hayward, CA 9AM – 6PM
    • San Francisco: See Kaiser Permanente drive-thru testing below.
      • If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 and you are not sick or mildly ill and can manage with self-care, please stay home, hydrate, and take care of yourself. You may call your Primary Care Physician and/or Emergency Department regarding your symptoms to see if testing is available. 
      • There is controversy about whether or not to use Motrin/Advil/Ibuprofen to help with your symptoms. Many credible organizations have advised caution on the matter and often suggest acetaminophen (Tylenol) as a possibly preferable treatment (USA Today).
      • Many hospital facilities will ask you to please stay home and take care of yourself. This is because your risk will only increase being exposed in the hospital and most Bay Area hospitals are offering limited testing at this time. 
  • On the other hand if you are short of breath, very sick, have multiple health conditions and/or “comorbidities”, or having a regular traditional emergency like chest pain or acute injury: don’t be afraid to call 911 and/or come into the Emergency Room. The medical team is there to care for you.
    • “Comorbidities” refers to the presence of other conditions that compromise a patient’s health, especially heart or lung issues. 
  • Undocumented families who plan to apply for documentation in the future should still seek testing/treatment for COVID. COVID is public charge exempt. Read more here.


Kaiser Permanente Northern California

  • Offers limited drive-through testing in San Francisco for Kaiser members with an appointment referral. 


  1. Meet CDC criteria for testing
    1. COVID 19 symptoms including cough, fever, difficulty breathing;
    2. Exposure to symptomatic person, including health care workers, within 14 days of symptom onset;
    3. Travel to affected area within 14 days of symptom onset
  2. Contact Primary Care Provider (phone or to be screened.
  3. If eligible: Set up an appointment for COVID 19 Drive Through screening (swabs and respiratory virus screening).
  4. Self quarantine (3-7 days, subject to change) to await test results.


Why is the fatality rate much higher for adults?

  • Your immune system declines past age 50
  • Fatality rate tracks closely with “comorbidity”, i.e.- the presence of other conditions that compromise the patient’s health, especially respiratory or cardio-vascular illness. 
  • Risk of pneumonia is higher in older adults.  
  • The fatality rate is in the range of 10x flu.


Common sense measures: wash your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, and please do not hoard. We will be okay.


More info on what it means to practice social distancing, self-quarantine, and flattening the curve.


Reliable Health News on COVID-19: