Coronavirus and COVID-19: FAQs


What are the symptoms?

Patients with COVID-19 have had:

  • mild to severe symptoms of fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath — similar to the flu
  • chills or shaking with chills
  • muscle pain
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • loss of sense of smell or taste

While information so far indicates that most cases are mild, symptoms appear to be more severe in the elderly and people with chronic conditions.



Is the COVID 19 vaccine available?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved 2 COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use. Vaccines are being allocated in California using a system of Phases broken into Tiers.  For example, vaccinations started with Phase 1a Tier1 which included people who work in hospitals residents of skilled nursing facilities.  It will then proceed through Phase 1b and so on. 

Information on the county response can be found on the San Diego County Vaccine website
and the vaccine priority Tier system can be found on the San Diego County COVID-19 Vaccine Phases page.

As vaccine supplies increase, state and federal health officials will determine which groups of people can get the vaccine next and which health centers can order doses.  SYHealth will follow those guidelines and will reach out to our patients when we have vaccine available for you.



What should I do if I test negative but continue to have symptoms?

Continue to treat any symptoms at home and self-isolate until 10 days have passed and you are fever-free for 24 hours. If your condition worsens, call our appointment and advice line.

Please go to I have COVID-19 symptoms page for more information.

Who is at higher risk for COVID-19?

COVID-19 causes a mild illness in many people. But some people may be at higher risk for having severe symptoms from COVID-19. A recent study found that 88% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients had more than one chronic condition, and other factors can also increase your risk.

You may be at high risk if you:

  • Are 65 or older
  • Live in a long-term care facility
  • Have an ongoing serious health condition, such as:
    -Severe Obesity
    -Kidney or Liver Disease
    -A Weakened Immune System
    -Cancer Treatment
  • Smoke or vape tobacco/nicotine or marijuana (SYHealth providers can get help you quit. Ask how.)

If you’re pregnant, it may be safest to consider yourself at higher risk because information on how COVID-19 affects pregnant women is limited.

If you have an ongoing health condition, here are some ways you can help keep yourself safe.

  • Stay home as much as you can.
  • Have supplies on hand, like food, household items, medical supplies, and over-the-counter andprescription medications. 
  • Routinely clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, and phones.
  • Limit visitors.
  • When you leave home, keep 6 feet of space between yourself and others.
  • Wear a cloth face cover when you’re near other people.
  • Wear gloves or carry tissues or paper towels with you to protect your hands when you need to touch things like door handles, shopping carts, and handrails.
  • Don’t touch your face, and wash your hands often.
  • Have a plan in case you get sick

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 — such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath — call your doctor.

Should I get tested before attending a party, holiday gathering or special event?

The safest way to help prevent getting COVID-19 is to avoid social gatherings with anyone you don’t live with or who isn’t part of a small group you’ve already been interacting with.

Keep in mind that a negative test result now only shows your status at the time you got the test. It doesn’t prevent you from getting or spreading the virus while interacting with others. Because of these risks, we don’t recommend relying on a test to decide if you should attend a social gathering.

If you do choose to be part of a social gathering, make sure to take precautions, including wearing a mask anytime you’re not eating or drinking, practicing physical distancing, and frequently washing your hands.

What are the different types of COVID 19 testing?

There are 2 different kinds of clinical tests available. One shows if you’re currently infected with a virus (diagnostic testing) and the other helps you understand if you’ve been infected in the recent past with a virus (antibody testing).  Our SYHealth testing site offers diagnostic testing using the PCR test.


How does COVID 19 spread?

The coronavirus is spread from person to person — mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) — through tiny droplets made when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It’s possible, but not likely, that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly eyes. It’s important to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Resources: CDC

What can I do if I don’t feel safe at home right now?

Staying home can help slow the spread of COVID-19, but it may not feel safe for those experiencing domestic violence. Stress and uncertainty during the pandemic, as well as limited access to help in your community, can make existing abuse worse — or lead to new family violence. 

If you feel there’s immediate danger, please call 911 right away.

Domestic violence includes abuse that can be emotional, physical, financial, and/or sexual. And it can look different for everyone. It’s important to remember that it isn’t your fault, and you shouldn’t feel ashamed for seeking help. If you’re not sure your home is a safe place for you or your family, here are some common signs:

  • You feel stressed or worried about your safety or your children’s safety at home.
  • You’re afraid of your partner or family member.
  • You or your children have been physically hurt or threatened, or the severity or frequency of violence has escalated.
  • Your partner or family member restricts your access to food, medication, transportation, money, connections with your family and friends, or other activities, even at home.

If any of the above is happening to you or someone you love, you can:

  • Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline for immediate help in over 200 languages. Call 1-800-799-SAFE(1-800-799-7233) or visit
  • Call your San Ysidro Health provider to be referred to one of our Behavioral Health Specialist. For non-urgent appointments, please call the 619-662-4100.

What is our visitor policy?

If you must come in for an appointment, please do not bring other guests unless you need their assistance for your visit, for example an adult accompanying a child or a caregiver for a disabled or elderly adult..  This will protect you, your children, other patients, and our doctors and staff. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.

How can I cope with COVID-19?

Right now, it’s especially important to care for the whole you — mind, body, and spirit. We have resources to help your physical and mental health.

Make an appointment with one of our Behavioral Health Specialists at 619-662-4100.