The COVID-19 emergency is ending. Here's what that means for you.
LA County’s declaration of a local public health emergency for COVID-19 ends on March 31, 2023. That means changes in some programs but many services will continue to be available to support County residents. Here is an overview of what the public can expect in several key areas—from the availability of free testing to resources for tenants and landlords. We’ve also got details on what residents need to do to avoid interruption of their Medi-Cal health benefits. Click here to download a copy of this FAQ.descargar en español
COVID-19 VACCINES, TESTING AND MASK MANDATES
Yes, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health will continue to provide free COVID-19 vaccinations including booster doses to all County residents, regardless of their immigration or insurance status.
Free vaccines are available at hundreds of locations throughout LA County such as clinics, pharmacies, schools and other community locations. In-home vaccination is available for people who are homebound. Many locations do not require an appointment.
To find a location, visit ph.lacounty.gov/howtogetvaccinated or ph.lacounty.gov/comovacunarse (en español). If you need help, you can call the DPH Vaccine Call Center at 1-833-540-0473, 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. They can arrange in-home vaccination, free transportation to a vaccination site, or help with paratransit and other services for people with disabilities. You can also request an in-home vaccination at ph.lacounty.gov/vaxathome. Information is also available in multiple languages 24/7 by calling 2-1-1.
Yes, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health will continue to provide free COVID-19 tests at all public health hospitals and clinics to County residents who lack insurance, regardless of their immigration or insurance status, although the County’s PRC testing centers have been closed. The federal government also continues to offer households 4 free tests that can be shipped to your home; you can order these tests by visiting COVIDtests.gov. Health plans are still required to pay for 8 over-the counter tests a month for each insured member; check with your health plan or provider about the best way to access these tests. Home tests are also widely available at County libraries and other locations. For a listing of COVID-19 testing services, please visit:
- English: ph.lacounty.gov/covidtests/how
- Spanish: ph.lacounty.gov/covidpruebas/como
Yes, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health will continue to provide free COVID-19 therapeutics for all county residents, regardless of their immigration or insurance status.
COVID-19 treatment can prevent people from getting very sick. Many adults and some children qualify for treatment. If you have symptoms and think you have COVID, contact your doctor or the Public Health telehealth service. Treatment is free. You don’t need to have insurance or be a US citizen.
Don’t wait. The oral COVID treatments must be started within 5 days after you first develop symptoms (the intravenous COVID treatment must be started within 7 days).
For more detailed information visit ph.lacounty.gov/covidmedicines or ph.lacounty.gov/covidmedicamentos (en español) or call the Public Health Telehealth Service 1-833-540-0473, open daily 8 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
No. Masks are not currently required in most indoor spaces. An individual business or operator may require masking. No one can be prevented from wearing a mask to participate in an activity or enter a business.
See Public Health Indoor Mask Wearing Rules and Recommendations for the most current information.
Yes. In consultation with the Department of Health Services, healthcare worker vaccination and masking requirements will be continued until the end of September 30, 2023, with the following adjustments:
- Masking remains required for all staff providing patient care or working in patient care areas. In other facility locations, employees are not required to mask. Patients and visitors are not required to wear masks, although masks remain recommended.
- Vaccination coverage is not required for employees assigned to 100% telework who are never present at healthcare facilities.
- The vaccination and masking policy will be re-assessed by September 2023 to consider any updated FDA and CDC guidance regarding the timing of the COVID vaccination series and risks associated with COVID infection.
Yes. People who test positive for COVID-19 need to isolate themselves from others (stay home) for at least 5 days after the start of symptoms or after the date of their first positive test to keep from transmitting the virus to others. Isolation can end after Day 5, if:
- COVID-19 symptoms are not present or are mild and improving; and
- You have been fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medications).
DPH strongly recommends, but does not require, that infected residents have a negative test before leaving isolation between Day 6 and Day 10.
Residents leaving isolation after Day 5 should wear a well-fitting mask around others for a total of 10 days, especially in indoor settings. Please note that although individuals leaving isolation between days 6 – 10 need to wear a mask, people leaving isolation do not need to wear a mask if they have two sequential negative tests taken one day apart.
Starting on April 3, the State Public Health Officer’s COVID-19 vaccination order for workers in these settings will be rescinded and those vaccination requirements will no longer be required for workers in correctional, detention and adult care facilities. Public Health will carefully monitor these sites for clusters of cases and outbreaks to ascertain the impact of these changes on the transmission of COVID-19.
HEALTH INSURANCE/MEDI-CAL COVERAGE
During the federal government’s COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), health benefits for Medi-Cal beneficiaries were protected from adverse action, with some exceptions. On December 29, 2022, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, which removed the continuous coverage requirement from the PHE. With the passage of this bill, the continuous coverage requirement for MC beneficiaries will end on March 31, 2023. Below are some frequently asked questions regarding the end of the continuous coverage requirement.
During the COVID-19 PHE, Medi-Cal health benefits for most beneficiaries were protected to ensure access to health care.
The Medi-Cal continuous coverage requirement ends on March 31, 2023. That means that effective April 1, 2023, normal business operations will resume, which means that program participants must complete an annual renewal.
Medi-Cal beneficiaries will, once again, be required to complete an annual renewal to determine ongoing eligibility to Medi-Cal health benefits. This process will take place over 12 months beginning with the renewals due in the month of June 2023. Renewal packets for June 2023 will be mailed out in the month of April 2023. This means that no Medi-Cal health benefits will be discontinued before the end of June 2023.
Medi-Cal beneficiaries must renew their Medi-Cal benefits each year to keep their health care coverage. Some Medi-Cal beneficiaries may be renewed automatically. If a beneficiary’s eligibility is automatically renewed, a letter will be sent informing the beneficiary of the continuation of Medi- Cal benefits. If an auto-renewal is not possible, a renewal packet will be mailed to the Medi-Cal beneficiary.
The forms in the packet must be filled out and returned by the due date listed on the packet. This will ensure the most current information to re-evaluate ongoing eligibility for Medi-Cal benefits.
Provide any information being requested to ensure the county has the most current information it needs to renew benefits. This may help ensure that the Medi-Cal benefits remain active.
Renewal packets can be submitted by mail, online, by phone, or in person.
- By Mail – There is a postage-paid self-addressed envelope in the packet with the return address.
- On-line – Visit the BenefitsCal webpage: benefitscal.com.
- By Phone – Call our Customer Service Center at (866) 613-3777.
- In Person – For a list of offices near you, visit: https://dpss.lacounty.gov/en/resources/offices.html - Enter the zip code in the ‘Apply in Person’ Section.
A letter will be mailed with information regarding ongoing eligibility for Medi-Cal coverage. If additional information is needed, a letter will be mailed requesting the missing information/verification.
Medi-Cal health benefits will be discontinued at the end of the renewal month. Medi-Cal beneficiaries have up to 90 days from the effective date of discontinuance to provide the renewal packet and requested information needed to re-establish Medi-Cal health benefits. After 90 days, Medi-Cal beneficiaries can reapply at any time for Medi-Cal health benefits online, by phone or in person.
It is important to report any changes in contact information, such as a phone number or mailing address, so that important information about Medi-Cal health benefits can be shared via US Mail or by phone. Updated contact information can be reported online by logging into or creating an account at https://www.dhcs.ca.gov/Pages/Keep-Your-Medi-Cal.aspx or by calling DPSS toll-free at 866-613-3777 from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. or visiting a DPSS office in person. A list of DPSS offices can be found at https://dpss.lacounty.gov/en/resources/offices.html.
Continue to report any household changes to the county. This includes changes to your income, phone number or mailing address. Also report if someone in the household becomes pregnant, someone moves in, or any other reason that may affect Medi-Cal eligibility. Reporting these changes may help to continue Medi-Cal health benefits after the end of the continuous coverage requirement.
RENTS AND EVICTIONS
Certain protections in the County’s COVID-19 Tenant Protections Resolution (formerly known as the LA County Eviction Moratorium) expire as of March 31, 2023, but some protections for tenants remain and support for small landlords is also available. See below for answers to frequently asked questions or learn more at dcba.lacounty.gov/rentstabilization or dcba.lacounty.gov/landlords. The Department of Consumer & Business Affairs is also hosting webinars to help explain the changes.
Yes, but some protections against eviction continue to apply even after April 1. Landlords must have a just cause for eviction and cannot evict tenants for “No-Fault” reasons, except for Qualified Owner Move-In evictions, if the tenant used the County’s Non-Payment of Rent Protections.
Landlords must also serve tenants with a written 30-day Notice prior to filing an eviction based on:
- Nonpayment of rent accrued between July 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023; or
- The presence of unauthorized pets or occupants who moved in between March 4, 2020 and January 20, 2023, whose presence was necessitated by or related to the COVID-19 emergency.
Please visit dcba.lacounty.gov/noevictions or call your local jurisdiction, as regulations vary, to learn more.
Yes, landlords who own rent stabilized units in unincorporated LA County may issue rent increases in accordance with the County’s rent stabilization ordinances beginning April 1. City ordinances apply in other jurisdictions.
Tenants in need of support in responding to an eviction notice or any matters related to back rent should contact Stay Housed LA at stayhousedla.org. Stay Housed LA can work with tenants to see if they qualify for free legal assistance, and for help understanding their rights, responding to notices, short-term rental assistance and access to other resources.
The County’s resolution did not cancel or stop rent from being owed and accrued during the protected period. Tenants should pay their rent if they are able and are encouraged to work out a repayment plan for any unpaid bank rent with their landlord. Residential tenants, including mobile home space renters, will have up to 12 months from the original due date to repay any past due rent.
The Department of Consumer and Business Affairs’ Foreclosure Prevention unit provides free services for property owners and landlords with 15 or fewer units through the Foreclosure Prevention Program. Our counselors can help landlords facilitate communication with lenders and explore all foreclosure avoidance options. For one-on-one counseling loan reinstatement or modification assistance, financial coaching, and budgeting, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up for an appointment at this link.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress authorized emergency allotments to help meet food needs. Since March 2020, households received an increase of at least $95 in CalFresh benefits per month.
CalFresh emergency allotments ended in February 2023. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 ended the issuance of CalFresh emergency allotments to households in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A final Emergency Allotment will be issued in March 2023. You will get less CalFresh beginning April 2023. The reduction in benefits may be significant for some families.
You will continue to get your regular CalFresh benefits as long as you remain eligible. Your benefit amounts are based on your circumstances, including your household size, income and deductions.
Make sure you’re getting all of the CalFresh benefits you are eligible for by ensuring the county has your most recent information such as:
- Housing costs
- Medical expenses (only if you are age 60+ or have a disability)
- Dependent or childcare costs
To update your information or circumstances, you may contact your local county social services office by calling 1-877-847-3663 or visiting your local county social services office in person; you can use our office locator map at CalFreshFood.org.
There are many resources available in LA County for residents struggling with food insecurity. 211 LA Food Finder, an online mapping tool, allows you to navigate various food support programs and connects you with resources, like local food banks, in your community. Visit: 211la.org/food-resources.
This change is due to federal regulations and is not considered a reduction to your regular CalFresh benefit amount. A state hearing judge cannot order payment of Emergency Allotments after they have stopped.
Even though the local emergency due to COVID-19 will end on March 31, 2023, the Winter Storm Emergency ratified on March 7, 2023, provides protection against price gouging on essential products. Consumers can report suspected price gouging using the Department of Consumer and Business Affair’s online reporting tool at stoppricegouging.dcba.lacounty.gov.
Yes, if your restaurant is in an unincorporated area of the County and you already have a permit, it will be extended to January 1, 2024, as the County develops a permanent outdoor dining program. This is true even though the County’s emergency order that allowed restaurants to expand seating into private walkways, road right-of-ways and parking areas will expire on March 31. If your restaurant is in one of the County’s 88 cities, you will need to check with your local jurisdiction (see contact below for restaurants in the city of Los Angeles).
Applicants wishing to apply for new sidewalk right-of-way dining permits can contact Public Works at (626) 458-3129. New applicants wishing to apply for new outdoor dining permits on private property can call Regional Planning at (213) 974-6411.
The County is seeking your feedback on the permanent policy. To answer a survey, learn more about listening sessions, or find additional information about various options for outdoor dining or curbside food pickup, please visit pw.lacounty.gov/outdoor-dining.
If your restaurant is located in the city of Los Angeles, visit the city's website to learn more about the L.A. Al Fresco Outdoor Dining Program at ladot.lacity.org/coronavirus/apply-al-fresco.