Prevention, testing and treatment

Background about the novel coronavirus, tips for prevention and treatments, and information about the UCLA Health response, including how to get tested at UCLA Health facilities.

What is COVID-19?

  • COVID-19 is the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The name “COVID-19” is an abbreviation of “coronavirus disease 2019.”


  • The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath and/or difficulty breathing.
  • Other symptoms can include fatigue, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, chills, muscle pain, headache and a new loss of taste or smell.
  • For a complete list of symptoms, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 symptoms page.


  • The CDC advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus. To learn more about face coverings, how to make them and the importance of washing them, visit the CDC’s face coverings page.
  • Public health officials recommend washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer as frequently as possible. To read more about hand-washing, soap and hand sanitizer, click here.
  • You should avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and avoid contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, stay home and do not travel or report to work.
  • Visit the CDC website to learn more about how to protect yourself and others.


  • UCLA Health offers many testing locations throughout the region, including drive-up testing sites. Prior to receiving a test, individuals must have an appointment and an order from a primary care physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, please call 310-825-2631. If you’re not a UCLA Health patient, Los Angeles County has expanded its test capabilities. Click here for more information on COVID-19 testing.
  • The Arthur Ashe Student Health & Wellness Center offers testing for all registered UCLA students. Prior to receiving a test, students must have a video appointment and an order from an Ashe Center provider. Once the order is placed, students are directed to an outdoor testing tent near center.
  • All patients being admitted via UCLA Health emergency departments will be tested for COVID-19, as will all patients undergoing surgery or procedures at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center; UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica; and many other UCLA Health clinical facilities.
  • All UCLA Health testing locations offer free COVID-19 testing, with no copay for UCLA Health patients.


  • The experimental drug remdesivir was approved to treat hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19 by the FDA, which issued an emergency-use authorization. This is the only approved treatment to date. Remdesivir hasn’t undergone the same level of rigorous review as it would in a more typical FDA-approval process.
  • There is no vaccine for COVID-19 yet, however several vaccines are in development.
  • Although there has been a lot of discussion in the news about hydroxychloroquine, a malaria medicine that is being studied for the treatment of COVID-19, the drug has not been shown to be safe and effective. The FDA issued a statement cautioning against use of this drug for COVID-19 outside a hospital setting.

Recommended COVID-19 resources

UCLA Covid experts

For journalists

UCLA faculty members are available for interviews with news media on a wide range of topics related to COVID-19, including public health and epidemiology, virology and vaccines, mental health, education, law, politics and the economy.

UCLA COVID-19 experts UCLA COVID-19 news stories