Public Health

The mission of the Butte County Public Health Department (BCPHD) is to protect the public through promoting individual, community, and environmental health. 

Butte County COVID-19 FAQ

COVID-19 Información en español (click para ver)

Omicron Variant (11/29/21): Click to View the CDPH Fact Sheet

On December 27, 2021, Butte County Public Health (BCPH) received notification of the first identified COVID-19 Omicron variant case in a Butte County resident. The infected patient was a fully vaccinated adult Chico resident who had not yet received a booster dose.  The specimen was collected 12/16/21, confirming that the Omicron variant has been in Butte County for at least 2 weeks.

Scientists and Public Health experts are still learning about Omicron. While initial reports suggest Omicron may be less severe than earlier variants, it is still too early to know for certain. What is evident, from multiple studies in multiple countries, is that Omicron spreads much more rapidly than previous variants.

Information about Omicron does not change the current recommendations on what residents should do to continue protecting themselves against COVID-19 and its variants: Get vaccinated, get a booster vaccine, wear a face mask when indoors and where required, get tested regardless of vaccination status and stay home if you test positive or have symptoms. Residents who have returned from travel from outside of the U.S., especially to areas with known transmission of Omicron, within the last 14 days should follow CDC recommendations to get tested 3-5 days after arrival, quarantine for 7 days even if testing negative, and isolate for 10 days if COVID-19 symptoms develop.     

Protect Yourself

How can people protect themselves?

The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, is to practice good hygiene and get vaccinated:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue or corner of your sleeve. Do not use your hands.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, especially your mouth, nose and eyes.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay home if you are sick, especially from work, school and public places.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • CDPH strongly recommends all people, regardless of vaccination status, should wear a face covering in indoor public places. Wearing a face covering is required for unvaccinated persons in all indoor public spaces and is required for all persons in certain situations as indicated by the CDPH Face Covering Guidance.
  • If you are immune compromised or unvaccinated, it's recommended to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from people who are not part of your immediate household.

Guidance for Required Universal Masking Indoors - Updated December 13, 2021

In response to an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations throughout California, as the holiday season continues with uncertainties about the new Omicron variant, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is requiring masks to be worn in all indoor public settings, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status. This requirement will be in place December 15, 2021 through February 15, 2022.

FAQ on the Updated Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings 

Masks are required for everyone in the following situations, regardless of vaccination status:

  • All indoor public settings, including, but not limited to:
  • In restaurants, bars and clubs
  • In retail shops and malls
  • In libraries
  • In grocery stores
  • On public transit and transportations hubs
  • In Healthcare settings, including long term care facilities
  • In homeless shelters, emergency shelters and cooling centers
  • In Correctional Facilities and detention centers
  • In K-12 schools, child care and other youth settings. View the CDPH Guidance for the use of Face Coverings.

Face Coverings in K-12 Schools

K-12 students are required to mask indoors, with exemptions per CDPH face mask guidance.  Adults in K-12 school settings are required to mask when sharing indoor spaces with students.  

View the CDPH Guidance for the use of Face Coverings.

What is a face covering?

A material that covers the nose and mouth, made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk, or linen. A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.

Use and care: Wear a clean mask every time you go out. Wash in the laundry or by hand between uses. See more mask care instructions from the California Department of Public Health.

Who should NOT wear a mask?

  • Children under 2 years old
  • Anyone with respiratory issues where it would impede their breathing
  • Anyone unable to remove the mask without help
  • Anyone with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that does not allow them to wear a mask

People at Increased Risk

Some people are more likely than others to become severely ill from COVID-19. Severe illness means that a person with COVID-19 may need: hospitalization, intensive care, a ventilator to help them breathe or they may even die. People at increased risk, and those who live or visit with them, need to take precautions to protect themselves from getting COVID-19, these include:

  • Adults over the age of 65
  • People with underlying medical conditions
  • Pregnant and recently pregnant women
  • People who remain unvaccinated

Symptoms of COVID-19

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.

Severe Symptoms:

People with severe symptoms of respiratory illness should call their healthcare provider immediately. Call ahead so that you can be safely evaluated to prevent exposing others. Your healthcare provider will evaluate you and determine the best course of action for your illness, including whether or not you should be tested.

What to do if you have COVID-19 or have been exposed?

CDPH Updated Isolation & Quarantine Guidelines (as of 12/30/21)

CDPH updated its guidance to align with the recommended isolation and quarantine timeframes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In this time of uncertainty due to Omicron, CDPH added additional testing recommendations to exit isolation and quarantine and improved masking measures to protect the health and well-being of all Californians.

Isolation for COVID-19 Positive Individuals (Regardless of Vaccination Status)

All individuals with COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status:

  • Stay home for at least five days.
  • Isolation can end after day five IF SYMPTOMS ARE NOT PRESENT or resolving and if an antigen test (rapid home test) collected on day five or later is negative.
  • If fever is present, isolation should be continued until fever resolves.
  • If symptoms, other than fever, are not resolving continue to isolate until symptoms are resolving or until after day 10.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask when around others, especially indoors, for 10 days from the date of positive test.

Quarantine for Individuals Exposed to COVID-19

Unvaccinated OR vaccinated and booster eligible, but have not received a booster yet. Includes persons previously infected with SARS-CoV-2, including within the last 90 days.

Unvaccinated individuals who are exposed to COVID-19, and vaccinated people who are eligible for a booster but have not yet received a booster who are exposed to COVID-19, should:

  • Stay home for at least five days.
  • Get tested on day five.
  • Quarantine can end after day five IF NO SYMPTOMS EMERGE and the results of the test taken on day 5 are negative.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask for 10 total days around others, especially indoors, from the date of exposure.
  • Without a test, people should quarantine for 10 days.

VACCINATED & BOOSTED Individuals Exposed to COVID-19

Vaccinated individuals who have received their booster, or are not eligible for a booster, and are exposed to COVID-19 do not have to stay home but should:

  • Wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days, especially indoors
  • Get tested on day five.
  • If test is positive, follow isolation guidance above.
  • If symptoms develop, test and stay home.

If I test positive for COVID-19, will I be contacted by Public Health?

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 please follow the instructions to safely isolate during your infection. You may or may not be contacted by Public Health based on case load. The number of positive cases currently being confirmed in Butte County makes it impossible for Public Health to contact every positive person. If you contact public health because you have received a positive COVID-19 test result, have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please allow 24-48 hours to receive a return call.

Instructions for Persons in Isolation

Returning to work/school following a COVID-19 Diagnosis

What to do if you are exposed to COVID-19?

Please click on the image below to view the COVID-19 Exposure flow-chart:


Guidance for the Fully Vaccinated (posted on 4/20)

View the COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People (complete document).

People two weeks after full vaccination can:

  • Spend time with other fully vaccinated people, including indoors, without wearing masks or physical distancing.
  • Spend time with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.
  • Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic (outside the workplace setting).


California no longer has a travel advisory in effect. There is now no state recommendations to test and quarantine before and after travel. For international travel, please visit the CDC travel information page for the latest travel alerts, restrictions, and guidance.

However, the California Department of Public Health asks that you do the following:

  • Delay travel until you’re fully vaccinated
  • If you’re not fully vaccinated, but choose to travel, get tested before and after
  • No matter your vaccination status, wear a mask while on public transportation or in a transportation hub

Get tested if you feel sick, and avoid traveling if you have or may have COVID-19.

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Butte County Public Health
Phone: 530.552.4000
TTY: 530.538.6588
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Butte County Public Health
202 Mira Loma Drive
Oroville, CA 95965

Office Hours
Monday to Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Except Holidays

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