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)

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 the Use of Face Coverings - Updated July 28, 2021

FAQ on the Updated Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings 

California will align with the current CDC face covering guidance. In addition to the CDC guidance, the California Department of Public Health issued additional face covering requirements for use in high-risk settings.

The new guidance states, masks are strongly recommended for all persons when visiting indoor public places, and are required for unvaccinated persons. Masks are required for everyone in the following situations, regardless of vaccination status:

  • 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.

Additionally, masks are required* for unvaccinated individuals in indoor public settings and businesses (examples: retail, restaurants, theaters, family entertainment centers, meetings, state and local government offices serving the public).

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

Adults over the age of 65, people with underlying medical conditions and those who remain unvaccinated are at increased risk for serious complications from COVID-19.

If you are at increased risk, get ready for COVID-19 now. Learn how to reduce your risk of getting sick.

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?

Instruction for Self-Isolation

Isolation for Symptomatic Persons, Regardless of Vaccination Status

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommends a symptom-based strategy for determining the duration of isolation for people with COVID-19 who are symptomatic, meaning they have symptoms of the disease. Persons with COVID-19 who have symptoms may discontinue self-isolation under the following conditions:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptom onset; AND
  • At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; AND
  • Other symptoms have improved

Isolation for Unvaccinated Asymptomatic Persons

For persons with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic, meaning they have NOT had any symptoms, CDPH recommends that these persons be instructed to care for themselves at home. Under this recommendation, they may discontinue self-isolation under the following conditions:

  • At least 10 days have passed since the date of the first positive COVID-19 molecular (PCR) test. If they develop symptoms, then the strategies for discontinuing self-isolation for symptomatic persons (see above) should be used.

Instruction for Self-Quarantine

Quarantine for Unvaccinated Persons (Close Contacts of Person with Confirmed/Suspect COVID-19)

For most unvaccinated persons who have had close contact (within 6 feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, the exposed person should get tested and self-quarantine at home. If unvaccinated, household members and intimate partners of COVID-19 positive persons should also self-quarantine.

Close contacts who remain asymptomatic, meaning they have NOT had any symptoms, may discontinue self-quarantine under the following conditions:

  • Quarantine can end after Day 10 from the date of last exposure without testing; OR
  • Quarantine can end after Day 7 if a diagnostic specimen is collected after Day 5 from the date of last exposure and tests negative.

To discontinue quarantine before 14 days following last known exposure, asymptomatic close contacts should:

  • Continue daily self-monitoring for symptoms through Day 14 from last known exposure; AND
  • Follow all recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions (e.g., wearing a mask when around others, hand washing, avoiding crowds, and staying at least 6 feet from others) through Day 14 from last known exposure.

If any symptoms develop during this 14-day period, the exposed person should immediately self-isolate, get tested and contact their healthcare provider with any questions regarding their care.

Quarantine for Vaccinated or Previously Infected Persons

Under CDPH's recommendations, the exposed person does not have to quarantine if:

  • They were fully vaccinated before the exposure AND they have not developed any symptoms since their exposure to someone with COVID-19.
  • An exposed person tested positive for COVID-19 before their new, recent exposure and it has been less than 3 months since they started having symptoms from that previous infection (or since their first positive COVID-19 test if asymptomatic), they do not need to quarantine, as long as they have not had any new symptoms since their recent exposure to someone with COVID-19.

All exposed persons, even those who were fully vaccinated or previously infected and do not have to self-quarantine, should self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and strictly adhere to all recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions (e.g., wearing a mask, maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from non-household members, frequently performing hand hygiene, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces) for 14 days following the last date of exposure.

  • If any exposed person develops symptoms during this 14-day period, that person should immediately self-isolate, get tested, and contact their healthcare provider with any questions regarding their care.
  • Fully vaccinated close contacts who remain asymptomatic and do not need to quarantine should get tested 3-5 days after exposure. If they test positive, they should immediately self-isolate and contact their healthcare provider with any questions regarding their care; if they test negative, they should continue monitoring symptoms and following recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions, including masking in public indoor settings, for 14 days.
  • In order to protect household members, exposed close contacts who do not have to quarantine due to being fully vaccinated or previously infected should consider masking in the home during this time, especially if they are immunocompromised or around persons who are immunocompromised, not fully vaccinated, or at increased risk of severe disease.

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
Fax:        530.538.2165

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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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