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?

In addition to following the STAY AT HOME order, the best way to prevent the spread of respiratory illness, is to practice good hygiene:

  • 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.
  • Wear a face covering if you leave your home. View the Face Covering Mandate.
  • Gatherings –  Indoor gatherings are prohibited in Butte County while we are in Tier 1 (purple). The State has updated the Gathering Guidance to allow for small, private gatherings of people from no more than three households. Gatherings that include more than three households are prohibited. The private gathering must take place outside for no longer than two hours. If gathering inside, increase fresh air circulation, minimize shared items, wear a face covering when not eating/drinking, and maintain physical distancing. All other gatherings not covered by existing sector guidance are prohibited. Gatherings are defined as social situations that bring together people from different households at the same time in a single space or place.  When people from different households mix, this increases the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
  • Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from people who are not part of your immediate household.

Face Covering Mandate

On November 16th the State Health Officer updated the Face Covering Mandate requiring all Californian's to wear a face covering at all times when outside of the home, unless one or more of the exceptions in the mandate is met. Wearing a mask or cloth face covering can slow the spread of COVID-19 by limiting the release of virus into the air. It also reinforces physical distancing, and shows you care about the health of others.

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 and people with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for serious complications from COVID-19. On Sunday, March 15th, California State Governor Gavin Newsom issued a directive calling for home isolation of:

  • All Adults over 65 years old
  • All persons with chronic health conditions, such as: heart disease, diabetes and lung disease.

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

What to do if you are sick?

COVID-19 Symptoms

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.

Mild Symptoms:

People with mild symptoms, who are not sick enough to be hospitalized, should self-isolate at home. If you have mild symptoms, you may also inquire with your healthcare provider about getting tested. These people should:

  • Avoid close contact with others
  • Stay home for at least 10 days from the start of symptoms (or after the specimen collection date in people without symptoms), AND
  • Stay home at least 24 hours after fever is gone without the use of  fever reducers, AND
  • Stay home until respiratory symptoms have improved (couging/sneezing)

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 receive a positive COVID-19 test result?

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.

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

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

What to do if you are exposed to COVID-19 after you are fully vaccinated

Click to view the complete COVID-19 Quarantine Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People.

Vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
  • Are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure

Persons who do not meet all 3 of the above criteria should continue to follow current CDPH quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

Social Distancing

As we reopen parts of the community, including low-risk and medium-risk businesses, social distancing remains an important step to limiting and slowing the spread of COVID-19. 

Social distancing requires the creation of physical space between individuals who may spread certain infectious diseases:

  • Maintain space between individuals of approximately six feet or more.
  • Create space between individuals who have come together on a one-time or rare basis and who have very different travel patterns such as those coming from multiple countries, states or counties
  • Create space in work settings for essential workers.
  • It people must wait in line to purchase items, make sure there is space for social distancing.
  • Continue to maintain social distance between yourself and anyone outside of your immediate household, even if you are wearing a face covering.


The State has updated their Gathering Guidance to allow for private gatherings that bring together people from different households. Notably, attendance for gatherings is based on county tier status for the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Please review the guidance that relates to the current Butte County tier status.

Guidance for Private Venues & Events

Distinguished from gatherings with defined guest lists and assigned seating, capacity limitations include provisions for being able to verify testing or vaccination status.

Guidance for Indoor Seated Live Events & Performances

Outlines conditions for indoor seated live events and entertainment with audiences to support a safe clean environment for workers and attendees.

Religious Services and Cultural Ceremonies

The State now allows churches to open indoors with modifications:

  • Max 50% capacity
  • Capacity limits on places of worship are not mandatory but are strongly recommended


This is a rapidly changing situation and guidance about travel changes frequently. Please visit the CDC travel information page for the latest travel alerts, restrictions, and guidance.

Before travelling away from your community, consider these questions from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) travel guidance:

  • Is coronavirus spreading where you are traveling?
  • Are you or those you are traveling with more likely to get very sick from coronavirus?
  • Will you be able to keep 6 feet of physical distance from others during or after your trip?

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Butte County Public Health
Phone: 530.552.4000
TTY: 530.538.6588
Fax:        530.538.2165

Report a Health Emergency, 24-Hour Line

E-Mail Public Health:

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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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Public Health Department

202 Mira Loma Drive
Oroville, CA 95965

Report a Health Emergency
24-Hour Line: 530.552.4000

Danette York, M.P.H., Director
Robert Bernstein, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., Health Officer
Public Health Leadership Team