Coronavirus Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) General Information

Your health and safety are our top priority. We want to make sure you have all the information you need to stay healthy. Please check this page often for new information about the coronavirus and how to get help.

Click below for help with things like protecting yourself, reaching medical care, and getting help with basics like food and housing. There is no cost to SFHP members for needed screening, testing, or health care for COVID-19.

What is Coronavirus and What Can I Do?

Coronavirus is a virus that causes a disease called COVID-19, which affects the lungs and other organs. In most people the disease causes mild symptoms. However, for some people the symptoms can become more serious, causing severe breathing trouble.

If you are worried about the coronavirus, you are not alone. Read more to learn how to get help and how to protect yourself and others.

Where to Learn More

These trusted sources have up-to-date information, about the coronavirus:

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.

People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

  •   Cough
  •   Shortness of breath or hard time breathing
  •   Fever
  •   Chills
  •   Muscle pain
  •   Headache
  •   Sore Throat
  •   New loss of taste or smell
  • Feeling very tired or weak
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea


There may be other symptoms as well.

Please call your PCP for any other symptoms that you are worried about.

A PCP is your main doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant. Your PCP works with you and a care team to help you meet your health goals.

For more information about symptoms, visit the CDC’s symptom guide website.

It also has a link to the CDC’s Self-Checker, a guide to help make choices and find the right medical care. Read More

When to Contact Your Doctor

There is no cost to SFHP members for needed screening, testing, or health care for COVID-19.

If you are sick, call your health care provider first. They may be able to help by phone without having to go to the doctor’s office.

You can also call a doctor at Teladoc® for free any time of the day or night. Learn more at or 1(800) 835-2362.

People over 65 and people with chronic health issues like heart or lung disease or diabetes are at higher risk for serious problems. Learn more at the “Am I at High Risk” section below on this webpage.

Emergency Warning Signs

Get medical help right away by calling 911 if you have any of these emergency warning signs:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Pain or pressure in the chest that doesn’t go away
  • New confusion or inability to wake up
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Cannot stay awake or not able to stay awake

You can take an ambulance to the hospital if needed. If you are unsure about what to tell the ambulance driver on where to go, or have any questions about ambulance coverage, please call SFHP customer service at:

  • Local Callers 1(415) 547-7800
  • Toll-Free Callers 1(800) 288-5555
  • TTY for People Who Are Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, or Have Speech Disabilities 1(415) 547-7830 or 1(888) 883-7347 toll-free or 711

Please talk with your PCP for any symptoms that are severe or that you are worried about.

A PCP is your main doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant. Your PCP works with you and a care team to help meet your health goals.

Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: Tell the operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If you can, put on a well-fitting mask, ideally a surgical or N95 mask, that covers the nose and mouth area before help comes.

For more about emergency warning signs, visit the CDC website. Read More

Here are some of the best ways to protect yourself and others from the coronavirus.

The coronavirus passes to other people through close contact (being within about 6 feet). When an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air. Depending on how good the air flow is, the droplets in the air can be inhaled.

Learn how to protect against the coronavirus at the CDC’s “How to Protect Yourself & Others”. Read More

Learn More at the CDC’s web page on the most recent guidelines on how to protect yourself and others from the coronavirus.

If you are Exposed To Coronavirus

Follow San Francisco’s current guidance at their coronavirus website for if you have had a close contact or a positive test. Read More

Get Vaccinated
You can find information about San Francisco resources like:

  • Coronavirus Testing
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • COVID-19 Booster Vaccines
  • What to do if you have had a close contact or positive test

By clicking on San Francico’s coronavirus website, or you can calling 311.

Wear a Mask

N95 respirators, double masks, and well-fitting medical masks are more effective against protecting yourself against the coronavirus.

As of April 2022, masks are no longer required in most public indoor settings, it is recommended to carry one with you as different places have different rules. People may choose to continue to wear their masks, even if it is not required.

For more information on any mask requirements, no matter your vaccine status, like:

  • Seeking healthcare (including any waiting rooms)
  • At long-term care facilities and adult and senior care centers
  • Inside homeless shelters, cooling and heating centers, and emergency shelters
  • Inside a jail
  • Inside all Department of Public Health buildings
  • In public hearing rooms while in session

Visit San Francisco’s Know When Mask’s Are Needed website

Washing Hands

Washing hands well, is one of the best ways to stop the spread of COVID-19.

To learn more, see the CDC’s Handwashing web page or watch this video that shows all the steps to washing hands well.

Last updated 9/16/2022

Accessing Your Health Benefits

Here you can find information on how to use your health benefits during the coronavirus pandemic. This page contains information on:

  • How to reach your doctor
  • Pharmacy and drug coverage
  • Emotional health support

How to Reach Your Primary Care Provider (PCP)
A PCP is your main doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant. You can still see your PCP for many of your health needs. Call your PCP’s office to make or change your appointment. If you are sick, call your PCP first. They may be able to help by phone without having to go to the PCP’s office.

You can also call a doctor at Teladoc® for free any time of the day or night. Learn more at or 1(800)835-2362. Teladoc® will communicate the care plan for you, with your PCP who can help prevent future health issues and answer any questions you have.

If you do not know who your PCP is please call our Customer Service Team:

  • Local Callers 1(415) 547-7800
  • Toll-Free Callers 1(800) 288-5555
  • TTY for People Who Are Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, or Have Speech Disabilities 1(415) 547-7830 or 1(888) 883-7347 toll-free or 711

Pharmacy Help / Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get my medications?

You can still go to your pharmacy to pick up medications and supplies.

Many pharmacies are offering FREE home delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic, including all Walgreens and CVS stores. Please call your pharmacy to learn how to get prescriptions delivered.

Does San Francisco Health Plan cover items to protect me from coronavirus?

SFHP now covers some items needed to protect against coronavirus. SFHP will cover these items while the coronavirus pandemic lasts. The new items that are covered during this time are below.

  • Your doctor will need to send a prescription to a pharmacy for the items to be covered
  • SFHP only covers a limited amount of each item (the limit is below)
  • For Healthy Workers HMO members, these items are covered with a copay of up to $5
New Covered Item Limit
Rubbing alcohol for disinfecting surfaces (ethyl alcohol 70% solution ) Up to 1,920 milliliters per 30 days
Gloves that can be thrown away (made of latex, nitrile, vinyl, or nyprex) One box of 50 gloves per 30 days
Digital thermometer (one that goes in the mouth) One per 5 years

Support for Emotional Health

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused major changes in our lives. You may feel stressed, nervous, sad, bored, upset, or lonely. You are not alone.
Some tips for handling your stress:

  • Take breaks from watching or reading the news or being on social media
  • Stay in touch with supportive people in your life by phone, text or online groups
  • Take care of your body by eating healthy foods, exercising, getting outside and getting sleep
  • Limit alcohol drinks to 1-2 a day
  • Call for help over the phone if your emotions make it hard for you to do the things you normally do

Read More

Hotlines if you need to talk with someone

Local Suicide Prevention: 1(415) 781-0500

National 24/7 Lifelines: Suicide Prevention 1(800) 273-8255 or text 838255

If you are being hurt by someone you live with: Domestic Violence 1(800) 799-7233

The Mental Health Association of San Francisco offers a peer-run 24/7 support line at 1(855) 845-7415 or online chat at:

Links for the 24/7 MHA support services is at:

CalHOPE is a no-cost call line. Call to talk about struggles and get support: 1(833) 317-HOPE (4673) or 1(855) 845-7415

For a mental health appointment

Members can now use the phone or make video calls to schedule mental health appointments, start intake, and get help with medications from a psychiatrist when those services are needed.

  • 24-Hour Behavioral Health Access Helpline 1(415) 255-3737 TDD 1(888) 484-7200
  • Carelon Behavioral Health 1(855) 371-8117

If you would like help because you are drinking too much or using drugs call:

  • Treatment Access Program 1(800) 750-2727

More resources for handling your stress

Our partner, Carelon Behavioral Health has tips on how to care for yourself and your family during the coronavirus pandemic: Learn More

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) tips on handling your mental health:

Coping with stress: Learn More

Talking with children about COVID-19: Learn More

Virtual Behavioral Health Treatment (BHT)

Members who receive Behavioral Health Treatment (BHT) or Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) care can now use video chat for those services. BHT is a therapy that can help children with autism and some other behavior issues. Learn More

Last updated 5/13/2022

Getting Help with Basic Needs

City and community partners have put together lists of places to help you get food, money, housing and other basics. The links below lead to legal help, child care, diapers for children, shelter, meals and medicine delivery, friendly phone calls, and many more things.

 Help getting food

Information and help for people needing food. Learn More

 Help applying for public benefits

Apply for Calfresh (money for food), Calworks (money and aid for those with kids), Medi-Cal (health insurance), cash needs, and IHSS in-home support. Learn More

 Help to stay in your home

Find legal help and current city rules to protect you from evictions. Learn More

Note: As of April 1, 2022, there are no eviction protections for tenants who are unable to pay rent that is due on or after this date. San Francisco’s local eviction moratorium, unanimously passed by our Board of Supervisors and signed by Mayor Breed, was eliminated by a state law that went into effect on April 1, 2022. Learn More

 Help with getting low cost internet

Find help with low cost internet service. Learn More

 Help if someone is hurting you

Find help with shelters and services for people dealing with domestic violence. Learn More

Need help with more things? See the lists below:

For families with children and youth with special health care needs and disabilities

Families can find help with food, household bills, mortgage and rent, and unemployment. You can also find help with special education and learning at home.

Click here for a list from Support for Families of Children with Disabilities

For those experiencing homelessness

Our unsheltered neighbors and those working with them can find help with clothing, food, showers, hand washing sinks, legal help, and pet care

Click here for a list from Project Homeless Connect

For our undocumented neighbors

Resources for undocumented immigrants in SF during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Find help with rent and cash needs

Call 1(415) 324-1011, anytime from 8am-8pm Monday-Saturday, to apply for $500 cash help through Catholic Charities. Read More

For our LGBTQ neighbors

Find help with rent, legal needs, trans led peer support

Click here for a list of LGBTQ community resources from the city

Help for teens and young adults

Youth-friendly support for sexual health, mental health, and help with housing, food, and safety. Learn More

For anyone needing help

Both lists help with food, childcare, shelter, diapers, friendship lines, jobs, money support, rent help, legal help

UCSF Community Resources Read More

Mass resource list from the Freedom Community Clinic Read More

Help for older adults and people with disabilities

Find help with food and meal deliveries, help with home care, and friendship line.

Call 1(415) 557-5000; Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m or go to the San Francisco Human Services agency website.

Social support for seniors

Please contact Department of Disability and Aging Services (DAS) for more resources at 1(415) 557-6555. Read More

For anyone looking for health and wellness workshops

The YMCA is offering free online group exercise classes that are open to anyone. These classes are designed to help with staying active during shelter in place. Read More

SFHP has also created a list of wellness classes that can be accessed on our website. Read More

Last updated 5/13/2022

Check here to learn about higher risk for getting very sick. People with health issues like lung disease, asthma, liver disease, or diabetes, and older adults are at higher risk. Learn More

Last updated 5/13/2022

Mental Health Association Peer-run Warm Line / Friendship line  Click Here »

Non-emergency mental and emotional support. You can call or video chat any time of the day or night. Call 1(855) 845-7415.

Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing Coordinated Entry and Community Access Points  Click Here »

Programs and housing opportunities for people dealing with homelessness. You can also call 1(415) 487-3300 ext 7000.

GLIDE  Click Here »

In-person services like to-go free meals program, COVID-19 testing, harm reduction clinic, and walk-in resource center. Case management, legal help, Men in Progress classes and Family Resource Center all by phone or online.

St. Anthony’s  Click Here »

Resources like clothing, food, and spaces to wash hands and refill water bottles. Fresh meals can be picked up curbside and free clothing can be scheduled over the phone.

In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)  Click Here »

IHSS workers help adults with disabilities and older adults with daily living activities like cooking, cleaning, bathing, and food shopping.

Catholic Charities  Click Here »

Housing support, like help with rent, housing case management, and homelessness prevention.

Behavioral Health Access Center (BHAC)  Click Here »

Help with substance abuse treatment and mental health care in San Francisco. BHAC has a 24-Hour Access Helpline to reach therapy sessions, emotional support groups, group therapy, case management and help with medication from a psychiatrist when needed. You can call: 1(415) 255-3737, any time of the day or night.

Project Open Hand  Click Here »

Healthy meals for people who are sick and facing a lack of food.

SF Marin Food Bank  Click Here »

Free culturally-fit and easy-to-access foods for people who need support.

Here are some additional contact information for other community resources;

Centro Legal de la Raza (Legal Support): 1(510) 437-1554
East Bay Community Law Center: 1(510) 548-4040 ext 201
Tennant Rights:
SF Tenants Hotline: 1(415) 487-9203
National Tenants Hotline: 1(888) 495-8020

For any other references not listed, please call 211,

COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 Vaccine is Here

The vaccine is one of the most important ways to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The vaccine is available to everyone 6 months and older. You can get the vaccine at doctor’s offices, clinics, pharmacies, or community sites.

By getting the vaccine you are helping your health, the health of your loved ones, and your community. The vaccine and other steps, like masks and social distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live with you), will slow the spread of COVID-19.

How to Get a Vaccine Appointment for SFHP Members

All SFHP members can schedule an appointment by calling 1(415) 615-4519 weekdays from 8:30am – 5:00pm

For the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines in San Francisco, click here.

Home vaccine is an option if it is hard for you to get to a vaccine site. Ask if interested.

If you have any questions about the vaccine and your health, please talk to your primary care provider (PCP). Your PCP is the doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant who is in charge of your health care.

If you would like help finding the phone number of your primary care provider, please call SFHP Customer Service at 1(415) 547-7800 weekdays from 8:30am – 5:30pm.

COVID-19 Vaccine for Children Under 5 Years Old

The CDC recommends that children 6 months and older get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Getting the vaccine will help keep your child from getting seriously sick if they do get COVID‐19 and help keep them from spreading COVID‐19 to others. This vaccine will help protect your whole family and the community.

  • The vaccine is safe based on clinical trials.
  • Your child may have no side effects. Some people may have some mild side effects, which are normal signs that their body is building protection. The most common side effect from the vaccine is a sore arm. Sometimes a person may have a headache or a fever but they should go away in a few days. Call your child’s Primary Care Provider if severe allergy reactions occur, which is rare.
  • Getting the vaccine will make it easier for your child to play sports, go to festivals, and do other things that may require proof of the vaccine.
  • A parent or a legal guardian will need to consent for the vaccine, either when making the appointment or at the time of the vaccination except under certain limited circumstances.

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine in San Francisco, click here.

How to set up a COVID-19 vaccine appointment for your child:

  • Call us! To set up an appointment, please call the SFHP COVID-19 vaccine hotline at 1(415) 615-4519 Monday-Friday from 8:30am – 5:00pm.
  • Talk to your child’s Primary Care Provider (PCP) if you have questions. A PCP is the doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant who oversees your child’s health care. The PCP is listed on your child’s member ID card.
  • Schools, drop-in clinics, and pharmacies have vaccines for children. Visit the San Francisco City and County website or call SFDPH COVID-19 vaccine call center at 1(628) 652-2700 to find a place to get the vaccine in San Francisco. They can also set up an appointment or help you get the vaccine at home.
COVID-19 Booster Vaccines

People ages 6 months and older can now get the updated bivalent booster vaccine!

As of April 19, 2023, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends:

  • People ages 6 years and older get a bivalent booster vaccine, even if you did not finish your primary series of doses.
COVID-19 Additional Vaccines

You may get an additional bivalent vaccine if:

  • You are 65 years or older.
    • Please wait 4 months after getting your last bivalent vaccine.
  • You are 6 months and older with a weakened immune system.
    • For ages 4 years and older, please wait 2 months after getting your last bivalent vaccine.
    • For ages 6 months to 4 years old, please talk with your Primary Care Provider (PCP) about when to get your next dose.

If you have any questions, please talk to your PCP. Visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) for more info.

What is the bivalent (two strains) booster?

The updated bivalent booster protects you more against COVID-19.

These booster vaccines are “bivalent” (have two strains). It protects you from the strains of COVID-19 that have been active lately. Check the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) for more info on the bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster.

Visit SFDPH to stay up to date with COVID-19 info in San Francisco.

Get Rides at No Cost to your Vaccine Appointment with Muni, Paratransit, Uber, or Lyft.
For more info on no-cost rides, please see SFDPH.

Can I get the updated (bivalent) COVID-19 booster?
Who can get an updated bivalent booster is based on:

• Your age


• When you were done with your primary vaccine, or your most recent monovalent (original) COVID-19 booster*

Go to the CDC website to find out when you can get your booster. This tool helps you know when or if you or your child can get 1 or more COVID-19 boosters.

*To get the bivalent booster, it must be at least 2 months since your last COVID-19 shot. If you have had COVID-19 lately, wait 3 months until your next COVID-19 shot (primary dose or updated booster). Count the months from when symptoms started. Or if you had no symptoms, when you first got a positive test.

Read more booster facts and booster questions and answers from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

Learn more at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

COVID-19 Vaccine – Frequently Asked Questions

Please visit the CDC for the most up to date answers on COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.

Are COVID-19 vaccines free?

Yes. You can get COVID-19 vaccines at no cost.

Read more with a California Know Your Health Care Rights Fact Sheet.

When am I up to date with COVID-19 vaccines?

Visit the CDC to check how many doses you will need to be the most up to date with COVID-19 vaccines. How many doses you get are based on:

  • Your age
  • If you are immunocompromised (have a weakened immune system)
  • What type of vaccine you got

What is the difference between “booster doses” and “additional doses for people with weakened immune systems”?

A booster dose is a vaccine dose that is needed when your immunity to COVID-19 has decreased over time. Booster doses are common and are a normal part of vaccine series.

An additional dose for people with weakened immune systems is needed as part of their normal vaccine series. It offers extra help to their immune system.

For more info on Booster and Additional Doses, see the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

What is Long COVID or Post-COVID?

Some people who have had COVID-19 can feel long-term effects, known as Long COVID or Post-COVID Conditions (PCC). It is important to still protect yourself as much as you can, such as by wearing masks in crowded spaces. Even if you had COVID-19 in the past, do your best to not get infected again to prevent any Long COVID-19 symptoms. Learn more about Long COVID-19 at CDC.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Millions of people in the United States have gotten COVID-19 vaccines under the strongest safety monitoring in U.S. history. The CDC recommends you get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are eligible. More information on vaccine safety can be found here.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine impact my day to day life?

After getting the vaccine, you may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. The most common side effects are pain and swelling in the arm where you received the shot. Also, you may have fever, chills, tiredness, and headache. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Learn more about what to expect after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Will I get an allergic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine?

Serious allergic reactions are very rare. You can learn about allergic reactions here.

I just had COVID-19, should I get the vaccine?

Yes, you should get the vaccine even if you have had COVID-19.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine after you feel better still offers more protection against COVID-19. Wait 3 months from when your symptoms started or, if you had no symptoms, when you had a positive test.

People who have had COVID-19 and do not get vaccinated are more likely to get COVID-19 again than those who get vaccinated.

How much time does it take to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Scheduling the vaccine only takes a few minutes. The appointment will take about half an hour.

If you have health questions, please call any of the following:

  • Your Primary Care Provider (PCP). Your PCP is the doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant who is in charge of your health care. If you need help finding the number of your PCP, call SFHP Customer Service at 1(415) 547-7800.
  • 24/7 SFHP Nurse Help Line at 1(877) 977-3397.
  • 24/7 Teladoc to talk to a doctor over phone or video. Learn more at or 1(800) 835-2362.

How can I make a COVID vaccine appointment?

There are many ways to schedule a vaccine visit. Here are a few:

  • Call your PCP to find out if you can get the vaccine at your regular hospital or clinic. If not, you may be able to get a vaccine at another place in the same network. If you need help finding the number of your PCP, call SFHP Customer Service at 1(415) 547-7800.
  • Book a visit online or find a walk-in clinic near you from California Department of Public Health.
  • Check the City and County of San Francisco’s website for vaccine sites with open appointments.
  • CVS and Walgreens have appointments. You can schedule online or call.

Can I bring a family or household member to get the vaccine with me?

If your family or household member can also get a vaccine and is able to go to the same site, you can try to make appointments near the same time so you can go together.

Will I have to give any personal information to get the vaccine?

You will need to give your name, birthday, health plan ID number, and address to schedule the vaccine. If you do not know your health plan ID number, call SFHP Customer Service at 1(415) 547-7800 so we can help look it up for you.

Will I need to give my Social Security Number to schedule the vaccine?

You will not need to give your social security number to schedule the vaccine. The San Francisco Health Plan and your PCP have the number. The place where you get the vaccine will view it when they give you the vaccine.

Testing and Treatment

Test to Treat Sites

If you think you may have COVID-19, visit one of the new Test to Treat sites. They can test you for COVID-19. If you have a positive test, they can give you medicine if you are eligible.

Visit a site as soon as you start having symptoms. Treatment must be taken within the first 5 days of being sick or having a positive COVID-19 test.

See more info at Test to Treat.

Find a Test to Treat site with this map.

Home Testing

You can pick up 8 COVID-19 tests each month at your local pharmacy. Test kits are free. Bring your pharmacy insurance card and ask for COVID-19 test kits.


Many people are eligible for COVID-19 treatments. If you get COVID-19 and have certain health issues, you may be able to get treatment. Please call your provider as soon as you start having symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.

COVID-19 treatments can be in the form of a pill, shot, or infusion. Paxlovid™ (nirmatrelvir with ritonavir) and Lagevrio™ (molnupiravir) are pills taken by mouth. Veklury® (remdesivir) is a treatment that is put into the vein (IV).

To get treatment, please call your healthcare provider. Or, find a Test to Treat site as soon as you have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.

For more info on COVID-19 treatments, please visit CDPH and CDC.


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