COVID-19: Information for Members


Note: Some doctors may be able to provide some of your services through a telehealth visit. Also, the Alliance has resources to support members with stress and coping during this pandemic. Go here for more information.

COVID-19: The basics

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has updated its list of COVID-19 symptoms to include a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after being exposed to the virus and may include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Sudden loss of taste or smell
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • CDC Self-Checker

Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. Take your temperature and follow CDC guidance if you have symptoms.

If you have any of the emergency warning signs below, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • Sense of confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

For people with chronic illnesses or the elderly, the symptoms can be more severe and life threatening. People with asthma and other chronic conditions are at a higher risk of complications from COVID-19. The CDC provides this Self-Checker as a guide to help you make decisions on when to seek testing and appropriate medical care. Note: This website is only available in English and Spanish.

What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?

You should call your doctor if:

  • You have been in contact with someone who has been sick with COVID-19; or
  • You are experiencing symptoms. Having symptoms does not mean you have COVID-19, but it’s best to call your doctor.

If you are unable to see your doctor, Alliance members can also call the Nurse Advice Line (NAL) and a registered nurse will help you decide what to do next. The NAL is available 24 hours, 7 days a week. It’s fast, easy and at no cost to you. Call: 844-971-8907. TTY: Dial 711.

For more information:

Call your doctor or call the Alliance at 800-700-3874, ext. 5505, TTY: Dial 711. Or visit the CDC website at

Note: This website is available in English and Spanish.

If someone in my community tests positive for COVID-19, what should I know?

It is important to know that the CDC states that even if there are confirmed coronavirus cases in a community, the risk for contracting the coronavirus remains low for most people. If someone in your community contracts the virus, be sure to follow all advice and guidelines provided by state and local health officials.

If you’ve been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you’ll need to stay home for 14 days (self quarantine). Close contact is when you have been closer than 6 feet away from someone who is sick for longer than 10 minutes.

For more information, visit the CDC website:

Where can I get tested for COVID-19?

The CDC website can help you find locations where you can be tested for COVID-19 here.

How do I care for someone in my household with COVID-19?

If someone in your household contracts COVID-19, you should take steps to be sure that you and others in your household stay safe.  Please see the CDC guidelines on how to care for someone sick at home.

When can I go out again after having COVID-19?

  • If you had symptoms:
    • Wait at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared, and
    • At least 24 hours with no fever (without fever-reducing medication), and
    • Symptoms have improved
  • Those who have experienced severe symptoms may need to remain in isolation for up to
  • If you tested positive and had no symptoms:

If your doctor agrees, you can be with others 10 days after your first positive test. You may need to be re-tested first, or wait longer to end isolation if you have a weak immune system.

Where can I go for more information on COVID-19?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

California State Government

Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency

Monterey County Health Department

Merced County Public Health

Local Community Resources

Guidance for Pregnant and Breastfeeding People During the COVID-19 Pandemic

This document provides guidance for people who are pregnant and breastfeeding during the COVID-19 pandemic. The California Department of Public Health will update this guidance as new information becomes available.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Vaccine for Alliance Members

The newly released COVID-19 vaccine is one of the safest ways our communities and lives can return to a more normal state, more quickly.

Distribution will take time. California has just started to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and is following distribution guidelines set by state and local public health agencies. The COVID-19 vaccine distribution is taking place in phases. Right now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that healthcare workers and residents of nursing homes be the first to receive the vaccine. The timeline for distribution to the general public is not yet clear and depends on vaccine supply and the guidance of public health officials.

When the Vaccine is available, Alliance members will receive the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost. Alliance members won’t have any out-of-pocket costs for the vaccine.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the vaccine and has found that it is safe. Researchers have studied vaccine reactions and potential side effects carefully. The FDA and the CDC, and vaccine manufacturers are continuously monitoring vaccine safety and quality.

Even when a vaccine is available, you should still wear a mask and practice social distancing. Wearing a mask and practicing social distancing will continue to be critical tools in preventing the spread of COVID19 until a large percentage of the population gets the vaccine and we are sure the vaccine provides long-term protection.

Additional Information on the COVID-19 vaccine

For additional information on the COVID-19 vaccine, please call your Primary Care Provider or your county’s Public Health Department.

CountyHotline NumberHoursWebsite
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monterey831-755-45217 Days a week,
7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Santa Cruz831-454-4242Mon-Fri,
8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

You can also visit:
  • California COVID-19 website:
  • Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website:
  • World Health Organization (WHO) website:
  • You can call 2-1-1 or go to to find food, housing, job training, utility assistance and more.

The Alliance is committed to supporting you and your health. Stay up to date by checking the Alliance website.

Prevent getting sick

What can I do to stay well?

  • Stay home if you are feeling sick. If you are experiencing any symptoms, stay home to prevent spreading germs.
  • If you think someone may be sick, avoid close contact with that person.
  • Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap and water. Hand sanitizer may also be used to keep your hands clean in between washing them.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, mouth, and nose as touching these areas can spread germs.
  • Use a tissue to cover your cough or sneeze and throw the tissue in the trash as soon as possible. Then, wash your hands immediately.
  • Keep touched areas free of germs. Clean objects and surfaces with a cleaning spray, soap, or disinfectant wipe.
  • See CDC information on methods for preventing the spread by cleaning your home.
  • Know how it spreads. Information on how COVID-19 spreads can be found on the CDC website. The virus spreads easily between people through the air and may also spread via surfaces.
  • Wear a mask when out in public.
  • Keep a social distance of at least 6 feet apart (even when wearing a mask) when out in public.

Do I need to wear a face mask?

People in California are required to wear face masks (face coverings) in high-risk situations, such as while inside a store, waiting for or using public transportation, around others at work, or outdoors when you are not able to keep 6 feet apart from others. See the guidance for the use of face coverings from the California Department of Public Health for full details. This page is only available in English and Spanish.

Wear your face mask so that it covers your mouth and nose when you are around others. This is to protect other people in case you may have the virus. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. Even when you wear a face covering, practice social distancing by keeping about 6 feet between yourself and others. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is not conscious, injured or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

For more information on the use of cloth face coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19, visit the CDC website. Also, see CDC tips on errands and going out during COVID-19.This page is only available in English and Spanish.

Visit the CDC’s guidance website on how to select, wear, and clean your mask.

Note: This website is only available in English and Spanish.

Should I avoid going out?

The best way to reduce the risk of getting sick from COVID-19 is to limit face-to-face contact with others. If you do need to go out, make sure to wear a face covering and practice social distancing. Social distancing means staying at least 6 feet away from other people, avoiding crowded places and not gathering in groups, even if it is for a special occasion. Transmission is most likely when people are closer than 6 feet for more than 10 minutes.

For more information on the importance of social distancing and tips for practicing it, visit the CDC website here. Note: This website is only available in English and Spanish.

How do I stay well if I live with many people or am in contact with extended family?

Practice all recommended guidelines for staying well. These are listed for the question “What can I do to stay well?” If you or someone you live with are at high risk, extra precautions are advised. These precautions include avoiding things like hugging, kissing or sharing food or drinks.

For more information on how to limit risks when living in close quarters with others, visit the CDC website here. This page is only available in English and Spanish.

Resources for Seniors

  • The State of California’s Aging and Adults Info Line connects to local Area Agencies on Aging. Call 800-510-2020 (available in English and Spanish). For the Hearing or Speech Assistance Line, call 800-735-2929 (TTY: Dial 7-1-1).
  • The California Department of Aging has developed a new activity guide and weekly planner, "Feeling Good & Staying Connected". This activity guide is available only in English and Spanish.

Resources for Children

Stress and Coping

I’m having a lot of anxiety or feeling stressed about COVID-19. What can I do about it?

Public health emergencies, such as COVID-19 can lead to stress, anxiety, lack of focus and more. All are natural responses to deal with day-to-day pressures. Mental health services are available to Alliance members. The Alliance contracts with a company called Beacon Health Options (Beacon) to help you connect with the mental health services you need. Call Beacon at 855-765-9700 to speak with someone who will can help.

Health plan information

Will I be charged a co-pay or cost sharing for COVID-19 doctor appointments or testing?

You will not be charged co-pays or cost sharing for medically necessary screenings and tests done for COVID-19. This includes hospital, emergency department, urgent care visits, and doctor office visits where the purpose of the visit is to be screened and/or tested for COVID-19.

I need to visit the Alliance. Can I still visit in-person?

No. In order to maintain social distancing guidelines and avoid risk spreading illness, the public areas and service counters for the Alliance are closed during this time. This means that members may not visit our offices in person.

While member lobbies and public areas remain closed, the Alliance is continuing to maintain business operations. Our mission is to ensure our members in Monterey, Santa Cruz and Merced counties can continue to access needed health care services.

To speak to Alliance staff, call 800-700-3874 and dial the extension you wish to reach.

  • Member Services 800-700-3874, ext. 5505
  • Care Management 800-700-3874, ext. 5512
  • Non-Medical Transportation assistance: 800-700-3874, ext. 5577

Telehealth Services

Telehealth Services

Some providers may be able to provide some of your services through a telehealth visit. These visits offer high quality care without you needing to leave your home and are a safe way to receive medical care without going to your doctor’s office. Telehealth visits may involve having a live video or phone conversation with your provider.

Other telehealth visits may involve sharing information with your provider without a live conversation. It is important that both you and your provider agree that the use of a telehealth visit for a particular service is appropriate for you.

Can I talk to my doctor by phone? Do I need internet access or a computer?

Internet access or a computer is not always needed, but you may need access to a smart phone or tablet to complete a telehealth visit. If you do not have access to a computer or the internet, you may be able to make an appointment for a telehealth visit with your doctor over the phone. If you need care, call your doctor to see if telehealth visits are an option.

I can’t get in to see my doctor. What can I do?

If you are unable to see your doctor, Alliance members can call the Alliance Nurse Advice Line (NAL) and a registered nurse will help you decide what to do next. Call: 844-971-8907 or (TTY: Dial 7-1-1).

The nurse can also connect you to a doctor over video or telephone conference, as part of the MDLIVE program. The doctor can address your medical concern, recommend treatment, or provide a prescription for you. Medical consultations via telephone are provided by MDLIVE 24 hours a day, seven days a week. MDLIVE provides language line support for non-English speakers.

Free or Low-Cost Internet

    Many internet providers are offering free or low-cost internet plans to low-income residents. Please check with your local internet provider for details.

Seeking medical care and filling my prescriptions

I have a doctor appointment scheduled for another issue (well-check, etc.) but I don’t want to expose myself or my family to others who may have the coronavirus. Should I keep my appointment?

As a rule, it is important to keep scheduled doctor visits to stay on track with your health goals. Doctors have processes in place that allow them to assess and isolate sick patients from healthy patients. Be sure to follow the tips above to keep yourself and others well when you visit the doctor. If you are still unsure, call your doctor to ask if you should keep your appointment or reschedule.

My child has a well-child checkup, or they are supposed to be receiving their shots in the near future. Should I keep the appointment?

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage you to keep your child’s scheduled doctor visits to stay on track with his or her health goals. If you are unsure if you should keep your child’s appointment or reschedule, call your child’s doctor. Doctors have processes in place that allow them to assess and isolate sick patients from healthy patients. Be sure to follow the tips above to keep yourself and others well when you visit the doctor.

I’m having an acute medical emergency (for example, chest pains) not related to COVID-19. Should I avoid the emergency room?

If you are experiencing a true medical emergency, we recommend you seek the necessary medical attention immediately or call 911 if it is a life-threatening emergency. Most hospitals have protocols in place to isolate COVID-19 patients from other patients.

I am pregnant or recently had a baby, should I continue my prenatal and postpartum care visits? Yes. During your pregnancy and after the birth of your child, regular visits with your doctor are important to help keep you and your baby healthy. At these visits, your doctor will see how you and your baby are doing, this also includes maternal mental health care. If you think you may have been exposed or have been sick with COVID-19, you are still encouraged to keep your scheduled doctor visits to stay on track with your health plan goals. If you are unsure, call your doctor for more information or to schedule a visit. You can also visit or call the Alliance’s Health Education Line at 800-700-3974, ext. 5580 (TTY: Dial 7-1-1), to learn about prenatal and postpartum care programs offered by the Alliance.

How should I fill my prescriptions during this time?

You are encouraged to have at least a 30-day supply of necessary prescriptions on hand. In addition, members can receive a 90-day supply, including free standard delivery, for most prescription medications mailed through MedImpact Direct. To setup mail order for medications, call your doctor or pharmacy or visit or call 855-873-8739 (multiple languages are available).

Note: The website is only in English.

In addition, Walgreens and CVS pharmacies are now offering free delivery for all eligible medications. Talk to your pharmacist or call your local Walgreens or CVS for more information.

The Alliance also encourages members to check out SortPak, a mail order pharmacy that can arrange delivery to your home. Please visit their website at or view this flyer to learn more.

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