Announcement: Coronavirus and How Disability Rights California Can Help You

Announcement: Coronavirus and How Disability Rights California Can Help You

Photo of a lone woman in the street wearing a medical mask to prevent spread of germs.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information, Response, and Planning

*This page will be updated as more information is made available

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Disability Rights California Can Help You if:

  • You have questions about your legal rights during an outbreak.
  • Are seeing information that is not accessible from other agencies.
  • Feel you are experiencing an extra layer of disability discrimination during this time.

We can talk to you about your questions, determine how we can help, and get you the information that you need.

For assistance, please contact the Disability Rights California confidential intake line at 1-800-776-5746, available 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday or For TTY call: 1-800-719-5798.


Know Your Legal Rights

Anti-Discrimination: Do my legal rights change?

Although the situation is changing quickly, you still have the right to live, work, and access your community free of discrimination. This means that information should be distributed, and that you have the right to request reasonable accommodations from various agencies.

U.S Department of Health & Human Services: Statement on Civil Rights Laws ensuring people with disabilities are not discriminated against during COVID-19:


Create a Household Plan of Action

Make sure to have an action plan. Now is a good time to reach out to your service providers and circles of support to start planning. If you already have a plan, review it to make sure it will still work.

Get Your Household Ready for Coronavirus Disease 2019Center for Disease Control:

Things to Consider

  • Are you signed up for emergency warnings in your county? Do you know how to do that?
  • Do you know which phone numbers to call if you feel sick?
  • Have you identified people in the community who may provide you with support if you need it? Do you know their contact information?

Information from the California Department of Public Health

California is issuing daily updates on COVID-19. See the most recent update on the CDPH News Release page

“California is responding to the spread of a respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Cases of COVID-19 are also being reported internationally and in the United States. California is actively working with the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local governments, health facilities, and health care providers across the state to prepare and protect Californians from COVID-19.”

How can people protect themselves?

Every person has a role to play. So much of protecting yourself and your family comes down to common sense: 

  • Washing hands with soap and water.
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.
  • Following guidance from public health officials.

What should you do if you think you're sick?

Call ahead: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, and may have had contact with a person with COVID-19 or recently traveled to countries with apparent community spread, call your health care provider or local public health department first before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Typically, human coronaviruses cause mild-to-moderate respiratory illness. Symptoms are very similar to the flu, including:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

COVID-19 can cause more severe respiratory illness.

Is California able to test for COVID-19?

Twenty-two public health labs in California are testing samples for COVID-19. These labs include the California Department of Public Health's Laboratory in Richmond, Alameda, Contra Costa, Humboldt, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Monterey, Napa-Solano-Yolo-Marin (located in Solano), Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Shasta, Sonoma, Tulare and Ventura County public health laboratories. The Richmond Laboratory will provide diagnostic testing within a 48-hour turnaround time. More public health labs will soon be able to test samples for COVID-19. This means California public health officials will get test results sooner, so that patients will get the best care.


For more information visit:

Administration on Community Living COVID-19

California’s new website for Coronavirus (COVID-19)-Information on employment, healthcare, education, local updates and more.

The California Department of Public Health Guidance for Individuals with access and functional needs

California Department of Public Health

California Department of Public Health Spanish Page

California Department of Public Health Guidance Documents: Coronavirus Disease 2019

Video: Prevent the Spread of COVID: 5 Things to know about properly washing your hands

For DOR Consumers visit:

For people with Developmental Disabilities & their families visit:

Resources for the I/DD community/General Information link:

Plain-Language Guide to COVID-19 For and by Persons with Disabilities

Managing Anxiety & Stress 

Helping Children Cope with Emergencies

List of County Public Authorities-Numbers by county

Guidance for Immigrant Communities

Employment Accommodation & Leave: What to Know About the ADA, Rehabilitation Act, and COVID-19

Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Information & Resources

CDSS-Department of Social Services


Disability related articles on the issue:

5 Things to Know about Coronavirus and People with Disabilities

Stores designate shopping time for seniors, and vulnerable populations

Opinion: We are Ignoring One Obvious Way to Fight the Coronavirus