DSA-LA COVID-19 FAQs

Coronavirus general

WHAT IS GOING ON?

Q: What are reliable sources about COVID-19 (Coronavirus)?

Q: Where can I read about the Los Angeles City mayor’s orders?

Q: Where can I read about the California governor's orders?

Q: What is Social Distancing?

HEALTHCARE

Q: What should I do if I feel sick?

  • According to the LA Department of Public Health, if you are mildly sick, stay home for at least seven days or until 72 hours after being fever free, whichever is longer. 
  • Call your doctor or a nearby health clinic if you are concerned and/or your symptoms worsen. Individuals who are elderly, have underlying health conditions or pregnant should consider contacting their providers or a nearby clinic earlier when they are sick.
  • Here is a guide on what to do if you are experiencing coughing, fever, or shortness of breath (symptoms of COVID-19).
  • Here is a helpful guide of when to self-quarantine (if you have been exposed) versus when to self-isolate (if you are experiencing symptoms).

Q: What do I do if I need screening or treatment for COVID⁠-⁠19?

  • Here is a guide on what to do if you are experiencing coughing, fever, or shortness of breath.
  • According to the CA Department of Public Health, you should not not call 911 or show up at the ER/Urgent Care to request testing for COVID-19. You should call your doctor or nearby health clinic to share your symptoms and ask for next steps.

Q: How much does it cost to get the COVID-19 test? I don’t think I can afford it....

  • If you have health insurance, the California Insurance Commissioner has waived the costs of COVID-19 screenings and tests (includes co-pays and deductibles) and it is free. However, the cost of further treatment may not be covered.
  • If you’re uninsured: 
  • If you’re undocumented, learn about your health rights at Latino Coalition for a Healthy California

WORK / EMPLOYMENT

Q: I got laid off or lost hours because of work closures. What do I do?

Q: I can’t work because I was exposed to or contracted COVID-19 or because I need to care for someone who was exposed to/contracted COVID-19. What do I do?

Q: I don’t feel safe going into work but I have to. What do I do?

  • Fill out this form to connect with DSA labor organizers who are ready to help you organize your workplace, keep safe, and stop the spread of the virus.
  • You have rights as an undocumented worker: Undocumented Workers’ Employment Rights 
  • Sign Healthy LA’s (a coalition of community groups, labor unions, multi-issue social justice organizations, and religious congregations uniting across lines of race, class, faith, and geography to propose concrete solutions to the many hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic) petition to urge LA City Council to protect residents, renters, and houseless Angelenos from hardships caused by COVID-19: healthyla.org/petition

CHILDREN / FAMILIES / EDUCATION

Q: I’m a parent and now my kids can’t be in school. What resources are there for my family?

FOOD

CHILD CARE

  • Pathways LA is offering subsidized child care for low-income families.  Parents can apply online at www.pathwaysla.org or call at 213-427-2710. 

EDUCATION AND ACTIVITIES

INTERNET / COMPUTERS

FOOD / GROCERIES

Q: I don’t feel safe leaving my home but I need groceries/medicine/supplies. Can you help?

  • Contact one of our organizers at westside@dsa-la.org, central@dsa-la.org, or sfv@dsa-la.org to be connected to a comrade who can help you out! We’re just ordinary people too, but we’ll do what we can to connect you with fellow members nearby who can help.
  • For older adults / seniors, here is a list of stores with special shopping hours (as of 3/19/2020).

Q: I can’t afford food and groceries. What do I do?

UTILITIES / RENT / HOUSING / HOMELESSNESS

Q: What do I do if I can’t pay my utilities?

  • LADWP will NOT shut off utilities for non-payment. If you receive a disconnect notice in the mail disregard it.
  • LA County Public Works will NOT shut off or stop services for non-payment, including water, sewer and trash pick up.
  • SoCal Edison has suspended all disconnections for non-payment.

Q: What do I do if I can’t pay my rent?

  • Unless you are acting as part of a tenants’ association that has agreed to go on rent strike, you should attempt to pay part of your rent if you can. Notify your landlord in writing that you are facing a financial hardship, that the hardship is directly or indirectly from Covid-19 outbreak, and that you would like to offer a partial payment of rent. All communication should be done in writing. (There is still no guarantee of protection against eviction.)
  • The proposed County and City policies are insufficient. We must demand rent suspensions and a moratorium on all evictions. Help us organize for stronger renter protections! Sign the Healthy LA Coalition petition and contact your councilmember here.

Q: I can't pay my rent. Can I still be evicted?

  • Eviction Moratoriums:
    • For LA County, it was announced that there will be a moratorium on all residential and commercial evictions through May 31st, including unincorporated LA. However, tenants will be required to pay back rent within 6 months.  
    • For City of LA, there is a temporary moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent for tenants, due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, these circumstances are limited and tenants must pay back rent within 6 months. More info here.
    • For incorporated cities within LA County, like Pasadena, Glendale, and Burbank, there are also eviction moratoriums, contact hnh@dsa-la.org for help connecting to your local tenants union for details.
  • The proposed County and City policies are insufficient. We must demand rent suspensions and a moratorium on all evictions. Help us organize for stronger renter protections! Sign the Healthy LA Coalition petition and contact your councilmember here.

Q: I can’t pay my rent. Should I go on a rent strike?

  • Rent strikes are most effective when undertaken by a whole building at once, or multiple buildings at a time. Before you can organize a rent strike, you need to form a tenants’ association in your building. This involves getting everyone in your building to make an agreement on the name of your association (e.g. Village Apartments Tenants Association), how and when you will have meetings, and how you will make decisions. 
  • The Los Angeles Tenants Union can provide guidance on how to form a tenants association and individualized counseling for tenants associations. It is important for those forming tenant associations to join LATU as well, so that all tenant associations can be in touch if we ever want to organize a city- state- or country-wide rent strike.

Q: What do I do if my landlord is threatening an eviction?

  • If you have received a notice of eviction you need a lawyer immediately. You can request support from the Eviction Defense Network: email askanattorney@edn.la or text/call: 213/537-5473.
  • The Los Angeles Tenants Union can recommend trusted lawyers if you are unable to get in touch with EDN. 

Q: What do I do if I am unhoused / homeless?

  • Here is a drive of Street Watch COVID-19/Mutual Aid resources for the unhoused.
  • Here is a map of handwashing stations and showers across Los Angeles.
  • In the City of LA, unhoused residents are allowed to self-isolate in their tents and tents are allowed up during the daytime. However, encampment sweeps have not stopped and sanitation/law enforcement can still seize property over 60 gallons.
  • Text Street Watch at (323) 379-2275 to report sweep notices or ongoing sweeps.
  • If you are looking for shelters, you can call 2-1-1. Here is a list of winter shelters that are now open until the end of March.

Q: How can I support my unhoused / homeless neighbors?

  • Reach out to your unhoused neighbors (while maintaining a safe distance) to check in on them and see how you can support them personally. 
  • Join DSA-LA’s Street Watch initiative! Contact hnh@dsa-la.org to get plugged in, or check the DSA-LA calendar for upcoming general meetings, including training for new members.
  • Help us organize for stronger protections for unhoused people and to get everyone housed! Sign onto the demands of Street Watch and the Services Not Sweeps Coalition (which DSA-LA is a part of).
  • Support the Reclaiming Our Homes movement (which DSA-LA is a part of) that is housing unhoused families in vacant, publicly-owned properties in Northeast LA. Call your local politician, sign up for a socially distant volunteer shift, or donate to the fundraiser.
  • Support LACAN's hand washing campaign on Skid Row.

IMMIGRANTS AND UNDOCUMENTED PEOPLE

Q: What do I do if I need medical care?

  • Learn about your health rights at Latino Coalition for a Healthy California.
  • Some health clinics are waiving COVID-19 test fees for patients who are uninsured. Call your local community health center to see if fees for testing can be waived.
  • Undocumented children, people under age 26 or over age 65, and DACA receipients can apply for Medi-Cal. California has re-opened the enrollment period for Medi-Cal. Here is info on being undocumented and applying for Medi-Cal. 

Q: Will accessing medical care impact my ability to seek citizenship?

  • According to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) immigrants who experience symptoms should seek medical help and it assures that accessing medical help will not negatively affect the process of seeking citizenship due to Public Charge.

Q: What resources are there for immigrants and undocumented people?

Q: How can I support the immigrant / undocumented community?

  • Support the demands for Worker and Migrant Justice, by the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON).
  • Mijente is calling on all tech firms that work with ICE to *immediately* stop doing so in light of ICE’s horrific deportation raids during coronavirus. This is unacceptable. Sign the petition here
  • COVID19 will turn the detention centers in California into death camps for the immigrants locked inside, unless CA Governor Gavin Newsom uses his emergency powers and influence to release them immediately. Never Again Action is asking you to sign their pledge.
  • The COVID-19 Humanitarian Migrant Fund will provide emergency funds to migrant families impacted by MPP Migrant Protection Protocols or “Remain in Mexico”, asylum seekers, deportees, and migrants who are currently stuck in refugee camps and shelters in extremely precarious conditions without access to medical care and basic necessities in order to survive COVID-19. The fund will support Al Otro Lado and key frontline serving organizations to cover unexpected costs due to unforeseen humanitarian impacts of the ongoing pandemic. Donate to the Humanitarian Migrant Fund.

MENTAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

Q: I am feeling very anxious/depressed/stressed right now. How can I maintain my mental health and well-being?

Q: I am feeling very anxious/depressed/stressed right now. Who can I talk to?

  • If you want to talk to a therapist:
    • If you already see a regular therapist, check in to see if they’re doing remote sessions via Telehealth. 
    • Open Path offers a directory of affordable therapists based on your location and commits to video sessions during coronavirus.
  • You can call a free warmline or hotline:
    • Los Angeles County’s Department of Mental Health 24/7 hotline at 800.854.7771 or text “LA” to 741741.
    • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Disaster Distress Helpline: 1.800.985.5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1.800.846.8517).
    • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine (800)-950-6264 Monday through Friday, between 7am-3pm
    • NAMI California Peer-run Warmline (855) 845-7415, 24/7
    • Queer Elder Hotline for Stress or Anxiety: SAGE has a national 24/7 hotline for elders if they are feeling stress or anxiety at 1-877-360-LGBT / 1-877-360-5428.
    • TrevorLifeline for LGBTQ+ youth experiencing crisis, 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386 or Text 678-678.
    • Trans Lifeline: A peer support crisis hotline for trans folx, call 877-565-8860.
  • Or, join an online support groups:
    • The Los Angeles Relational Center has free online support groups.
    • TrevorSpace is a safe social networking space for LGBTQ+ kids ages 13-24.
    • 7 Cups has free listeners in supportive chat rooms
    • Queer Healing Oasis is offering a virtual support non-clinical space to share & cope. For more info email marcos.emdr@gmail.com or call 818-233-1079.

Q: I have been feeling lonely and isolated. How can I connect with other DSA-LA members?

MUTUAL AID AND COMMUNITY RESOURCES

Q: What can I do to help DSA and DSA members right now?

Q: When is the next DSA meeting?

  • We’ll have a chapter-wide Local Meeting on March 28th
  • For other meetings, see and RSVP here: dsa-la.org/calendar

Q: What Los Angeles Mutual Aid funds can I support or access?

POLITICAL EDUCATION AND ANALYSIS

Q: Where can I read about Coronavirus from a leftist perspective?

Q: Do you have any reading, listening, or watching recommendations?

OTHER RESOURCES