COVID-19 (Coronavirus): FAQ

Find the latest updates and answers to frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.

General COVID-19 FAQ

As COVID-19 cases climb steeply in our community, Cedars-Sinai continues to provide the highest level of quality care to our patients. Our emergency room remains available 24/7, and our urgent care locations and outpatient offices remain fully staffed and open for all patients. We have paused procedures and surgeries that can be safely postponed, and we are currently scheduling patients for medically essential procedures and surgeries only.

Like much of our community, "business as usual" looks a little different today. We are taking extra precautions to keep our patients, visitors and employees safe in our facilities because the health and safety of our communities come first. Additionally, in-person visits have been and will continue to be supplemented by phone and video appointments, as medically appropriate. 

As the state of the pandemic evolves locally and across Los Angeles County, we will adjust our policies, as well as the availability of certain services and procedures, to reflect the current needs of our community. If you have questions about your care or the availability of specific services, please call your doctor's office.

We continue to take COVID-19 seriously and know you will too. That is why we are taking extra precautions to keep our patients, visitors and employees safe in our facilities. 

In our hospitals, we will:

  • Screen and check the temperature of every person entering our facilities, including staff.
  • Follow universal masking precautions. Every physician and staff member will wear a mask at all times, using additional personal protective equipment (PPE) as needed. We ask that all patients also wear a mask. If you do not bring a mask, we will provide one upon your arrival.
  • Actively manage our supplies of masks and other PPE. 
  • Practice physical distancing in our waiting areas and clinical areas.
  • Maintain a thorough cleaning and disinfection plan for all common areas as well as clinical spaces.
  • Limit visitors to our facilities. Find details about our visitation policy here.
  • Designate specific inpatient rooms/clinical areas for COVID-19 patients, separating patients as appropriate. 

In our medical offices: 

  • Patients will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival.
  • Patients with respiratory symptoms will be separated from other patients.
  • Patients will have their temperatures checked and be asked to wear masks.
  • Patients and staff will practice physical distancing in our waiting areas and clinical areas.
  • Visitors are limited at our facilities. Find details about our visitation policy here.
  • All staff will be equipped with appropriate protective equipment.
  • To learn more about how we are keeping our offices safe, click here.

Currently, Cedars-Sinai is scheduling only medically essential procedures and surgeries. If you need routine medical care or have a medical problem, call your doctor right away, just as you normally would. Your doctor will determine the appropriate next step—whether it's a phone or video appointment, an in-person visit or a trip to the ER or urgent care. Our physicians are available on My CS-Link™ to make an appointment. If you need to find a doctor, you can call 1-800-CEDARS-1 (1-800-233-2771). 

Cedars-Sinai is accepting new patients, and we continue to provide emergency care and schedule medically essential surgeries and procedures. Because of our high patient volume, we are pausing surgeries and procedures that can be safely postponed, so that we can effectively care for patients most in need. This decision is evaluated regularly and is subject to change as we monitor the impact of the pandemic in our community and follow the latest guidance from our clinical experts, the CDC and state and local public health officials.

If you are feeling sick or suspect you have COVID-19, please contact your primary care provider (PCP). Your PCP can provide next steps for your care and determine if you should be tested. Please do not go to the emergency room unless you are experiencing:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or chest pressure
  • Sudden confusion or lack of energy
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Other life-threatening conditions such as a heart attack, stroke, coughing or vomiting blood, serious burns or cuts, or a fever in children under 8 weeks old

Our staff is screened and have their temperatures checked every day before entering our facilities. Our Employee Health team is working closely with our team members across our facilities to test staff when necessary. 

To help decrease the spread of COVID-19, we have instituted a universal masking policy requiring all employees, patients and visitors to wear a mask at all times while on campus/clinics.  

Doctors, nurses and support staff will wear PPE in accordance with our safety procedures, which align with the recommendations from the CDC. Patients and visitors at all Cedars-Sinai facilities will be asked to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth. If you do not have a mask, we will provide one upon your arrival.

Valet parking is still available at South Tower, Taper, Cancer Center, Emergency Department, Street South, Taper Imaging, The Beverly Building / P6, AHSP / P4, 310 Building and 8900 Beverly.

We continue to use phone and video appointments when medically appropriate, but some illnesses are best handled in the office or hospital. Please call your doctor's office when in need of care and they will determine the appropriate next step.

Considering the current state of the global pandemic, we are limiting visitation on our campus for the safety of our patients and team members. 

Please see our full visitor policy as current restrictions vary for inpatient and outpatient situations. Visitors are not allowed for patients with or suspected of having COVID-19, unless a clinical team has determined the patient is considered end of life. 

Cedars-Sinai is participating in COVID-19 antibody testing, in close cooperation with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Because the tests are mainly used for public-health studies rather than for immediate medical needs, the antibody test is unlikely to be covered by your health insurance provider and you may be required to pay cash for the test. We are not offering antibody testing for patients or members of the general public with no suspicion of recent infection at this time. Your primary care provider can advise you on whether an antibody test is appropriate for you. If you suspect you may be infected with COVID-19, please contact your primary care provider, who can provide next steps for your care and determine if you should seek a diagnostic test.

You should go to the ER right away if you are experiencing severe or life-threatening symptoms of any kind, including trouble breathing, persistent pain or chest pressure, sudden confusion, sharp decline of energy, bluish lips or face, a heart attack, stroke, coughing up or vomiting blood, a serious burn, a cut with profuse bleeding or if a child under 8 weeks old has a fever.

Our urgent care centers are available for more mild issues such as rash, stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, a cut that may require stitches or a sprain. Use Save My Spot to minimize your wait and help us anticipate and prepare for your arrival.

You can read more about the care provided in our ER and urgent care locations here. If you suspect you have COVID-19, contact your primary care physician by phone or through My CS-Link.

Yes. It's still vital that everyone wears a mask even if it is uncomfortable. Universal masking can effectively decrease the spread of COVID-19. 

You can read additional local guidance on masking from the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

COVID-19 Testing in Urgent Care FAQ

Visit our urgent care webpage for more information about locations offering COVID-19 testing.

We perform a COVID-19 test using “PCR” (polymerase chain reaction) technology. The test uses a PCR nasopharyngeal swab and is generally the most accurate way to test for the coronavirus. We use these swabs to look for the genetic material of the coronavirus. A long, thin swab that looks like a Q-tip is inserted into both nostrils for 5-10 seconds. It will feel uncomfortable but should not be painful. Stay still and don’t move while the swab is inserted. The swab absorbs the secretions (fluid) from your nose.

Risks are slight but include:

  • Possible discomfort or other complications that can happen during sample set
  • Possible false negative test result

Potential benefits are:

  • Knowing the results of this test may help limit the spread of COVID-19 to your family, friends and others in your area.

Testing is available to adults and children ages 2 years and older. Minors under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

We accept most insurance plans. If you do not have insurance, your COVID-19 test may be eligible for billing under the federal and state COVID-19 relief programs for uninsured patients. However, you will be charged $150 for the COVID-19 test at the time of service if:

  • You have an insurance plan not accepted by Cedars-Sinai
  • You choose not to bill your insurance plan

Please note that the $150 charge does not include other services that may be rendered during your visit.

We ask you to sign up for My CS-Link™ so you can get your results electronically as soon as they are available. If your result is positive, you will also receive your results by phone call from one of our providers to review your results and discuss safety protocols for isolating. You should get the test results in about 48-72 hours. Visit www.mycslink.org or call 1-800-CEDARS-1 (1-800-233-2771) to create your My CS-Link account.

If you think you may have been exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, the best time to take the test is four to seven days after exposure.

We offer COVID-19 testing to people who are planning a trip and need to show proof that they are not infected. Most airlines require passengers to show proof of a negative test result within 72 hours of their flight departure. Contact your airline for specific requirements before boarding and upon arrival.  

We have several safety measures in place to ensure the health and safety of our patients and their families. These include: 

  • screening patients, visitors and staff upon arrival 
  • requiring everyone to sanitize their hands and wear a mask 
  • putting patients with COVID-19 symptoms in separate areas
  • arranging our spaces to allow for physical distancing 
  • thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting all clinical spaces and common areas 
  • limiting the number of visitors allowed
Together We Save Lives

Please support Cedars-Sinai as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.