FAQ - General Questions
The Blanket Isolation Order requires individuals who test positive for COVID-19 to isolate themselves in their home or another residence. The Blanket Quarantine Order requires others in the same household and in close contact with the COVID-19 positive person to quarantine. Previously, the Health Officer issued orders requiring people to isolate and quarantine on a case-by-case basis. Previously, individual quarantine and isolation orders were hand delivered by Imperial County Public Health Staff. The new Blanket Orders replace the need for those individual orders and apply to all persons with COVID-19 or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in Imperial County.
The Blanket Orders will remain in effect until the Health Officer determines that the risk of infection for most people in Imperial County is low enough to safely lift the order.
Individuals who become subject to the isolation and quarantine orders shall be released from the order when they satisfy the criteria spelled out in the order.
Your healthcare provider or testing facility will give you detailed written instructions explaining everything you need to do, what you cannot do, and how long you must remain in isolation or quarantine. Detailed instructions about how to isolate and quarantine at home are also available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine-isolation.html.
A Quarantine Order is issued to all persons exposed to COVID-19, a Quarantine Order means that individuals will need to stay home for fourteen (14) days and keep a 6-foot distance between themselves and others. An Isolation Order is issued to all persons with positive or likely to be positive with COVID-19, an Isolation Order means that individuals will need to isolate themselves from others completely and not leave their place of isolation.
Yes. A COVID-19 positive person may leave their place of isolation to receive necessary medical care.
Violation of this Order is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment, fine or both under sections 120295 et seq. of the California Health and Safety Code. Sheriff and the Chiefs of Police in all cities located in the County ensure compliance with and enforcement of this Order
To be considered a COVID exposed person, an individual needs to be a household contact, intimate partner, caregiver, and/or a person who has been in close contact with a person either diagnosed with COVID-19 or likely to have COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines a close contact as anyone who has been within 6 feet of an infected person for a prolonged period, as well as those who have had direct contact with the infected person’s secretions such as coughs and sneezes.
No, to protect patient privacy, individuals are only informed that they may have been exposed to a patient with the infection. They will not be told the identity of the patient who may have exposed them. In many cases individuals will be notified directly by the person who has tested positive. The Health Officer Order requires that persons who test positive to notify those they have been in close contact with and share with them a copy of the Health Officer’s quarantine order.
Imperial County Public Health Department staff will send a copy of the Isolation Order to all COVID Positive Persons via e-mail, if the COVID positive person does not have access to e-mail, then a hard copy of the Order will be mailed to the COVID positive person’s place of isolation.
A COVID exposed person may attend work if the following conditions are met:
- Does not have any symptoms associated with COVID-19. The individual must continue to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms. If the individual develops symptoms they must immediately return to their place of quarantine.
- The COVID exposed persons employers has in place a process to prescreen employees and visitors for COVID-19 symptoms, including temperature checks.
- The individual wears a face covering at all times while outside of their place of quarantine and
The individual exercises social distancing and maintains a minimum of six (6) feet of distance from other individuals at all times whenever possible.
The Governor’s Executive Order went into effect on Thursday, March 19, 2020. The order is in place until further notice.
Everyone is required to stay home, except to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care, or go to an essential job. If you go out, a face cover is required in addition to keeping at least 6 feet distance from others.
Essential services will remain open, such as:
Food: Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants
Essential state and local government functions will also remain open, including law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services. Please visit the California Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response website for more information and list of exempt sectors: https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/.
In Imperial County and as of April 24, 2020, people can visit parks, trails, golf courses and large open spaces as a way to relieve stress, get some fresh air, and stay active.
Dine-in restaurants (Drive thru or pick-up may be available)
Bars and nightclubs
Gyms and fitness studios
Public events and gatherings
Hair and nail salons
Massage, Tattoo & Body Art
Indoor museums, kids museums and gallery spaces, zoos, and libraries
Community centers, including public pools, playgrounds, and picnic areas
Religious services and cultural ceremonies
Hotels/lodging for leisure and tourism
Other higher risk workplaces
There are sectors that need to continue with activity or essential services to maintain the continuity of operation of the federal critical infrastructure sectors, critical government services, schools, childcare, and construction, including housing construction. Those sectors are listed below.
- Commercial Facilities
- Critical Manufacturing
- Defense Industrial Base
- Emergency Services
- Financial Services
- Food & Agriculture
- Government Facilities
- Healthcare & Public Health
- Information Technology
- Nuclear Reactors, Materials and Waste
- Transportation Systems
- Water and Wastewater
Please visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website for more information: https://www.cisa.gov/identifying-critical-infrastructure-during-covid-19.
Yes. In addition to the statewide order, the County Health Officer’s March 21, 2020 Order remains in effect. All residents must comply with the restrictions in both the County and State Orders. If the restrictions in the two orders are different, you must comply with the stricter of the two orders.
Sheltering in place is a more rigorous form of social distancing.
Sheltering in place means you:
Must stay at home
Can only leave your home for “essential activities,” to work for an “essential business,” or for “essential travel,” which are defined in the Governor’s Order
Cannot host or attend any gatherings
Social distancing requires you to maintain 6-foot distance from other people as much as possible. Remember to wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds each time (or use hand sanitizer), frequently disinfect high-touch surfaces, and stay home if you are sick.
As of April 10th, the use of face cover is required for all residents and visitors of Imperial County in addition to maintaining social distancing.
No. For your safety as well as their safety, we need to help each other fight the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home.
Yes. You will still be able to get mail and other deliveries at your home.
Yes. Businesses that deliver goods or services directly to residences are “essential businesses” that may continue to operate.
Yes. Drug stores and other medical supply stores are allowed to operate. When possible you should have prescription medicines and health care supplies delivered to your home.
You may continue to use these services if your healthcare provider has determined that they are medically necessary for you.
Yes, mental health appointments can continue. Patients should consult with their practitioners to determine whether it is appropriate and feasible to conduct individual mental health appointments remotely.
All participants in group counseling services must attend meetings remotely if they are equipped to do so. Groups should make accommodations for remote support to the maximum extent feasible. If remote participation is not feasible or advisable under the circumstances, participation may occur in person provided that there is compliance with the social distancing requirements set forth in the Governor’ Order, including maintaining at least 6-foot distance between individuals, capping group size to reduce in-person interactions, and implementing the use of a face cover.
The following resources are available to help people who may be experiencing distress or heightened anxiety right now (during this pandemic):
24/7 Imperial County Behavioral Health Services: (760) 352-7873
Crisis Text Line: Text RENEW to 741741
Suicide and Crisis Hotline 24/7: 1 (800) 273-8255
CDC Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUs to 66746
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224
If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911 immediately.
No. Hospital cafeterias fall within the specific exemption for healthcare facilities and may remain open. Cafeterias must be structured to ensure 6-foot minimum distancing between non-related individuals picking up food from or eating in the facility. Cafeterias should increase cleaning and sanitization to minimize risk of exposure and follow other Social Distancing Requirements specified in the Governor’s Order to the maximum extent feasible. Cafeterias in all other facilities must follow the requirements in the Governor’s Order – specifically, food can be carried out or delivered, but cannot be eaten at the cafeteria.
Additionally, as of April 10th, 11:59 pm, the use of face cover is required for all residents and visitors of Imperial County in addition to maintaining social distancing.
You can still get your health needs addressed. Contact your health care provider to see if they are providing regular services. Some services, especially elective procedures, may be postponed or canceled. If you are feeling sick, please first call your doctor, a nurse hotline, or an urgent care center. Do not go to the emergency room of a hospital unless you are having an actual emergency.
No. You will continue to be able to purchase these items. Stores selling necessary items like grocery stores, pharmacies, and hardware stores are essential and will remain open. Please continue to buy normal quantities of these items on the same schedule you normally follow. This will ensure that there is enough for everyone.
If you or a family member are experiencing a sickness, you should seek advice from your doctor, a nurse hotline, or an urgent care center. Avoid hospital emergency rooms unless you are experiencing a life-threatening issue. For non-emergency concerns, always contact your primary care provider to determine next steps. For information regarding COVID-19 symptoms, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Yes. Be extremely cautious when providing care to vulnerable people and ensure that you protect them and yourself by following social distancing guidelines such as proper handwashing before and after, using hand sanitizer, maintaining at least 6-feet of distance when possible, and coughing or sneezing into a tissue.
As of April 10th and until further notice, the use of face cover is required for all residents and visitors of Imperial County in addition to maintaining social distancing.
No. For your safety as well as the safety of your fellow worshippers, we need to help each other fight the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home. Places of worship may offer remote access to services, such as by emails, video streaming, or teleconference.
Yes. You can shop for anything that is related to health care, hardware supplies, supplies needed to telecommute, and supplies essential to safety and sanitation. You should minimize unnecessary trips.
Yes, but only to pick up food. All dine-in services are strictly prohibited in Imperial County.
Restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and similar establishments are encouraged to remain open to supply meals to the public via delivery and carryout. You can also purchase prepared foods at grocery stores, supermarkets, certified farmers’ markets, convenience stores, and other such food retailers.
Yes. The Governor’s Order exempts travel by court order or law enforcement.
Yes, blood banks, blood donation centers, and blood drives are exempt healthcare operations. If you are healthy and do not have symptoms of COVID-19, you are encouraged to donate. The need for adequate blood donations from healthy people is critical.
Self-storage facilities are not essential businesses but that they can maintain minimum business operations and allow people to access their units to the extent they are accessing them for medical or related needs.
C4Yourself is an online application system that allows you to apply for benefits such as Cash Assistance, Food & Nutrition (CalFresh), and Medi-Cal. Applying for services is easy. Start an application online at www.c4yourself.com or you may request an application by mail by calling the Imperial County Department of Social Services at (760) 337-6800.
Effective Friday, March 20, Covered California opened the health insurance exchange to any eligible uninsured individuals who need health care coverage amid the COVID-19 national emergency. Anyone who meets Covered California’s eligibility requirements, which are similar to those in place during the annual open-enrollment period, can sign up for coverage through June 30. Visit CoveredCA.com for more information on how to enroll.
As of April 10th, 11:59 pm, the use of face cover is required for all residents and visitors of Imperial County in addition to maintaining social distancing.
You should still try to maintain at least 6-feet between you and others. When that isn’t possible for short periods, do your best to keep the duration short. And be sure when in line you don’t sneeze or cough onto people. If needed, cough or sneeze into your shirt or into an elbow with clothing on, not into your hand.
Call your plumber or building manager. The Governor’s Order allows service providers like plumbers, electricians, and exterminators to keep working and providing their services to the public. To obtain supplies for a DIY solution, you can also visit your hardware store, which is allowed to stay open under this Order.
You are allowed to provide care or to help out with getting supplies for loved ones, even if they do not live in your household. Do not provide care or pick up supplies if you are sick and someone else can help them. If you are sick, please self-isolate and take all necessary steps not to expose others to your illness.
Funerals may proceed with the minimum number of attendees present. Funerals must be conducted in strict compliance with the social distancing requirements set forth in the Governor’s Order.
If facilities include separate units or rooms that allow for residents to eat their meals in those units or rooms, then food must be served on a take-away basis. If food consumption in individual units or rooms is not feasible or advisable, then residents may eat their meals in dining halls or cafeterias. Facilities should adhere to the social distancing requirements to the maximum extent feasible, including when residents are waiting in line for their food.
If possible, any move from one residence to another should be deferred until the Governor’s Order has been lifted. If it is not possible for you to defer the move or if there is a safety or sanitation issue that requires a move, the Order allows you to move residences. Moving companies may assist a person or family in making a move between residences under these circumstances.