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Please note the Imperial County Public Health Department will be open for appointments only. Department staff will be available to provide assistance by phone to members of the community who have questions related to any of the Department’s essential services.

Phone assistance will be available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The office will be closed for lunch from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm. This shall remain in effect until further notice.

FAQ - General Information

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases.

A novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

COVID-19 is currently spreading from person to person globally. The risk of infection is higher for people who are close contacts of someone known to have COVID-19. Other people at higher risk for infection are those who live in or have recently been in areas with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Older adults, individuals with compromised immune systems, and those with underlying health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease have a higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19.

Human coronaviruses most commonly are spread from an infected person to others through:

  • Coughing and sneezing;
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands; and
  • Rarely, fecal contamination.

Decisions related to US-Mexico border closures are made by the Department of Homeland Security. The public is encouraged to visit their official website for accurate and updated information on COVID-19:  

Due to confidentially reasons, we do not share specific patient information for local cases. For more detailed information about active cases, visit our page

You can visit for the most updated information, including case counts in Imperial County.

You can visit for the most updated information, including fatalities in Imperial County.

Persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are awaiting test results must isolate at home. Individuals  found to have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive are required to quarantine. Close contacts are individuals who live or have stayed in the same home, are intimate sexual partners or have provided care without wearing a mask, gown or gloves. 

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 and on the Imperial County Public Health Department website.  

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.

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.

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.

  • Chemical
  • Commercial Facilities
  • Communications
  • Critical Manufacturing
  • Dams
  • Defense Industrial Base
  • Emergency Services
  • Energy
  • 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:

Yes. In addition to the statewide order, the local stay at home 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.

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.  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.

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. 

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.

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:

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. 

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 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 for more information on how to enroll.