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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-COVID-19 Terms

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A third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is available to recipients of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series if they are immunocompromised. This dose is identical to the initial two and is meant to offer an extra layer of immune defense. As Johnson & Johnson is a one-dose vaccine, recipients of this manufacturer are not eligible for a third dose. It is recommended to receive a third dose 28 days after completing an initial two dose series.  

This COVID-19 test detects genetic material of the virus by using a lab technique called reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). A fluid sample is collected from either your nostril, the back of your throat, or from your saliva. Most community testing sites in Marin County offer RT-PCR testing obtained via self-administered nasal swabbing. 

Antigen tests are designed to detect the presence of a specific viral antigen. In this case, antigen tests identify SARS-CoV-2 when someone is actively infected and sick with COVID-19. 

When you are in close contact with SOMEONE ELSE who has tested positive. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of those who have been exposed to COVID-19, to see if they become infected. 

When YOU test positive. Isolation separates those who are sick from those who are not. 

Someone who is in the presence, less than 6 feet away, of another person who is COVID-19 positive for a cumulative total of at least 15 minutes in a 24-hour time period.

A COVID-19 booster dose is administered after someone has finished their vaccine series and the immune protection received from their initial vaccine(s) has weakened over time. Recipients of a booster dose are not immunocompromised, however the extra layer of defense gained from a vaccination series has naturally started to wane and they need to restore their protection.  

An additional dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for people who are immunocompromised and completed a Pfizer / Moderna series 28 days ago. This term has the same meaning as a third dose.

You are fully vaccinated when it’s been 2 weeks since receiving a second dose of either a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the single dose of Johnson & Johnson. 

You are up to date if you’ve received your booster dose or have recently completed an initial vaccination series. Recently completed an initial series means: It’s been less than 5 months since you’ve received your second dose of either Moderna or Pfizer, or less than 2 months since receiving your single Johnson & Johnson shot. 

Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAATs) are a type of viral diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. NAATs detect genetic material (nucleic acids) by amplifying the virus’s genetic material (from a specimen collected from the respiratory tract) in order to detect very small amounts of SARS-CoV-2 RNA.