COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 Resources

As the world continues to deal with the impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we know that you have a lot of questions about what it means for you and our community. At Natividad, our highest priority is the safety of our patients, staff and our community. We are following all protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and we will continue to provide information, and update our guidelines and processes in response to this evolving crisis.

Vaccine Information & FAQs

The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective and FREE

Natividad is offering vaccination clinics as a free service to our community for everyone 5 and older. There are no out-of-pocket costs for the vaccine or administration if you receive it at one of Natividad’s clinics. There are many free clinics available in Monterey County. Visit mcvaccinate.com or call 211 to schedule an appointment or find a walk-in clinic near you.

Natividad and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend everyone 5 and older consider getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Only people who have had a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine or the ingredients in the vaccine should not get it. Find ingredients at cdc.gov.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is currently the only vaccine authorized for 5 years and older. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are authorized for those 18 years and older.

If you have questions about getting vaccinated or the safety or effectiveness of the vaccine, please read the following information or talk with your health care provider.

How safe are the COVID-19 vaccines?

COVID-19 vaccines are safe — much safer than getting COVID-19. They were developing using science that has been around for decades. These vaccines are effective at preventing severe illness from COVID-19 and limiting the spread of the virus that causes it.

Hundreds of millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the United States since December 2020, under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history. In clinical trials with tens of thousands of participants, the vaccines met the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality needed to support authorization of a vaccine.

How do the vaccines work?

The vaccines work by helping our bodies develop immunity to the virus, without getting us sick. It prevents the disease or can reduce the severity of the disease without giving you the actual virus.

Will I have side effects from the vaccine?

You may experience some physical effects for a few days after getting the vaccine. These are a good sign that your body is working to build immunity. You may have stronger side effects after the second dose. Side effects could include:

  • Sore arm (most)
  • Muscle aches (some)
  • Headaches (some)
  • Fatigue/tiredness (some)
  • Nausea (rare)
  • Joint aches (rare)
  • Fever (rare)

In very rare instances with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, serious blood clots have occurred, mostly in women under 50. See Fact Sheet)

Can my kids get the COVID-19 vaccine?

As of May 2021, the CDC recommends that everyone 5 and older considers getting the vaccine. Safety studies are being done on kids 6 months and older now. Once those studies are reviewed and authorized by the FDA, vaccines will be available to younger children. We encourage you to talk with your family doctor or pediatrician if you have any questions about the vaccine.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine effective?

Yes. The vaccines are very effective at preventing COVID-19 and decreasing the severity of illness. They are also extremely effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths.

Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’m pregnant?

CDC has released new data on the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant people and is recommending all people 12 years of age and older get vaccinated against COVID-19. CDC encourages all pregnant people or people thinking about becoming pregnant and those breastfeeding to get vaccinated to protect themselves from COVID-19.

If you get pregnant after receiving your first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine that requires two doses (i.e., Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine), you should get your second shot to get as much protection as possible.

Do the COVID-19 vaccines affect fertility?

Currently, no evidence shows that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems (problems trying to get pregnant) in women or men.

Can I still get COVID-19 even if I’ve been vaccinated?

Some people may still catch the virus after being vaccinated, but for those who do, the illness will likely be much milder than if they were not vaccinated. The vaccines prevent the disease in most people and drastically reduce severe illness that can result in hospitalizations and death.

Who should get the vaccine?

The CDC recommends that everyone over 5 considers getting the vaccine unless they are allergic to ingredients in the vaccine. Visit mcvaccinate.com or call 211 to make an appointment or to find a walk-in clinic near you.

Is it allergies or side effects?

After getting the COVID-19 vaccine, you may have some side effects. These are normal signs that your body is building immunity. Your arm may hurt where you got your shot, or you may have redness or swelling. You may be tired or have a headache, joint or muscle pain, chills, fever or nausea. You may have stronger side effects after the second dose. For some, they may affect your ability to do daily activities and should go away in a few days. Many people have no side effects.

The CDC recommends women younger than 50 years old be aware of the rare risk of blood clots with low platelets after taking Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, and that other COVID-19 vaccines are available where this risk has not been seen. The California Department of Public Health has produced a fact sheet to help the public understand the risks and benefits of receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. It is available in both English and Spanish.

Allergic reactions to the vaccines are very rare. If a patient has a history of a severe allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine or its components, they cannot receive the vaccine and should alert their provider. People with a history of severe allergic reactions to other medications or causes should alert their provider but can still be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. They will be monitored for 30 minutes after their shot for their safety.

If you have experienced a side effect after COVID-19 vaccination, you can report it to:

  • VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System)
  • V-safe (After Vaccination Health Checker)

When to call the doctor

In most cases, discomfort from pain or fever is a normal sign that your body is building protection. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider:

  • If the redness or tenderness where you got the shot gets worse after 24 hours
  • If your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days

If you get a COVID-19 vaccine and you think you might be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination site, seek immediate medical care by calling 911. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and rare severe allergic reactions.

How does the vaccine work?

Getting vaccinated teaches your body how to fight the virus, which prevents you from getting sick or reduces sickness severity if exposed to COVID-19. The vaccine trains our immune system to create proteins to fight disease, known as antibodies, without making us sick. It is unable to make copies of itself and goes away quickly. In contrast, if you get sick from the actual virus, your body reacts in a much more extreme way. The virus can make unlimited copies of genetic material that goes throughout your body and can stay there a week or more. Getting sick with COVID-19 also makes your immune system go into overdrive, which can cause collateral damage such as fever, loss of smell and taste, cough, trouble breathing, permanent organ damage, long COVID after recovery or death.

 

If you are concerned about unknown long-term health effects, vaccines are the best way to avoid the virus.

For the most up to date COVID-19 information from the Monterey County Health Department, please visit montereycountycovid19.com.

Videos

 

English Coronavirus Public Service Announcement

Spanish Coronavirus Public Service Announcement

Triqui Coronavirus Public Service Announcement

Mixteco Coronavirus Public Service Announcement

American Sign Language Resources

Zapateco Coronavirus Public Service Announcement

County Campaign

Your health and safety are important – wear a mask in public

COVID-19 vaccine information was reviewed by a Natividad medical expert and is for educational purposes only. Find the more information at cdc.gov

COVID-19 FAQs

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are members of the coronavirus family of viruses — one of the many families that include viruses able to infect people and animals. Seven members of the coronavirus family can make people ill, one of which is the new coronavirus strain SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. Certain coronaviruses infect animals, though we do not have evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19. In humans, coronaviruses are a cause of the common cold as well as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which can be fatal.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 refers to the human infection caused by the new coronavirus strain SARS-CoV-2. While symptoms of many human coronavirus infections are mild, COVID-19 infection symptoms can be serious, leading to pneumonia and in some cases death. COVID-19 is caused by a new virus strain that is believed to have originated around the city of Wuhan, China, and began spreading among people in late 2019.

How does the virus spread?

There are a variety of ways COVID-19 can spread, typically it spreads between people in the following ways:

  • From respiratory droplets that become airborne when someone, who is infected, sneezes or coughs nearby.
  • From close contact with people who have it.
  • From touching our mouths, noses or eyes after touching a surface that has the virus on it.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. People with COVID-19 may experience one of the following:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

 

What should I do if I have symptoms?

If you begin to feel ill with symptoms, the best thing to do is to isolate and quarantine yourself for up to 14 days. While at home be sure to monitor your symptoms carefully, get rest, stay hydrated and consider the use of over-the-counter medications to reduce fever, cough, congestion, etc.

If your symptoms continue to worsen, contact your primary care provider before visiting the office, who will determine if a COVID-19 test is appropriate. If you are having a medical emergency, please seek emergency care by calling 911.

When and who should get tested for COVID-19?

For the most accurate results, you should wait at least five days after being exposed to the virus to get tested. The following are recommended for testing:

  • People with and without symptoms of COVID-19
  • People who have had close contact with someone who is sick or has tested positive for COVID-19
  • Health care workers, first responders, caretakers to high-risk individuals (e.g., the elderly), and other essential workers who have frequent interactions with the public

If I’m sick and I’m not sure if I have COVID-19, should I go see a doctor?

People who are mildly ill and think they have COVID-19 must isolate themselves from others, track their symptoms and get a COVID-19 test. Additionally, contact your primary care provider, who will assess your symptoms and exposure.

Can I get tested for the virus at my doctor’s office or at the hospital?

Yes, you can get a COVID-19 test administered by your primary care provider. Click here for more information.

How can I protect myself from getting COVID-19?

Here are general practices to help prevent spreading viruses:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

7 Simple tips to help prevent the spread of coronavirus

 

TIP 1: Get vaccinated. All people 12 years of age and older should get the COVID-19 vaccine. Find a walk-in clinic or make an appointment near you at www.mcvaccinate.com

TIP 2: Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth.

TIP 3: Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Stay 6 feet away from people outside of your home.

TIP 4: Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering or mask when around others in public. Children under age 2 should not wear masks.

TIP 5: Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, and wash your hands.

TIP 6: Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces every day.

TIP 7: Monitor your health. Be alert for fever, cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms of COVID-19. If you’re sick, stay home except to get medical care.

Should I wear a mask to keep from being infected?

Yes, everyone should wear some form of face covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. This is to protect others from the risk of being infected. The use of face masks also is crucial for health workers and other people who are taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings (such as at home or in a health care facility).

If I have COVID-19, what can I do to keep from infecting others?

People who are actively sick with COVID-19 should avoid all contact with other people. That means separating yourself from others in your home, or, if you’re sick enough, being isolated in a hospital. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ridesharing or taxis. You should remain isolated until there is no longer a chance you can infect others. The length of time you may be considered actively sick can vary by case, so a decision about leaving isolation should be made in consultation with doctors and other health or public officials.

Can someone who has been quarantined spread the illness to others?

Being quarantined means being separated from people who have been exposed to COVID-19 but who have not had symptoms for the length of the incubation period of the disease. For COVID-19 that period is 14 days from the last date of exposure. Someone who has been released from quarantine is not considered a risk for spreading. However, this does not mean that they cannot be exposed to the virus in different ways (i.e., grocery shopping, eating at restaurants, taking public transportation, etc.)

Is there a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19?

Yes, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized COVID-19 vaccines and there are treatments available for severe cases of COVID-19 and for patients at high risk of disease progression and severe illness.

Your healthcare provider also may recommend the following to relieve symptoms and support your body’s natural defenses.

  • Taking medications, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to reduce fever
  • Drinking water or receiving intravenous fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Getting plenty of rest to help the body fight the virus.>

What should I do if I have symptoms?

If you begin to feel ill with symptoms, the best thing to do is to isolate and quarantine yourself for up to 14 days. While at home be sure to monitor your symptoms carefully, get rest, stay hydrated and consider the use of over-the-counter medications to reduce fever, cough, congestion, etc.

If your symptoms continue to worsen, contact your primary care provider before visiting the office, who will determine if a COVID-19 test is appropriate. If you are having a medical emergency, please seek emergency care by calling 911.

When and who should get tested for COVID-19?

For the most accurate results, you should wait at least five days after being exposed to the virus to get tested. The following are recommended for testing:

  • People with and without symptoms of COVID-19
  • People who have had close contact with someone who is sick or has tested positive for COVID-19
  • Health care workers, first responders, caretakers to high-risk individuals (e.g., the elderly), and other essential workers who have frequent interactions with the public

For testing information, visit montereycountycovid19.com or call our hotline at 772-7365.

Billing and Insurance

 

What to expect for COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccines.

Treatment

All California health plans must provide coverage for COVID-19 treatment. Many health plans offer treatment at no cost, while other plans may charge cost-sharing for these services. Check with your insurance provider for more information.

There are many resources for insured, uninsured and undocumented people in California.  If you need more medical care beyond COVID-19 testing, Natividad will work with you to get the care you need at a reasonable cost or no cost. There is also a Medi-Cal program for people without insurance coverage for COVID-19 treatment, up to one year. If you don’t qualify, we will help you apply for financial aid or other programs. For information about those programs, call (831) 755-4165. If you have questions about your bills, please call our business office at (831) 755-4242.

  • Covered California, the marketplace for private health insurance that offers discounted plans. Call (800) 300-1506.
  • Medi-Cal, the state’s free or low-cost health insurance for low-income Californians. Visit medi-cal.ca.gov or call (866) 323-1953.
  • Medicare, the federal health insurance program for people 65 and over or disabled. Call (800) 633-4227.

If you do not have a health plan, contact a local community clinic or the Health Consumer Alliance hotline at (888) 804-3536 or visit www.healthconsumer.org

Vaccines

Natividad is offering vaccine clinics as a free service to our community. There are no out-of-pocket costs for the vaccine or administration if you receive it at one of Natividad’s clinics. If you choose to get the vaccine at your doctor’s office, you will not be charged for the vaccine itself, but you may be charged for an office visit. You do not need to show proof of residency to get vaccinated.

Testing

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, like cough or fever, you should get a viral test to tell if you are infected now with COVID-19.
    • Most people who have had close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone with confirmed COVID-19.
    • Fully vaccinated people should be tested 3-5 days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
  • People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered do not need to get tested following an exposure as long as they do not develop new symptoms.
  • Unvaccinated people who have taken part in activities that put them at higher risk for COVID-19 because they cannot physically distance as needed to avoid exposure, such as travel, attending large social or mass gatherings, or being in crowded or poorly-ventilated indoor settings.
  • People who have been asked or referred to get tested by their healthcare provider, or state, tribal, local external icon, or territorial health department.

CDC recommends that anyone with any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 get tested, regardless of vaccination status or prior infection. If you get tested because you have symptoms or were potentially exposed to the virus, you should stay away from others pending test results and follow the advice of your health care provider or a public health professional.

For a list of testing sites in Monterey County, visit montereycountycovid19.com

Governor Gavin Newsom issued a directive requiring health insurance companies to waive member cost-sharing amounts for screening and testing for the COVID-19 disease. The federal government passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which also offers waiving of patient co-pays, co-insurance & deductibles for COVID-19 screening and testing. This FFCRA only applies to COVID-19 screening and testing and not other services rendered. (7/17/20).

Immigration & Public Charge Rule

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, receiving coronavirus medical treatment and services do not count against immigrants.

Visitor Policy

 

Your health and well-being is our top priority. Natividad is required to follow a new order for visitors from the California Department of Public Health. Please read our policy before visiting our hospital.

General Visitation – All Hospital

All visitors/ support persons are highly encouraged to stay in the room, minimize exit and re-entry into the facility, and maintain physical distancing in other locations within the facility, such as the cafeteria vending machines, waiting areas, or newborn nursery.

All visitors/support persons are screened at the entrance to the hospital. No one is allowed in the building if they have the following:

  • Temperature greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Cough, chills, fever, sore throat, difficulty breathing, unexplained muscle aches, loss of smell or taste, nasal congestion, runny nose or sneezing, diarrhea, eye redness with discharge
  • If a support person/visitor develops symptoms during the patient’s hospital stay, he/she must leave immediately

During the entrance screening process, all visitors will be required to:

  • Show proof of full* COVID-19 vaccination, or
  • Show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before their visit (can be a PCR or antigen test)** and
  • Show a photo ID and
  • Wear a mask provided by the hospital during their entire visit

*Full vaccination as defined by the health order: Two weeks or more after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna or vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization), or two weeks or more after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson [J&J]/Janssen).

** For testing locations, visit www.montereycountycovid19.gov or www.montereycountyvaccines.com/testing-sites

See our full Visitor Policy and Guidelines here.

Additional Resources

Monterey County Hospital Phone Numbers: 

Natividad: (831) 755-4111

CHOMP (Montage): (831) 624-5311

Salinas Valley Memorial: (831) 757-4333

Mee Memorial: (831) 385-6000

For the most up to date information from the Monterey County Health Department on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus please visit: https://www.co.monterey.ca.us/government/departments-a-h/health/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov

Other resources:

Center for Disease Control (CDC).

CDC Coronavirus Fact Sheet.

Monterey County- Model Advisory for Agriculture Worker Protection During COVID-19 Crisis.

California Department of Public Health.