Antibody: A protein made by the immune system to recognize and fight off germs.

Antigen: A foreign substance, such as germs, that cause an immune response in the body.

Asymptomatic: Not showing any symptoms of illness. Even if you are not showing symptoms, you can still have and spread COVID-19.

Confirmed Case: Someone who has been tested and proven to be positive for COVID-19.

Contact Tracing: A system used by public health officials to help track the spread of COVID-19 from person to person and warn those who may have been exposed to an infected individual.

Coronavirus: A family of related viruses that can cause upper respiratory illnesses.

COVID-19: COVID-19 stands for “Coronavirus Disease 2019” which is caused by a new type of coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2.

Crowded Housing: The condition where more people are located within a given space or home than is considered tolerable from a safety and health perspective which can depend on environmental and cultural norms.

Endemic: When a disease is still present in an area or population but does not cause serious disruptions to everyday life.

Epidemic: Another term for an outbreak, often used when a large population is affected.

Essential Workers: Those who provide services that are necessary to maintain the operations of our infrastructure. For example, those that work in healthcare, law enforcement, government, food, and agriculture, etc.

Exposure: Occurs when you are within 6 feet of a person who is either showing symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive for COVID-19 and neither person is wearing a mask.

Equality: Equality means that everyone gets the same treatment, the same chances, the same resources, etcetera. When we focus on equality, our ultimate goal is fairness.

Equity: Equity means that everyone gets what they need to succeed. When we focus on equity, our ultimate goal is justice.

Fast Track (in terms of a COVID-19 vaccine): To accelerate or speed up the developmental process of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Fully vaccinated: Two weeks after someone received their second dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Health Disparity: Refer to differences in health outcomes. Health differences that are closely linked with economic, social, or environmental disadvantage. Health disparities adversely affect groups of people who have systematically experienced greater social or economic obstacles to health based on their racial or ethnic group, religion, socioeconomic -status, gender, age, or mental health; cognitive, sensory, or physical disability; sexual orientation or gender identity; geographic location; or other characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion.

Health Literacy: The ability of individuals to get, understand, and use health information and healthcare services to make appropriate and informed health-related decisions.

Herd Immunity by Natural Infection: When a sufficient number of people in a population have contracted and recovered from an illness and developed antibodies to that illness.

Herd Immunity by Vaccination: A practice where if a certain threshold of a population is vaccinated, the entire population can be protected from a certain virus due to a lowered ability for the virus to spread from person to person.

Immunity: The body’s ability to resist and protect itself from a specific illness or disease.

Immunocompromised: A person who has an immune system that cannot resist and protect against infection as well as others can.

Isolation: A period of time when a sick person must stay away from others to prevent the spread of disease.

Long COVID: Another name to describe post-COVID conditions, which are long-term effects or symptoms that continue or develop after a COVID infection.

Monoclonal antibodies: Laboratory-produced antibodies that can restore, enhance, or mimic the immune system’s ability to fight certain germs.

Multigenerational Household: Family households that include three or more generations living under one roof.

National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS): A public health tool developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to track levels of the virus that causes COVID-19 in wastewater.

Outbreak: The abrupt increase of cases of an illness in a particular population.

Pandemic: The global spread of an infectious illness or disease that has affected a large number of people.

Personal Protective Equipment: Personal Protective Equipment, also referred to as PPE, is the equipment used by healthcare workers to protect themselves and their patients from infection. Examples include masks, gloves, gowns, and goggles.

Physical Distancing: Also known as social distancing, means keeping at least 6 feet of space between you and others when out in public and avoiding large groups of people and crowded areas as much as possible.

Pre-Existing Condition: A medical condition that began before the health insurance went into effect.

Preventative Actions: Steps taken to avoid getting sick including wearing a mask, socially distancing, washing your hands, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces that are regularly touched, and monitoring your health for symptoms.

Quarantine: A period of time when people who have been exposed to contagious illnesses must stay away from others which helps to minimize the spread of the illness if the person were to become sick. Can be self-imposed or government-mandated.

Screening: A series of questions that help healthcare workers determine if an individual needs to be tested for an illness or disease.

Self-Isolation: Keeping away from others when you are sick or have been exposed to an illness to stop the spread. For COVID-19, this typically means staying away from people for at least 14 days.

Stigma: Negative attitudes and beliefs toward people, places, or things.

Symptomatic: When a person exhibits symptoms of an illness or disease. For COVID-19, these symptoms can include a fever, cough, runny nose, loss of taste and/or smell, and difficulty breathing.

Test to Treat: A nationwide initiative launched by the Biden-Harris Administration to make sure there is access to COVID testing and treatment options without delay. Participating locations are able to test for COVID, then fill a prescription for medication if a person is eligible.

Up-to-date with vaccines: Someone who has received all recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, this includes the primary series and booster doses.

Vaccine: A product that helps a person’s immune system develop immunity to a specific illness or disease which protects them from getting sick. Usually given in the form of a needle injection.

Variant: A slightly different version of the same virus.