ONE YEAR LATER – A COMMUNITY ASSEMBLED
On January 21, 2020, the United States reported its first case of the novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19. By March 10, the first case in Michigan was reported and three days later, key community partners from health, government, first responders, education, social service, and business sectors in Grand Traverse County assembled as the Joint Operations Center (JOC). From March 13th until April 17th, the group would meet daily to share information and resources. From briefings from the Health Department on the latest information surrounding the pandemic to coordinating efforts to provide the healthcare field with necessary PPE (personal protective equipment), to assuring that students that relied on
school lunches for meals would not go hungry, the group cohesively worked together to navigate the social disruption the pandemic would bring to the world and our community.
Over the past year, meetings slowly began to scale back to five days a week, then to three and now, just a single meeting on Fridays with sometimes over 100 community representatives listening in to the key contributors likely remains one of the most impactful mechanisms Grand Traverse County has had over the past year to put our community in the best position to face the pandemic head-on.
“I don’t think we will ever know the degree of positive impact the establishment of the JOC had on our community. As partners and community leaders, the JOC members engaged the challenge of addressing the layers of issues that the pandemic has caused. We have worked together to highlight the issues and identified solutions that we as a community could support, and that has placed our community in a very advantageous position. The JOC’s task has not ended and I look forward to continuing to work with a wonderful group of community leaders.” – Nate Ager, Grand Traverse County Administrator.
Grand Traverse County, along with the Health Department, would like to thank everyone involved in the JOC and the contributions you have made in assisting our community over the past year.
SPECIAL GUEST AT NMC’S HAGERTY VACCINE CLINIC
Lt. Governor, Garlin Gilchrist made his way to the vaccine clinic at NMC’s Hagerty Center on Friday, March 12, 2021, to show his support and see the operation that has administered over 20,000 COVID-19 vaccines through it to date.
CURRENT VACCINATION ELIGIBILITY – through March 22nd
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) officials announced today that the state is expanding vaccination eligibility for Michigander’s ages 16 and older with disabilities or medical conditions that put them at high risk of negative COVID-19 outcome beginning Monday, March 22. The state is also announcing that beginning Monday, April 5, all Michiganders age 16 and up who were not previously eligible will be eligible to receive a vaccine.
Currently eligible in Grand Traverse County:
- PHASE 1 A – paid and unpaid health care workers
- PHASE 1 B – frontline and essential workers
- PHASE 1C – 65-74 years
- 50+ with medical conditions (all 50+ beginning March 22)
- Caregiver family members and guardians who care for children or adults with special health care needs
Special health care needs include: any physical, developmental, mental, sensory, behavioral, cognitive, or emotional impairment or limiting condition that requires medical management, health care intervention
and/or use of specialized services or programs. The condition may be congenital, developmental, or acquired through disease, trauma, or environmental cause and may impose limitations in performing daily self-maintenance activities or substantial limitations in major life activity.
Anyone eligible is encouraged to register to schedule an appointment by visiting gtcountycovid19.com/vaccine. All vaccine clinics are currently held at Northwestern Michigan College’s Hagerty Center and are based on vaccine availability. Vaccine clinics are by appointment only. There are no walk-ins or add-ons at the clinics.
The health department will continue to work with senior organizations locally to vaccinate this high-risk population in addition to the newly prioritized groups. GTCHD continues to partner with United Way, Area Agency on Aging, and the Commission on Aging to assure those vulnerable seniors and those without internet access are able to get vaccinated. Call 231-715-5557 if you need technical assistance.
An updated prioritization guide from MDHHS can be found here.
VACCINATION NUMBERS IN GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY
Officials are reporting the following vaccination coverage rates for GT County residents based off the MDHHS COVID 19 Vaccination Coverage Dashboard:
PERCENTAGE COVERED of GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY RESIDENTS
DOSES (as of 3/12/21)
|16 + Years||50-64 Years||65-74 YEARS||75 + YEARS|
GTCHD is reporting the following vaccine totals:
DOSES ADMINISTERED AT GTCHD VACCINE CLINICS
|DOSE||WEEK OF MARCH 8 – 12||CUMULATIVE (through 3/12/21)|
TOTAL DOSES ADMINISTERED BY GTCHD AS OF 3/12/21: 21,699
To find the latest statistics regarding COVID-19 vaccinations across the state, you can visit the MDHHS vaccine dashboard.
CASE NUMBERS AND STATISTICS
|127||0||4,312||3.9% ↑||116 ↑||E|
Additional statistics are available on the MI Safe Start Map and on the Health Department’s dashboard and Facebook page, which updates new case information daily at 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Grand Traverse County testing sites include:
Munson Healthcare Foster Family Community Health Center (priority 1 & 2 only)
Northwest Michigan Health Services (testing all by appointment)
Rite Aid at Chums Corner (testing all by appointment)
Walgreens at Chums Corner (testing all by appointment)
GTCHD Testing at Cherryland Mall (testing by appointment on Mondays and Tuesdays)
See Michigan’s COVID-19 test finder for more options
Testing sites have capacity and tests are available. Individuals seeking tests can call:
- Their healthcare provider
- The Munson Healthcare Covid-19 hotline: 231-935-0951
- The Michigan COVID-19 hotline: 888-535-6136
Stay Safe to Stay Open
Residents, businesses, and visitors are encouraged to Stay Safe to Stay Open. This includes the following measures while in public:
- Staying 6 feet apart from others
- Wearing masks while indoors or even outside when you are unable to maintain social distancing
- Limiting large social gatherings – not hosting or attending large gatherings
- Continuing basic prevention measures like frequent hand washing
- Following workplace safety protocols
- Daily monitoring of yourself for symptoms including your temperature (even if you feel fine)
- Staying home if symptomatic – even if it is just very mild symptoms
- If others in your household have tested positive or are symptomatic, stay away and take extra precautions to not become infected.
About the JOC
Grand Traverse County’s Joint Operations Center has been meeting to coordinate efforts and communication on the COVID-19 pandemic since Friday, March 13, 2020. Members include key community partners from health, government, first responders, education, social service, and business sectors.