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Community Report 3/19

COVID-19 VACCINE SCHEDULING UPDATE

On Wednesday, March 17, 2021, Grand Traverse County Commissioners approved the use of COVID-19 response state funding to enhance scheduling software for those signing up for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment through the county. It will add improved efficiency and security to the scheduling process.

The software allows for anyone, whether they are currently eligible or not, to enter their information into a queue which can be accessed by visiting www.gtcountycovid19.com/vaccine. Based on the information collected and their eligibility, they will receive an email with a scheduling link when appointments become available. Entering information to get in the queue is only required once. As vaccine supply and providers increase in the area, those that have entered the queue and obtain an appointment elsewhere will also have an option to remove themselves from the queue from the main scheduling page. Changes begin on March 22nd.

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.

GTCHD continues to partner with United Way, Area Agency on Aging, the Senior Center, PACE and the  Commission on Aging to assure that vulnerable seniors and those without internet access are able to get vaccinated. Call 231-715-5557 if you need technical assistance.

VACCINATION ELIGIBILITY 

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 
  • Caregiver family members and guardians who care for children or adults with special health care  needs 

Coming up: 

  • March 22 – 50+ regardless of medical conditions and 16+ with medical conditions
  • April 5 – anyone 16+ 

The most updated prioritization guide from MDHHS can be found here.

COMMUNITY PARTNERS WORK TOGETHER FOR FIRST JOHNSON & JOHNSON CLINIC 

Striving for equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Grand Traverse County Health Department  partnered with United Way of Northwest Michigan, Disability Network Northern Michigan, Northern Lakes  Community Mental Health, and others to administer some of the first Johnson & Johnson vaccines allocated  to the county on March 12, 2021. \

Those with barriers that may prevent them from attending multiple clinics to finish a different two-dose series of vaccine were accommodated with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine that only requires one dose. The individuals targeted to receive the vaccine have barriers such as visual, physical, hearing impairment, and others. 

With the help of Munson Healthcare and the Michigan National Guard, the health department was able to administer a total of 220 vaccines to the targeted population. A video featuring the day and its key contributors can be found here.

PERCENTAGE COVERED of GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY RESIDENTS
DOSES (as of 3/19/21)
16 + Years50-64 Years65-74 YEARS75 + YEARS
Initiated39.8%36.7%77.1%85.4%
Completed28.1%19.8%58.2%70.1%
*percentages include all providers, including Munson and Meijer

GTCHD is reporting the following vaccine totals:

DOSES ADMINISTERED AT GTCHD VACCINE CLINICS
DOSEWEEK OF MARCH 15 – 19CUMULATIVE (through 3/19/21)
Initiated1,98514,999
Completed1,1519,812

TOTAL DOSES ADMINISTERED BY GTCHD AS OF 3/19/21: 24,811

To find the latest statistics regarding COVID-19 vaccinations across the state, you can visit the MDHHS vaccine dashboard.

CASE NUMBERS AND STATISTICS
CASES
SINCE 3/12/21
DEATHS
SINCE 3/12/21
CUMULATIVE
CASES
PERCENT
POSITIVITY
(7-DAY AVERAGE)
CASES PER
MILLION
(7-DAY AVERAGE)
COUNTY RISK
LEVEL
15634,4514.2% ↑126 ↑E
*arrows reflect an increase or decrease from the previous report

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.

GTCHD TESTING AT CHERRYLAND MALL UPDATE

Rapid antigen testing will now be available at the Grand Traverse County Health Department’s Cherryland  Center testing site. Testing is free of charge and will be completed regardless of symptoms. Testing is  Mondays and Tuesdays by appointment only.  

To book an appointment, follow this link

Due to the rising number of cases in the county, the Grand Traverse County Health Department is asking anyone who is told that they tested positive for COVID-19 to self-isolate at home until the health department is able to reach you. Additionally, any and all household contacts or close contacts should quarantine until the case investigation and contact tracing occurs.

MDHHS 

Today, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) updated its Gatherings and  Mask epidemic order, allowing up to 20% capacity in outdoor stadiums and arenas that establish infection control plans. The update also increases testing for youth ages 13-19 to ensure athletes can safely participate in sports. The changes are designed to balance day-to-day activities while controlling the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives. The changes to the Order go into effect Monday, March 22, and remain in effect through Monday, April 19. 

An infographic highlighting the changes can be found here

COVID-19 Testing

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.