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Community Report July 16, 2021

GTCHD ADDS COVID-19 TESTING AVAILABILITY

After the holiday week in which many gathered and celebrated, the Grand Traverse County Health Department (GTCHD) added additional free, rapid COVID-19 testing availability at its main health department campus building. Over the past week, the GTCHD did 69 tests compared to an average of just under 14 over the previous two weeks.

Whether experiencing symptoms or questioning exposure, we are pleased that so many sought out testing to rule out COVID-19. Vaccinated or not, if you are experiencing symptoms, even minor ones, (cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, nausea, fatigue, headache, sore throat, congestion, diarrhea, vomiting), please seek testing. If you are vaccinated, you may experience more subtle symptoms, but getting tested is the best way to know if it’s COVID or not.

The GTCHD will continue to offer expanded testing options and hours to meet anticipated demand. Below are the hours for the week of July 19 – 23:

Monday, July 19: 9 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 1 – 4:00 p.m Wednesday, July 21: 9 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 1 – 4:00 p.m Thursday, July 22: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Location: 2600 LaFranier Rd. Traverse City, MI, 49686

● Testing is available to anyone regardless of symptoms and is done on a drive-up basis only.
Testing is drive-up (no appointment necessary) and will be done in the parking lot behind the main health department building.
● A doctor’s order is not needed and there is no charge to be tested.
● Anyone that tests positive or is symptomatic will be offered a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test following the rapid antigen test. Tests are for diagnostic purposes (this is not an antibody test).
● Results will be delivered electronically (email/text) within two hours.

THE DELTA VARIANT IS THE DOMINANT STRAIN IN THE U.S.

The Delta variant of COVID-19 is spreading rapidly across the U.S. and has become the dominant strain of COVID-19 circulating in the country. The highly transmissible variant is spreading as communities loosen pandemic restrictions and vaccination rates slow down. The Delta variant accounts for a higher percentage of all COVID-19 infections nationwide.

The contagiousness of the Delta variant should prompt any eligible American who has not done so yet to get vaccinated as quickly as possible. Preliminary data shows the Pfizer vaccine is 88% effective against the Delta strain. Additionally, all three vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J – have proven to be safe and effective against this new variant.

GTCHD VACCINATION CLINIC SCHEDULE

The health department is urging parents to consider getting their child, ages 12-18, vaccinated now, so they can safely gather with family and friends throughout the coming months and be fully vaccinated in time for sports and return to school in the fall.

CHERRYLAND VACCINE CLINIC HOURS JULY 19 – 23

Date: Tuesday, July 20 Time: 11 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Date: Thursday, July 22 Time: 9 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

*12-15 require a guardian present, 16-17 require guardian consent

Protect yourself and the community… get your shot today!

GTCHD CONTINUES TO OFFER A RETURN “WINDOW” FOR SECOND DOSES OF COVID VACCINE

Anyone that receives the two-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the GTCHD’s Cherryland Mall location (1700 S. Garfield Ave.) is now be offered a window to return for their second dose appointment rather than a set date and time. The change is occurring to make the return appointments more flexible for those receiving the vaccine in addition to maximizing the resources of the GTCHD. Use the QR code (above) to view an up-to-date vaccine clinic schedule.

VACCINATION NUMBERS IN GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY

Grand Traverse County has the 2nd highest vaccination rate in Michigan. Neighboring Leelanau County has the highest rate. Vaccination coverage rates for Grand Traverse County residents of the 12+ population:

68.5% initiation 65.1% completion

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

CURRENT NUMBERS AND TRENDS

Although our numbers remain low, all metrics in Grand Traverse County trended upward over the past week. With 20 cases reported over the last week, our 7-day case average is now averaging 3 cases per day. As of Thursday, July 15, there are currently 35 active cases in the county, nearly double from what was reported a week ago.

JOC Report 7/16/21.docx

FIRST WINNERS OF ‘MI SHOT TO WIN’ SWEEPSTAKES ANNOUNCED THIS WEEK

The ‘MI Shot to Win Sweepstakes’ campaign announced its first winners of the sweepstakes this week. Four different winners won $50,000 each after getting at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and entering the drawing. Over the next month, the campaign will give away almost 5.5-million dollars worth of cash and scholarships to vaccinated Michiganders in the lottery-style raffle.

Those who have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine between December 1, 2020, and July 31, 2021, are eligible to enter. Children and teens aged 12 to 17 who have received a shot are also able to enter for the scholarships but must be registered by a guardian.

Michiganders can sign up online at MI Shot To Win (https://www.mishottowin.com/) or by calling (888) 535-6136. Prizes include a $1 million prize for one individual 18 years or older as well as a $2 million prize. The other cash prizes consist of 30 daily $50,000 drawings. Additionally, those under 18 can enter to win one of the $55,000 scholarships.

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.


Media Contact: Emmy Schumacher, eschumacher@gtcountymi.gov, 231-493-8376