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Community Update 2/05

UPDATES FROM THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT

Vaccine
Michigan is currently vaccinating individuals who are:

PHASE 1A:

  • EMS, medical first responders, healthcare workers and residents in long-term care and congregate care facilities.

PHASE 1B Group A and B only:

  • Persons age 65 and older (over 19,000 people in Grand Traverse County)
  • Some frontline essential workers including:
    • Police officers
    • First responders
    • Frontline state and federal workers
    • Jail and prison staff
    • Pre-K-12 teachers and childcare providers
    • Adult and child protective services, and
    • Homeless shelter staff

PHASE 1C Group A ONLY: Individuals age 65 to 74 years.

Grand Traverse County Health Department is currently scheduling appointments for individuals 65 years and older and those eligible essential workers (described above) residing in Grand Traverse County. GTCHD continues to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments as quickly as
possible but appointment slots are limited by vaccine supply.

All vaccine clinics are held currently at NMC’s Hagerty Center based on vaccine availability. Vaccine clinics are by appointment only. There are no walk-in vaccination clinics.

Appointments can be scheduled by visiting this link and clicking on the “Schedule Vaccine Appointment” button. Currently, but subject to change, appointments will be open for scheduling on Mondays at 1:00 p.m. Until appointments are available, the button will not be visible. Once scheduled, you will receive a confirmation email from @acuityscheduling.com. Please fill out the .pdf form that is sent to you and bring to your appointment.

Please keep in mind that the demand for vaccine far outweighs the supply that the GTCHD is currently receiving on a weekly basis. We ask for continued patience as we continue to finish the Phase 1A group and continue working through Phase 1B group.

GTCHD continues to partner with United Way, Area Agency on Aging 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.

GTCHD officials are reporting the following:

  • This week GTCHD administered 1185 first doses and 628 2nd doses
  • The cumulative number of vaccine doses administered during GTCHD vaccine clinics through Feb 5th are:
    • 7144 1st doses
    • 1255 2nd doses
    • 8399 Total Doses

On Friday, January 29 and Saturday, January 30, in partnership with Munson Healthcare, the GTCHD administered 1,700 first doses to both TCAPS, TBAISD staff and some additional childcare staff.

Michigan residents seeking more information about the COVID-19 vaccine can visit Michigan.gov/COVIDvaccine. Locally, go to: www.grandtraverse.org/2394 where you may find answers to your questions.

Vaccine is allocated at the national level to each state and then each state distributes vaccine to local health departments and hospitals. Additionally and separately, the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care Program is a national initiative to provide COVID-19 vaccine to the Phase 1A priority groups of long-term care facility residents and staff.

MDHHS

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) updated its current epidemic order to allow contact sports to resume as of Monday, Feb. 8, provided masks are worn during practices and competition. If masks cannot be worn, participants must be regularly tested for COVID-19 consistent with guidelines issued by MDHHS. Safety protocols like wearing
masks and testing will help keep kids, coaches and families safe and allow our schools to remain open for in-person instruction. The order remains in effect through Monday, March 29.

The order also extends the indoor dining capacity restrictions to 25% until March 29.

Daily Numbers

The Grand Traverse County Health Department is reporting 17 new cases of COVID-19 for Friday, February 5, 2021, and 98 cases and five deaths since the last report on January 29, 2021 bringing the cumulative total to 3,854 cases.

Grand Traverse County and the Traverse City Region as a whole is at a risk level E on the MI Safe Start Map. The current 7 day average of 4.7% positivity rate which reflects a two-week decrease. The Grand Traverse County incidence is currently at 95 cases per million, which reflects a two-week decrease. Additional statistics are available on the Health Department’s dashboard and Facebook page, which updates new case information daily at 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Regionally, Munson Healthcare is reporting COVID-19 testing results on its website for each of its hospitals. Numbers listed are by hospital, not county of residence.

Michigan has reported 619,499 positive cases and 15,750 deaths of COVID-19 as of Friday, February 5, 2021. As of January 29, 2021, 481,801 have recovered in Michigan.

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)
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

If you seek testing, please remember that once you get tested you should not be going out and visiting local shops and restaurants or other public spaces while waiting for test results. Anyone who gets tested for COVID-19 must remember to stay home and away from others as much as possible until they have received a negative test result, or once they have passed their isolation period as advised by the health department if they test positive. The public should also assume the potential risk for COVID-19 exposure when going into any business and should always be wearing masks, social distancing and follow other safety guidelines to reduce the spread in Grand Traverse County.

Mental Health

Northern Lakes Community Mental Health Authority (Locally)
  • 24/7 Crisis Line 1-833-295-0616 – for anyone in the community in a mental health crisis, including if a person is experiencing out-of-control behaviors, expressing thoughts of suicide, experiencing severe stress, or just do not know what else to do. When in doubt, call!
  • NLCMHA Warm Help Line 1-800-492-5742 – for anyone in the community who is experiencing stress, anxiety, or depression due to the COVID-19 pandemic and would like to talk to someone. Available during business hours.
  • myStrength Health and Wellness App – free access using the code NLCMHCommunity for anyone in the community (including GT County employees) who would like self-care resources for a wide variety of health and wellness issues, including COVID-19 specifically.
MDHHS (Statewide)

Anyone having difficulties navigating life during the COVID-19 pandemic, you are not alone. MDHHS has a mental health hotline you can access for free and confidential access to counselors 24/7. Language translation is available for non-English-speaking residents who call
the counseling line.

MDHHS COVID-19 Help Hotline: 1-888-535-6136, choose prompt 8.

To access other mental health resources for coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, visit Michigan.gov/StayWell.

Homelessness

The day shelter at Safe Harbor that is operated by Goodwill is open from 8:15 – noon, seven days a week.

Safe Harbor’s overnight shelter opened on Saturday, October 31 and is currently looking to add more volunteers. If you or someone you know may be interested, reach out to volunteer coordinator, Brad Gerlach by emailing: volunteers@gtsafeharbor.org or fill out the application online.

Senior Center

The Senior Center Network and the Commission on Aging each have disposable masks available for seniors in Grand Traverse County. Parties may call either office to arrange for curbside pick-up or could be mailed upon request.

Senior Center Network: 231-922-4911
Commission on Aging: 231-922-4688

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 our 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.

Businesses and individuals can download Stay Safe to Stay Open resources and get additional information at the gtcountycovid19.com website and communication templates and graphics on the Traverse Connect website.

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. Members include key community partners from health, government, first responders, education, social service, and business sectors.