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Community Update 2/19

Updates From The Health Department

Vaccine Eligibility

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.

To see the prioritization guidelines from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that the GTCHD is following, visit this link.

All vaccine clinics are currently held at NMC’s Hagerty Center based on vaccine availability. Vaccine clinics are by appointment only. There are no walk-ins or add-ons at the clinics.

If you qualify in one of the current phases, 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.

All first dose clinics for the week of February 22, 2021, are reserved for the 65+ population in Grand Traverse County. Anyone attempting to schedule an appointment will be asked their date of birth as part of a screening process. The Grand Traverse County Health Department is screening all appointments that are scheduled for eligibility. Any appointments that are made by individuals that are not currently eligible will be turned away.

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.

Please be patient as we continue to follow the MDHHS guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination. The Grand Traverse County Health Department and our community partners are dedicated to ensuring that everyone in our community who would like to receive the COVID-19 vaccine receives it over the coming months as they are elgible to receive it.

GTCHD officials are reporting the following:

  • This week GTCHD administered 520 first doses and 2340 2nd doses
  • The cumulative number of vaccine doses administered during GTCHD vaccine clinics through Feb 20th are:
    • 8497 1st doses
    • 5444 2nd doses
    • 13,941 Total Doses

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

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.

OFF-SITE TESTING FROM GTCHD

The Grand Traverse County Health Department is partnering with Honu Labs to assist with the operation of the free, drive-thru COVID-19 testing site that was established last December. The pop-up site located at the Cherryland Mall (1700 South Garfield Rd. Traverse City, MI 49686) provides COVID-19 testing by appointment only on Mondays and Tuesdays from 9 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Testing is available to anyone regardless of symptoms. A doctor’s order is not needed and there is no charge to be tested. Testing is done by appointment only by following this link.

CDC Guidance for Vaccinated Persons

On February 10, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated the interim clinical guidance for those who are considered to be fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated persons who meet the criteria will no longer be required to quarantine following exposure to someone with COVID-19.

Vaccinated persons with exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
  • Are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure

Persons who do not meet all 3 of the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

Exceptions to this latest guidance are patients and residents in healthcare settings.

Additionally, vaccinated persons should continue to follow current guidance to protect themselves and others, including wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds, avoiding poorly ventilated spaces, covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands often, following CDC travel guidance, and following any applicable workplace or school guidance, including guidance related to personal protective equipment use or SARS-CoV-2 testing.

Daily Numbers

The Grand Traverse County Health Department is reporting 11 new cases of COVID-19 for Friday, February 19, 2021, and 52 cases and three deaths since the last report on February 12, 2021, bringing the cumulative total to 3,990 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 3.3% positivity rate which reflects a three-week decrease. The Grand Traverse County incidence is currently at 32 cases per million, which reflects a three-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 635,446 positive cases and 16,274 deaths of COVID-19 as of Friday, February 19, 2021. As of February 12, 2021, 517,991 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, 2020. Members include key community partners from health, government, first responders, education, social service, and business sectors.