Effective immediately, the Grand Traverse County Health Department is now opening up eligibility and encouraging additional frontline essential workers in Phase 1B, Group C (as defined below) to register and schedule to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, and in conjunction with the State of Michigan, those age 50 and older with medical conditions and disabilities AND caregiver family members and guardians who care for children or adults with special health care needs will become eligible on Monday, March 8.
Frontline essential workers include:
- Food and agriculture workers (further defined here)
- Utilities or Critical manufacturing workers
- Public transit workers
- Grocery store workers
- U.S. Postal Service workers
- Workers with unique skill sets not covered above, such as non-hospital laboratories, veterinarians
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.
The decision comes on the heels of successful uptake of the vaccine by the 65 and older population in the county and region and to help reach the state’s goal of vaccinating 70% of the population. To date, over 71% of the 65 and older population in Grand Traverse County has received at least one dose of the vaccine and 42% has received two doses. The health department will continue to work with senior organizations locally to vaccinate this high-risk population in addition to the newly prioritized groups.
This expansion is being done in alignment with the following members of the Northern Michigan Public Health Alliance: Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department, Health Department of Northwest Michigan, District Health Department #10, District Health Department No. 4, and District Health Department No. 2. This decision was to meet our unique community needs and further expands on the guidance set by the State of Michigan.