KEY UPDATES OF NOTE
- Vaccine is now available for anyone 16 and older at most locations offering vaccine.
- 1.1.7 Variant is now the most common variant in the United States and is 50% more contagious, has caused an increase in hospitalization rates, and appears to be impacting children.
- As of 04/05/2021 Michigan reinstituted a standard 14-day quarantine for close contacts of COVID-19 cases whom are not vaccinated.
- As of 04/22/2021, Newaygo County has 3,907 total lab confirmed cases of COVID-19. 970 of these cases are Active Cases. Currently, Newaygo County is averaging 32 new cases daily, with a percent positivity of 22.3%. Hospitalization rates have also increased with an average of 12 – 14 COVID positive inpatients.
- FEMA has released a Funeral Assistance program. It will be a reimbursement program for eligible funeral expenses for deaths related to COVID-19 that occurred after January 20, 2020.
- PPE Push Packs remain available for service agencies within Newaygo County. Please contact Deputy Director Renee Gavin at email@example.com for additional information.
- Newaygo County remains under a Local Disaster Declaration, authorizing jurisdictions to hold virtual meetings should they choose to do so.
LOCAL COVID-19 VACCINE RESOURCES
District Health Department 10
Anyone 16 and older can now schedule online to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from DHD10. Individuals aged 16 and 17 MUST have a parent or legal guardian present when receiving their vaccine or they will be turned away.
To schedule online: https://www.dhd10.org/schedule/
For those who do not have a computer, they can call 888.217.3904 for assistance
- Vaccine clinics are by appointment only and no walk-ins are accepted.
- If you are unable to make your scheduled appointment, please email the health department at firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know. You will be placed back on the waiting list and will be contacted as soon as they can get you rescheduled. If people do not show up for their scheduled appointments, DHD#10 has a stand-by list made up of people on our waiting lists to call in so that no vaccine goes to waste.
Spectrum Health is expanding vaccine availability to all 16 and older, immediately. To set up an appointment for someone ages 16 or 17 or for those needing special assistance, please call 833.755.0696. A parent or guardian must accompany minors. If you are 16 or 17 you are only eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.
If you are 18+ and a Spectrum Health MyChart account holder, click the link below to self-schedule online. Upon logging in, you will arrive at the scheduling page where you can select “COVID-19 Vaccine First Dose” to begin scheduling.
If you are 18+ and NOT a Spectrum Health MyChart account holder, click the link below to self-schedule online. You will have an opportunity to create a Spectrum Health MyChart account upon scheduling and we recommend that you do for ease of scheduling the second dose.
For additional information, please visit: https://www.spectrumhealth.org/covid19/covid-19-vaccine
Family Health Care
Current Family Health Care patients may also schedule appointments for vaccine. To schedule an appointment, please call one of the following office locations you wish to be seen at:
- Baldwin (231) 745-0439
- Big Rapids (231) 689-7687
- Cadillac (231) 876-6515
- Grant (231) 834-9744
- McBain (231) 876-6515
- White Cloud (231) 689-7687
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOUR VACCINE
For your safety, if you fit into any of the categories below you will not be able to receive your vaccine at your scheduled appointment:
- Are not feeling well and have a temperature greater than 100.4F
- Have received any other vaccine in the last 14 days (including flu or shingles vaccine)
- Have had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of the ingredients in the vaccine
- Received passive antibody therapy as treatment for COVID-19 in the last 90 days
- Are currently in self-isolation for COVID-19 (10 days of self-isolation are required after symptoms)
If the items above apply to you, please cancel your appointment. If you are unsure if you should get the COVID-19 vaccine and want to speak with a provider, please contact your primary care provider.
2nd Dose Vaccine Appointments
When it is time to make your first vaccine appointment, make sure you are looking ahead to when the 2nd dose of the vaccine should be administered as well. The 2nd dose will be about 28 days later for Moderna and 21 days later for Pfizer-BioNTech. The health department and Spectrum Health might schedule a 2nd dose appointment a day or two off of 28 or 21 days due to site availability and other logistics; however, a second dose is needed for full coverage. Please make sure you are considering this timeline so that you are in the area and available to guarantee that a 2nd does will be available for you. Please also plan on returning to the same provider for both doses.
COVID-19 VACCINE SIDE EFFECTS
Several questions have been received as it relates to side effects of the COVID-19 vaccination. Below is information as to what to expect from the vaccination and recommendations on how to address absences from work. Personnel who have chosen to receive the vaccination may experience side effects after the first or second dose, including:
- Pain, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
Most side effects happen within the first three days after vaccination and typically last only one to two days. The COVID-19 vaccine may cause side effects similar to signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
NOTE: If personnel have been exposed to COVID-19 and develops symptoms more than three days after getting vaccinated or the symptoms last more than two days, the employee should notify their employer and should not come into work in accordance with the agency’s COVID-19 Policy.
Side effects should be treated the same as any other known medical or physical condition. That said, it would be reasonable for personnel experiencing any of the above side effects within 48 hours after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination, to attribute those symptoms to the vaccine.
INTERIUM PUBLIC HEALTH RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FULLY VACCINATED PEOPLE
The following recommendations apply to non-healthcare settings.
Fully vaccinated people can:
- Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic
For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:
- Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing
- Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
- Wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households
- Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings
- Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
- Follow guidance issued by individual employers
- Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations
COVID-19 TESTING OPTIONS
Spectrum Health offers COVID-19 screening and testing. First, you must be screened to determine if you qualify for a COVID-19 test. All tests require a valid physician order.
An appointment is required to get a COVID-19 test. Spectrum Health will not be able to accommodate walk-ins or drive-ins at any COVID-19 testing site without an appointment for that day and location.
Virtual screening and COVID-19 test self-scheduling is available through MyChart. You do not have to be a Spectrum Health patient to use this service if you are at least 18 years of age. To access MyChart, download the Spectrum Health app via the links below or visit mychart.spectrumhealth.org. Follow the instructions found below to conduct your screening and schedule a COVID-19 test.
If you already have a valid physician order for a COVID-19 test and only need to schedule your appointment, click here. After taking your test, it may take up to three days before you receive your results. Your results will be posted to your MyChart account and shared with your provider. For all patients with a MyChart account, this will be your only notification of your test results by Spectrum Health. The CDC advises you should stay home and away from others while waiting for test results.
Northwest Michigan Health Services
116 S State Street, Shelby MI 49445
Offering testing for asymptomatic patients.
Call the COVID Test Hotline at 231-642-5292 for an appointment
Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. Sometimes new variants emerge and disappear. Other times, new variants emerge and persist. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and globally during this pandemic.
Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 are circulating globally. Three main “variants of concern” are as follows:
- The United Kingdom (UK) identified a variant called B.1.1.7 with a large number of mutations in the fall of 2020.
- This variant spreads more easily and quickly than other variants (about 50% increased transmission). This variant is now the most common variant in the United States.
- In January 2021, experts in the UK reported that this variant may be associated with an increased risk of death compared to other variant viruses. In March the CDC is now reporting this variant has likely increased severity based on hospitalizations and case fatality rates.
- Experts are raising the alarm about a virus variant that appears to be infecting school-age children and younger adults. In Michigan, more and more young people are being hospitalized as cases rise.
- It has since been detected in many countries around the world. This variant was first detected in the US at the end of December 2020. As of Feb 28, 2021, the CDC is reporting 2,400 cases of this variant in the US in 46 States including Michigan (421 cases in MI). As of April 9, 2021, the CDC is reporting 19,554 cases of this variant in the US in 52 States including Michigan (2,262 cases in MI).
- Victims of this variant are reporting more symptomsacross the board than those infected with the original strain of the virus, new research shows. A survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics in England found that those who test positive for the variant are more likely to report a persistent cough, tiredness, muscle aches, sore throat and fever compared to those who have the original strain. Patients infected with the variant were significantly less likely to report a loss of the sense of taste or smell, among the more unusual symptoms of the coronavirus. https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2021/coronavirus-variant-symptoms.html
- In South Africa, another variant called B.1.351 emerged independently of B.1.1.7. Originally detected in early October 2020, B.1.351 shares some mutations with B.1.1.7.
- This variant spreads more easily and quickly than other variants (about 50% increased transmission).
- Cases caused by this variant have been reported in the US at the end of January 2021. As of Feb 28, 2021, the CDC is reporting 53 cases of this variant in the US in 16 States. As of April 9, 2021, the CDC is reporting 424 cases of this variant in the US in 36 States including Michigan (6 cases in MI).
- B.1.351 appears to reduce vaccine effectiveness
- In Brazil, a variant called P.1 emerged that was first identified in travelers from Brazil, who were tested during routine screening at an airport in Japan, in early January.
- This variant contains a set of additional mutations that may affect its ability to be recognized by antibodies.
- This variant was first detected in the US at the end of January 2021. As of Feb 28, 2021, the CDC is reporting 10 cases of this variant in the US in 5 States. As of April 9, 2021, the CDC is reporting 434 cases of this variant in the US in 36 States including Michigan (9 cases in MI).
- 1.427 and B.1.429, These two variants were first identified in California in February 2021 and were classified as VOCs in March 2021.
- These variants spreads more easily and quickly than other variants (about 20% increased transmission).
Overall, these variants seem to spread more easily and quickly than other variants, which are leading to more cases of COVID-19. An increase in the number of cases has put more strain on health care resources, leading to more hospitalizations, and potentially more deaths.
So far, studies suggest that antibodies generated through vaccination with currently authorized vaccines recognize these variants. This is being closely investigated and more studies are underway.
Rigorous and increased compliance with public health mitigation strategies, such as vaccination, physical distancing, use of masks, hand hygiene, and isolation and quarantine, is essential to limit the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 and protect public health.
CURRENT ISOLATION AND QUARINTINE GUIDELINES
Effective 4/5/2021, Michigan will reinstitute a standard 14-day quarantine for close contacts of COVID-19 cases. This will remove the option of a 10-day quarantine for non-variant cases. As a reminder, a “test out of quarantine” strategy has never been adopted in the State of Michigan.
QUARANTINE NOT REQUIRED FOR VACCINATED PERSONS WITH EXPOSURE TO COVID-19 WHO MEET REQUIREMENTS
The CDC recently updated quarantine guidance for vaccinated ndividuals. Vaccinated persons with an 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.
Although the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from vaccinated persons to others is still uncertain, vaccination has been demonstrated to prevent symptomatic COVID-19; symptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission is thought to have a greater role in transmission than purely asymptomatic transmission. Additionally, individual and societal benefits of avoiding unnecessary quarantine may outweigh the potential but unknown risk of transmission, and facilitate the direction of public health resources to persons at highest risk for transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to others. This recommendation to waive quarantine for people with vaccine-derived immunity aligns with quarantine recommendations for those with natural immunity, which eases implementation.
Fully vaccinated persons who do not quarantine should still watch for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following an exposure. If they experience symptoms, they should be clinically evaluated for COVID-19, including SARS-CoV-2 testing, if indicated. In addition, vaccinated persons should continue to follow current guidance to protect themselves and others, including all other SARS-CoV-2 testing recommendations and requirements, and state, territorial, tribal, and local travel recommendations or requirements. For additional considerations regarding quarantine or work restrictions for fully vaccinated healthcare personnel, patients, or residents in healthcare settings, please see section below.
These quarantine recommendations for vaccinated persons, including the criteria for timing since receipt of the last dose in the vaccination series, will be updated when more data become available and additional COVID-19 vaccines are authorized.
CDC has not systematically evaluated the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines from manufacturers that have not sought an EUA in the United States. For the purposes of these quarantine criteria, considerations for accepting a vaccination series that is not FDA-authorized include whether the vaccine product has received emergency approval from the World Health Organization or authorization from a national regulatory agency.
FEMA’s FUNERAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
On March 24, FEMA released the interim policy guidance on the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance program. This is a reimbursement program for eligible funeral expenses for deaths related to COVID-19 that occurred after January 20, 2020. This program became active on April 12, 2021.
For additional information please view the Funeral Assistance Flyer or visit
For additional information on the program and instructions on how to apply, please watch the following video from FEMA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgvN_9m58Z0
UPDATED STATE MASKING GUIDELINES
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is reminding all Michiganders, including those who have already received the vaccine, to continue wearing masks as the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is administered throughout the state.
MDHHS reminds Michiganders to follow these tips when wearing a mask:
- Make sure your mask fits snugly against your face. Gaps can let air with respiratory droplets leak in and out around the edges of the mask.
- Pick a mask with layers to keep your respiratory droplets in and others’ out. A mask with layers will stop more respiratory droplets getting inside your mask or escaping from your mask if you are sick.
In addition, the CDC has recently recommended wearing two masks to increase protection against COVID-19. Double masking is an easy way to improve fit, which also improves protection. The more particles that are blocked, the better you are protected against getting COVID-19. Other options to improve fit include wearing a mask fitter or wearing a nylon covering (like a gaiter) over a mask.
Those in need of a free mask can contact their local Community Action Agency or local DHHS office.
Watch the video ad, MDHHS has released: Path Back