Kent County Health Dept Issues 3 Page Public Health Warning, Recommends High Schools Stay Virtual into January. We Wonder What that Means for Christmas

Kent County Health Dept public health warning

Many Kent county residents have altered Thanksgiving plans due the the recent rise in COVID-19 cases. And now, based on the Kent County Health Department’s latest communication, it looks like Christmas might be following a similar path.

The Kent County Health Department issued a 3-page Public Health Warning today, urging the public to take measures to halt the spread of COVID-19. The Warning remains in effect until the number are trending downward and are at or under approximately 165 new cases per day. Right now, they are averaging 689 cases per day.

The Health Department Warning will likely be in effect at least through January 15, 2021.

At the heart of the warning: statistics that indicated rapidly increasing case numbers and admission that public health officials cannot keep up with contract tracing when numbers are this high. This, coupled with hospitals treating record numbers, puts Kent County’s COVID-19 level at Highest Risk.

The Health Warning goes on to outline guidance for the public, including the following:

  • Follow all public health orders issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
  • Anyone who is sick with symptoms related to COVID-19 should immediately isolate, call their doctor, and arrange for testing. Do not go to work, school or anywhere in public.
  • People over 65 and those with underlying health conditions need to be especially careful and minimize possible exposures.
  • Minimize time indoors shopping. Use pickup and delivery services whenever possible.
  • High schools should remain virtual through January 15, 2021, at the earliest.
  • Parents need to keep kids from separate families from hanging out together during this time or we run the risk of continuing the spread.
  • Churches should move to a virtual model wherever possible and relax in-person attendance obligations.

The Health Warning goes on to outline procedures given the Health Department’s current inability to keep pace with contract tracing.

  • Those with a positive COVID test should isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or test date. You must be fever free for 24 hours and all symptoms must be improving before leaving isolation.
  • If you test positive, you need to contact everyone you were in close contact with, starting with 48 hours before the onset of illness. Close contacts should be advised to quarantine for 14 days.
  • Employees do not need to show two negative tests or a “release from quarantine letter” from the KHD. Employers should visit for instructions on screening employees for return to work after quarantine or isolation.

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