What can I do to keep myself safe?
Every individual should be washing their hands often for at least 20 seconds each time with soap and water. Avoid close contact with people, when out in public it is important to try and keep 6 feet of distance between yourself and others. Remember to always cover coughs and sneezes and when in public around other people cover your mouth and nose with a mask. Increase the cleaning of frequently touched surfaces that you are in contact with.
Wear a mask!!
Regardless of weather you feel sick or not it is critical that you wear a mask in order to protect other people when in public. A cloth mask with two or more layers of washable fabric that fits snugly and completely covers your nose and mouth is the recommended type of mask from the CDC.
Most importantly individuals need to monitor there health to be aware if any symptoms of COVID-19 begin to develop. If that happens it is up to YOU to stay home and talk to your healthcare provider about quarantining and the possibility of being tested.
Which vaccine should I get?
As of now the United States has approved the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for COVID-19. Both vaccines have been sent out to hospitals and Health Departments around the country and have been proven safe for the public. Both have minor side effects like any other vaccine and both have been proven to be over 90% effective against the virus.
How can I get a vaccine?
Due to current shortages individuals will have the ability to sign up through a hospital or the local health department and once it is your turn you will be contacted and receive whichever vaccine the location currently has. In addition you can look into the West Michigan Vaccine clinic that is now open in Grand Rapids. Sadly, this process is moving slow so it is important to be patient and follow the links below to properly get yourself scheduled.
When should I get tested?
If you start experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 you should contact your health provider. They will be able to tell you if you qualify for testing.
What do I do while waiting for my test results?
It is important to stay home and d your best to stay away from other people. While at home it is critical that you monitor your symptoms and contact your medical provider if they worsen.
Is re-testing important?
If you are exposed and test negative there is no need to be re-tested unless you develop symptoms.
What is it?
Contact Tracing is the process that the health department uses to identify people who may have come in contact with a person infected with COVID-19 by collecting information about contacts they may have been around before testing positive.
Why is it important?
It allows the health department to get in contact with individuals to inform them that they may have been exposed and should monitor their health for any possible symptoms. During this process they can recommend self-isolation and help an individual get tested if they feel it is necessary based on symptoms. Self-isolation, although difficult for many can be a critical step in slowing the spread of COVID-19 to other members within your community.
What is involved?
When contacted by the health department you will be asked to provide contact information for those you were in close contact with (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more with or without a mask). The information you provide is CONFIDENTIAL and if the health department contacts those individuals your name will NEVER be referenced in-regards-to the exposure. This means none of the individuals you have been around will know you were the one who tested positive unless you choose to share that information with them on your own.
You DO NOT have to wait for the health department!!!
An infected individual can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours or 2 days before they start experiencing symptoms, which is why it is important to let those you were close to know that you are having symptoms and getting tested. If you wait until a test comes back positive to tell anyone, it is very possible that those you were in contact with have spread the virus to others in the community.
For more information regarding COVID-19 visit: