Update from Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department

Dear campus community,

The information below is provided to us by Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department.

As of February 26, 2020, there have been no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) reported in the State of Michigan and no persons under investigation in Kalamazoo County. The Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department is working closely with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and following updates to the guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We are prepared to respond immediately should a potential case come to Kalamazoo County.
COVID-19 can be spread from person-to-person. At this time, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19 and no medications approved to treat it. Older adults and people with chronic medical conditions may be at increased risk for severe disease. We encourage community partners, schools, and municipalities to help prevent the spread of viruses such as the flu, common cold, and COVID-19 by promoting the preventative measures that all Kalamazoo County residents can take:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol).
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Please help us relay the above preventative measures by sharing with your clients, students and parents, and residents. Individuals within the United States are still at a higher risk of getting the flu than COVID-19. Therefore, we encourage people to get their flu shot if they have not done so already.

The CDC is currently reporting fourteen (14) confirmed cases nationwide as of February 26, 2020. To date, the following Travel Health Notices for COVID-19 have been issued for the following countries:

  • Level 3 (avoid all nonessential travel): People’s Republic of China and South Korea
  • Level 2 (practice enhanced precautions): Iran, Italy, and Japan
  • Level 1 (practice usual precautions): Hong Kong

If your organization, school or municipality has questions regarding travel plans, we highly encourage you to consult with us by calling our Epidemiology Nurse Helpline at 269-373-5267.

As a reminder, the role of local public health, and the specific steps Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department is taking during this outbreak, are as follows:

  • Actively monitor COVID-19 outbreak
  • Partner with state and federal agencies for communication and guidance on COVID-19 to the public and healthcare professionals
  • Coordinate with state and federal agencies for risk assessment and action steps regarding persons returning from China on or after February 3, 2020.
  • Coordinate with healthcare professionals on designating patients as a person under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19
  • Coordinate with healthcare systems on determining appropriate setting for evaluation and monitoring of PUI

We are regularly receiving ongoing guidance and information from MDHHS and CDC. We are committed to providing all community partners, schools, and municipalities updated information as it is received so informed decisions can be made. It cannot be emphasized enough, Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department is here as a resource for all questions or concerns you may have regarding any public health matter. We thank you for your partnership in protecting the health of our community.

Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department

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