03.04.2020 Information on COVID-19 for Kalamazoo County

TO: Kalamazoo County Community Partners
FROM: Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department
DATE: March 4, 2020

At noon on Wednesday, March 4, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 80 cases of COVID-19 from 13 states, with a total of nine deaths. Twenty-four of these cases are travel-related; 16 are believed to be person-to-person spread; and for the remaining 40 the source of exposure is still under investigation. There are no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) reported in the State of Michigan and no persons under investigation in Kalamazoo County. The criteria for testing have expanded, and testing can now be completed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ (MDHHS) lab. The Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department is working closely with the MDHHS and following guidance issued by the CDC. While the risk of COVID-19 remains low locally, 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 are asking community partners to help prevent the spread of viruses such as the flu, common cold, and COVID-19 by promoting the preventative measures that your clientele and all of those residing in Kalamazoo County can take:

o The best way to protect yourself and your family, and to stop the spread of viruses such as the flu, common cold, and COVID-19 include:

  • 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.
  • Stay home if you are sick and contact your healthcare provider.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • People should be diligent about preventing flu since there have been thousands of influenza-like illnesses reported throughout the country. Individuals within the United States are still at a higher risk of getting the flu than COVID-19. If you have not received your flu shot, it is highly encouraged you do so now.

Right now, there are no additional precautions recommended for the general public in the United States. We are regularly receiving ongoing guidance and information from MDHHS and CDC. We are committed to providing all community partners 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.

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