August 12, 2020

This newsletter will be available in multiple languages on as soon as it is translated.
Video Update

Christopher Bendekgey, Clinical Services Division Director at the Kent County Health Department talks with Communications Manager Steve Kelso about the importance of COVID -19 testing. Click to watch.

Testing is free, to make your appointment call 616-632-7200 or click here.
COVID-19 Data
Find more data on COVID-19 in Kent County and statewide on our data dashboard.
Have you completed your 2020 Census? It is quick and easy so respond today to ensure you are counted!
Community Health Needs Survey

Every three years, Kent County conducts a Community Health Needs Assessment. This survey helps communities, organizations, and local health systems identify the major health-related challenges residents are facing. The issues identified will be the focus of health improvement efforts in the county for the next three years.
We need to hear from you! We rely on voices from all over Kent County to learn about the different communities, their strengths, and the things that need improvement. This survey asks questions about you, your opinions and experiences related to general health and well-being. Some questions require only one answer, and other questions allow you to select multiple answers. The survey will take about 15 minutes to complete.
Your participation is voluntary and your responses are anonymous. No identifying information is required to complete the survey. However, if you would like to enter a drawing for a chance to win a $50 Visa gift card, we will ask for your contact information at the end of the survey. This will be stored separately from your survey answers and will be kept confidential and will not be shared.
Results from this survey will be summarized and included in the 2020 Community Health Needs Assessment report, which will be publicly available in the spring of 2021 on the Kent County Health Department’s website and through participating community organizations.
Like the Health Department on Facebook (@kentcountyhealth)
Kent County Economic Recovery

Kent County has partnered with various community organizations to utilize CARES Act funding to provide economic relief to small businesses and non-profit organizations through financial support and personal protection equipment (PPE).

The Kent County Small Business Recovery Program delivers financial support to small businesses that may be dealing with additional hardships and have experienced losses due to business interruption as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This program was created in partnership with the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce.

The Kent County Back to Work Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Program provides PPE, at no cost, to qualifying small businesses and other employers to assist in reopening their operations. Available PPE includes eye and face protection, gloves, hand sanitizer and thermometers. To qualify, employers must be located in Kent County and employ 100 people or fewer. The program is accepting first as well as second time requests from business seeking PPE supplies.

Heart of West Michigan United Way has partnered with Kent County to create the
Kent County Non-Profit Organization COVID-19 Grant Fund supporting local nonprofit organizations providing certain relief services during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

We encourage you or your organization to apply for one of these programs!
Executive Order Violations

If you believe a business is violating an Executive Order, you are encouraged to call the non-emergency number of the local police department that oversees the jurisdiction in which the business is located. The business will then be subject to investigation by the police department or health department to determine if a violation has been made. For more resources on where to report violations, including State agencies, click here
Visit our website for additional information and resources.
Importance of Vaccinations

By vaccinating your children you are preventing the possible outbreak of serious illnesses. For an easy-to-read vaccine schedule click here.
Updated CDC Guidance

Information regarding the Coronavirus pandemic is evolving as more information becomes available so it is important to review the latest guidance from the CDC. Here are a couple of new recommendations:

Persons with COVID-19 who have symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under the following conditions:
  1. At least 10 days have passed since symptom onset, and
  2. At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, and
  3. Other symptoms have improved. Read more.

Evaluation of individuals who have previously been laboratory confirmed as a case of COVID-19 infection:
  1. If an infected person has clinically recovered using they can use the symptom-based strategy instead of repeated testing
  2. If such a person remains asymptomatic during this 90-day period, then any re-testing is unlikely to yield useful information, even If the person had close contact with an infected person.
  3. Persons who develop new symptoms consistent with COVID-19 more than 3 months after the date of symptom onset of the most recent illness episode should be retested, particularly if symptoms developed after close contact with an Infected person. Learn more.

Travel recommendations:
(Domestic & International)
  1. Travelers should be vigilant about following recommended precautions to prevent exposure to others.
  2. Practice social distancing (maintain a distance of 6 feet)
  3. Wear a mask
  4. Wash hands often or use hand sanitizer
  5. Be alert for symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, and other symptoms of COVID-19
  6. Check CDC guidance if symptoms develop
  7. Follow state and local recommendations or requirements after travel.

Situations with potentially higher risk of exposure, such as travel from another country, a U.S. state, or a county (according to state data) where COVID-19 transmission is high or increasing, attendance at large social or mass gatherings, or travel on a cruise ship or river boat should take the following precautions for 14 days after travel:
  1. Stay home or in a comparable location (such as a hotel room) to the extent possible
  2. Avoid contact with people at higher risk for severe illness
  3. Consider getting tested for COVID-19
Kent County Health Department
700 Fuller Ave. NE
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503
Tel: (616) 632-7100
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