October 1, 2020

This newsletter will be available in multiple languages on accesskent.com/Health/coronavirus.htm as soon as it is translated.
Video Update

Dr. Adam London gives an update on COVID-19, including positivity rate, data from the CDC and average cases.
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!
Employee Content Added to Kent County Back to Work Website

The pandemic has undoubtedly changed our everyday life, including how people work.
Re-openings and returns to work continue to fuel questions among employees on how to work effectively while helping to control the spread of the virus in the workplace.

The Kent County Back To Work website has added new content to help employees navigate some of these challenges. Specifically, the following resources are available to employees:

  • workplace safety guidelines,
  • worker rights,
  • how to file a complaint and
  • who to call with questions.

Additionally, the site includes an employee health screening tool, access to purchase non-contact thermometers and a form to request personal protective equipment.

Visit www.KentCountyBacktoWork.com to access all of this valuable information.
Who Should Get a COVID-19 Test?

You may need to get tested for COVID-19, whether that's because you have symptoms, were around an infected person, have to travel, have an elective surgery coming up or your doctor recommends it. Testing criteria and availability has varied throughout the pandemic so here is what you you need to know about testing in Kent County:

Have any 1 of the following symptoms:
  • Cough
  • Shortness of Breath
  • New loss of taste or smell

Or any 2 of the following symptoms:
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Congestion or runny nose

You have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 (within 6 feet; 15 minutes)

You suspect you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

You are in a high COVID-19 transmission area and have attended a public or private gathering of more than 10 people where people weren’t wearing masks or social distancing.
Testing Locations

We offer FREE COVID-19 testing at these locations:

  • KCHD Fuller Clinic, 700 Fuller Ave NE, Grand Rapids MI 49503
  • KCHD South Clinic, 4700 Kalamazoo Ave, Kentwood MI 49508
  • KCHD Baxter test site, 935 Baxter St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
  • NxGen MDx at LINC UP, 1167 Madison Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507

For more information on testing sites or to register for a testing day, call (616) 632-7200 or register online.
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Have you gotten your flu shot?

Two viruses - seasonal influenza and COVID-19 - will be circulating throughout the community at the same timeThis situation makes it more important than ever for you and your family to get the flu shot this year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone six months and older get a flu shot. The Kent County Health Department will begin offering flu shots on October 5 at three locations:

  • KCHD Main Clinic at 700 Fuller Ave. NE in Grand Rapids
  • KCHD South Clinic at 4700 Kalamazoo Ave. SE, Kentwood
  • Sheldon Clinic at 121 Franklin St. SE, Grand Rapids
Appointments: can be made by calling (616) 632-7200.

Fees: $73 for injectable egg free vaccine; $40 for preservative free injectable vaccine; and $73 for high dose. FluMist is not available this year. 

Payment: Cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.

Children: Free vaccine for children six months through 18 years who do not have insurance or have insurance that does not cover vaccines. However, there is a sliding administration fee between $0-$23. Medicaid-eligible children receive a free vaccine and the administration fee is paid by Medicaid. We bill Blue Cross/Blue Shield or Blue Care Network.

Adults: We accept and bill Medicaid, Medicare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Blue Care Network. 
Vaccine: The egg free vaccine is for ages 18 and older; whereas, the high dose vaccine is available for individuals 65 years of age or older. The inactivated vaccine can be given to anyone six months and older.

Since little is known about the risk of having the flu and COVID-19 simultaneously, it is extremely important for you and your family to get a flu shot. If a strain of the flu should become its own pandemic this Fall, the burden to our healthcare system could be devastating. For more information about the flu and ways to protect yourself and your family, visit www.cdc.gov/flu
Visit our website for additional information and resources.
Guidance for Celebrating Halloween During COVID-19

The holiday season is upon us with Halloween less than a month away. However, the pandemic is forcing all of us to change our plans.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses, the agency and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services recently issued guidance on how to celebrate Halloween as safely as possible.

Maintain Health Protocols
  • Stay home if you or your child is sick or been exposed to someone with COVID-19;
  • Maintain social distancing of at least six feet;
  • Wear a cloth mask that covers both the mouth and nose;
  • Wash hands often or frequently use hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol; and
  • Only visit houses with safety measures in place.

Prepare Your Home For Trick-Or-Treaters
  • Use duct tape to mark six-foot lines in front of home and leading to driveway/front door.
  • Position a distribution table between yourself and trick-or-treaters.
  • Distribute candy on a disinfected table to eliminate direct contact.
  • Consider handing out candy in an open space where distancing is possible, rather than from the front door.
  • Consider a neighborhood costume parade; it is an easy way to keep safe space between children.

Visit halloween2020.org to find exciting new activities to celebrate the holiday this year. Remember, if a gathering is hosted, it should be limited to 10 people or fewer per Executive Order 2020-176. Find more information including higher risk activities here.
Kent County Health Department
700 Fuller Ave. NE
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503
Tel: (616) 632-7100
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