IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 18, 2022
Public Health Department Updates Local Orders
Effective Feb. 21, the Calhoun County Public Health Department (CCPHD) will lift its remaining COVID-19 health orders pertaining to quarantine in K-12 educational settings and the general public.
 
Isolation orders will continue to be used in K-12 settings for students who test positive, due to the Michigan Public Health Code and existing administrative rules.
 
Pandemic conditions have changed considerably since local Public Health Department orders were made in September 2021. Numerous metrics of COVID-19 transmission in Calhoun are much lower than even weeks ago, and local health systems report improved capacity. Michigan is now entering a post-surge, recovery phase, which means a decrease in cases and hospitalizations and increased access to vaccines, testing, and treatment in Calhoun County.

“We're seeing that COVID-19 rates are declining in our community and threat of community surge is lessening,” said Eric Pessell, Calhoun County Health Officer. “Moving forward, our residents have the tools and knowledge to make choices that are best for their health status and risk tolerance. Please keep what you've learned in the past two years in mind as you make decisions about risk levels at home, work, and in the community, as long as COVID-19 persists in our community."

Calhoun County residents should consider the risk factors of themselves and family members, as well as vaccination status, when making the personal decision whether to mask in indoor settings in the future. Those with chronic illnesses or who are immunocompromised are at higher risk for negative outcomes from COVID-19 and would benefit the most from masking in indoor settings. Risk factors may include age, medical conditions and vaccination status.

Updated guidance is available for the general public and school settings.
This change in local orders is aligned with being in a post-surge phase of the pandemic.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has developed three phases to understand how the COVID-19 cycle can be understood moving forward. Those three phases are:

  • Response – Local and state public health implement rapid response to a surge. The public may be advised to increase masking, testing, and social distancing.
  • Recovery – Post-surge. No immediate resurgence predicted. Local and state public health will monitor conditions that could lead to future surges.
  • Readiness – A surge in cases is expected, with implications on severity of illness and hospital capacity. Increased communication to the public regarding possible new risks.
Calhoun County Public Health Department continues to recommend the use of layered mitigation strategies for Michiganders: 

• Get vaccinated against COVID-19. Michiganders should stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more about vaccines and when you’re up to date at Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine.

• After testing positive for COVID-19, individuals are encouraged to talk to their doctors about whether they meet eligibility criteria and should get antibody or antiviral treatment to help with their recovery. Learn more about COVID-19 Therapeutics.

• Isolation and Quarantine. Staying away from others when you are sick or were recently exposed to COVID-19 are important tools to preventing further spread of the virus. Learn more about what happens when you have or are exposed to COVID-19.

• Get tested if you are exposed or have symptoms. Anyone with signs or symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested regardless of vaccination status or prior infection. If you get tested because you have symptoms or were potentially exposed to the virus, you should stay away from others while you wait for your test result. Testing before unmasked gatherings provides an additional layer of protection. Find a test site at Michigan.gov/CoronavirusTest.

• Take additional steps to protect yourself and others. For additional guidance on mitigation strategies see How to Protect Yourself and Others

• Get a free mask. Free KN95 masks are being distributed by community organizations in Calhoun County. Find a location for pick at https://calhouncountymi.gov/covidvaccine
For information, contact the Public Information Officers
Lucy Blair, Calhoun County Communications Manager

Victor Jovanovich, Public Health Department Communications Specialist

Jessica Vanderkolk, City of Battle Creek Communications Manager