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Published 3/6/2020
10:22pm

Shiawassee County Health Department Urges Residents to Prepare Not Panic for COVID-19

Governor Whitmer Activates State Emergency Operations Center to Coordinate State of Michigan Response to Coronavirus

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The Shiawassee County Health Department (SCHD) continues to work on preparedness and response planning for COVID-19. Communication occurs daily between federal, state, and local partners.

Currently, Michigan has no confirmed cases of COVID-19. For up to-date information, visit michigan.gov/coronavirus.
  
As COVID-19 cases increase in the United States, it is important to prepare, not panic. Information about this outbreak is rapidly changing. Taking early action can help protect your health and those you care about.

The following measures can decrease the spread of infection, and reduce the impact on our community:

• Pay attention, and comply with public health requests and recommendations
• Get your information from a credible source (CDC, MDHHS, SCHD, etc.)
• Practice good hand hygiene; washing hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (60% or more).
• Stay home when you are sick (work, school, social gatherings, events, etc.)
• Avoid touching your face
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, your elbow, or your shoulder
• Call ahead before going to the doctor or the hospital if you are sick. Most cases of coronavirus are not serious, but be watchful of concerning symptoms like shortness of breath and prolonged
fever
• Clean all “high touch” surfaces like counter tops, door handles, cell phones, etc. with household cleaning sprays or wipes
• Be current and up to date on your vaccinations
• Keep prescription medications filled and over the counter medications on hand
• Plan how you’ll care for loved ones who may be sick or medically compromised, and how not to expose each other to sickness
• Maintain a good supply of nonperishable food items, including pet food
• Have a backup plan for daycare options
• Talk to your employer about contingency plans for absenteeism, working from home, or other strategies for the continuation of operations

For more information about the COVID-19 outbreak, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus, michigan.gov/coronavirus, or health.shiawassee.net.

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Recently, Governor Gretchen Whitmer activated the state Emergency Operations Center to coordinate with state, local and federal agencies to help prevent the spread of Novel Coronavirus.
 
The governor, Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Director Major General Paul Rogers, and Captain Emmitt McGowan of the Michigan State Police gave an update on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Michigan to inform Michiganders on how the state is preparing to protect public health. As of now, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan, but Michiganders should take all necessary precautions to prepare and to keep themselves and their families safe.

“Right now, we’re harnessing all of the resources of state government to help people prepare and keep themselves and their families safe,” said Governor Whitmer. “By activating the State Emergency Operations Center, we’re ensuring that every branch of state government is on alert, and actively coordinating to prevent the spread of Coronavirus if it comes to Michigan. We are taking this step out of an abundance of caution. We will continue to take every necessary precaution to keep Michiganders safe.”

“While the current risk to the general public of getting COVID-19 is low, we need to use all of our public health tools to make sure we are prepared,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health for Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). “Michiganders can be assured that we are taking this seriously and we will continue to make preparations to limit the spread and impact of COVID 19. Everyone can do basic things like washing hands frequently, covering their coughs appropriately, and staying home if they feel unwell to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.”
COVID-19 has been identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan City in the Hubei Province of China. As of February 27th, there were over 81,000 cases globally, with over 78,000 of those in China, including over 2,600 deaths in China. Investigations are ongoing to learn more, but person-to-person spread of the virus has occurred according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

• Fever
• Cough
• Shortness of breath

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:

• Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
• Avoid contact with people who are sick.

If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.

On Feb. 3, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) activated the Community Health Emergency Coordination Center (CHECC) to support local and state response to the outbreak. MDHHS is working closely with healthcare providers, local public health departments, and the CDC to identify potential cases of COVID-19 in Michigan. MDHHS has implemented emergency response standard operating procedures that address infectious disease outbreaks and new or emerging illnesses, such as COVID-19.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at michigan.gov/coronavirus and cdc.gov/coronavirus.

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