March 12, 2020

This is a highly evolving situation, so please refer to our COVID-19 page for the latest updates.

Update for Community and Faith-Based Organizations on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As you are aware, the situation regarding COVID-19 is changing rapidly. You play an important role in helping plan, prepare and respond to this emerging public health threat. Please visit our website for information on COVID-19:

Key Points:
  • MDHHS and the Office of the Governor suggest that businesses cancel or postpone large gatherings, conferences, and sporting events (greater than 100 people in a shared space).
  • There are 2 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Wayne and Oakland counties (as of March 11, 2020).
  • There are no confirmed positive cases in Kent County (as of March 11, 2020).
  • Testing capacity is expanding, but at this time only healthcare providers can order a test for COVID-19.
  • If you think you need to be tested, see the section on testing below. If you need to go to your doctor and are concerned about COVID-19, call ahead so the office can determine if you need to be seen and is prepared to see you.
Preparing for COVID-19:
  • Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Discuss emergency operations plans and establish relationships with key community partners
    • Identify actions to take if you need to postpone or cancel events.
    • If a COVID-19 outbreak develops in Kent County, we will provide you up to date information and guidance
    • Encourage handwashing and the use of hand sanitizer
    • Place signs throughout the facility, and provide tissues, soap and water, and hand sanitizer if possible. Consider using signs like this from the CDC website available in multiple languages.
    • Hand sanitizer should have at least 60% alcohol
  • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home and send home employees that develop respiratory symptoms participants to use preventive actions
    • Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible and be aware that employees may need to stay home to care for a sick family member
    • Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to either validate their illness or to return to work
    • Promote messages that discourage people who are sick from attending events
  • Perform routine environmental cleaning and provide disposable wipes for commonly used surfaces
  • Communicate with those you serve about COVID-19 and remain mindful of the more vulnerable members of your community. COVID-19 Fact sheets are available in English, Chinese, Spanish and Arabic.
Who is at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19?
  • Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Older adults aged 60 and above
  • People with serious chronic medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, chronic kidney disease, blood disorders and lung disease
  • Those who have a compromised immune system
  • There is limited data about pregnant women, but they may be more likely to get seriously ill if they become infected. More information can be found here.
  • If you are at higher risk, avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel. Ensure you have enough medications and groceries to allow you to stay at home if needed.
Long-term Care Facilities
Homeless Shelters
Who should get tested for COVID-19?
  • People who have returned from China and Iran are being monitored by KCHD for symptoms for 14 days after departure from China or Iran. Symptoms include fever of 100.4 F, cough, or shortness of breath.
  • Travelers who return from South Korea and Italy should quarantine themselves (stay home and not go to work or school) and monitor their for symptoms for 14 days. Those who develop symptoms should call their primary care doctor who will determine if COVID-19 testing is indicated. Those who return from Japan should monitor their health, but are not asked to quarantine themselves.
  • People who have traveled to other locations including cities in the U.S. and have a fever and/or cough and shortness of breath should call their primary care doctor to discuss testing.
Updates as of 3/10/2020:

This is a highly evolving situation, so please refer to our COVID-19 page for the latest Kent County numbers.

  • Kent County: 30 people have had specimens submitted for COVID-19 testing, 13 were negative, 17 are pending.
  • Michigan: There are 2 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Wayne and Oakland counties as of March 11, 2020. 121 people have had specimens submitted for COVID-19 testing, 91 were negative, 2 were positive, 27 results are pending.
  • United States: There have been a total of 1,039 cases in the U.S. with 23 deaths.
  • Global: There have been 127,863 cases, 4,718 deaths. There are CDC level 3 travel warnings (avoid non-essential travel) for China, Iran, Italy, South Korea; level 2 for Japan (delay travel for those who are elderly or have chronic conditions); and level 1 (regular precautions) for Hong Kong.