Health officials encourage self-isolation as COVID-19 cases spike

OSCEOLA COUNTY — With the number of new positive COVID-19 cases increasing again, Central Michigan District Health Department (CMDHD) is encouraging residents to self-isolate and quarantine.

As of Monday, April 12, Osceola County has had 1,339 total cases of COVID-19 with 24 deaths since the pandemic began in March 2020, according to data from michigan.gov/coronavirus. On April 1, the county reported 1,238 total cases.

Furthermore, recent cases have reported many close contacts, making it difficult to quickly contact and give instructions to both positive cases and their close contacts. Many people also are contracting COVID-19 from no known source.

CMDHD has been working quickly, prioritizing the positive cases according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recommendations. However, staff are currently unable to reach every positive case within the first 24 hours of receiving results.

Thus, health officials are asking community members to help by following these steps:

IF YOU HAVE ANY COVID-19 SYMPTOMS

• Get tested.

• Do not go out, go to work or school while you are waiting for your results.

• Stay at home if you are feeling ill.

• For COVID-19 testing sites, please call 2-1-1.

IF YOU TEST POSITIVE:

• Stay home and isolate from everyone in your household. Isolation is 14 days (If you do not isolate from those you live with, it will extend their quarantine period).

• Please answer your phone or text when you are contacted by the health department. The call or text may be coming from our office or from a CMDHD staff cell phone number. You can also self-report your COVID-19 infection here.

• Make a list of close contacts starting from 48 hours before your symptoms started or when you had your test done if you did not have symptoms. Close contacts include: anyone within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more in a 24-hour period, even with a mask on; you provided care for in their home; you had direct physical contact with; you shared eating or drinking utensils; or got their respiratory droplets on you (sneezed or coughed on).

• Notify the close contacts you identified while you were contagious. They will need to self-quarantine for 14 days since the last day you were with them. If they develop symptoms, they should be tested. The quarantine period is 14 days — no exceptions.

IF NOTIFIED THAT YOU ARE A CLOSE CONTACT

You may be notified by a school, a childcare provider, an employer, a family member, a friend, the new COVID-19 Alert App, a contact tracer, or someone else working at the health department.

• Self-quarantine in your home for 14 days, no exceptions. Quarantine should begin the first full day after the last day you were with the positive case.

• Prevent anyone who does not reside in your household from entering the home.

• Answer the phone when the state or local health department calls. As a reminder, the local or state health department will never ask for your personal identification like Social Security Number, driver’s license, credit card number, or financial information.

• It is recommended that you get tested about five to seven days after you were exposed, especially if you develop symptoms of COVID-19.

• Wear a mask when you are tested and if you must go out for any emergency.

• If you get tested and the results are negative, you MUST still complete 14 days of self-quarantine before resuming normal activities. Close contacts cannot “test out” of quarantine.

• Consider downloading the MI COVID Alert app on your phone. This app will allow you to notify your close contacts if you are positive or notify you if you have been in close contact with someone who is positive.

Lastly, Central Michigan District Health Department encourages all individuals who live, work or attend school in Arenac, Clare, Gladwin, Isabella, Osceola and Roscommon counties to schedule a first dose COVID-19 vaccination appointment at cmdhd.org. If you need help in scheduling, please call 2-1-1 or ask a friend, family member or neighbor.

— Central Michigan District Health Department serves the counties of Arenac, Clare, Gladwin, Isabella, Osceola and Roscommon. For more information, visit cmdhd.org, LIKE Central Michigan District Health Department on Facebook or follow @CMiDHD on Twitter.