On Tuesday, March 12, 2020 Governor Gretchen Whitmer informed us that there had been two confirmed cases of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, in Oakland County.
With that information, Governor Whitmer has declared a state of emergency to direct all state agencies in cooperation with local health departments, health systems, and medical providers to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
While you will undoubtably hear information in the news and other places, it is important that we remain calm, avoid large gatherings if possible, and take preventative measures, like washing our hands, cleaning and disinfecting frequently used surfaces, to ensure that we are staying safe and healthy.
In this newsletter, you’ll find links to resources and information to help you and I have included some frequently asked questions and best practices below.
- If you develop a cold, cough or flu like symptoms, STAY AT HOME. Call your health care provider in advance of your visit.
- What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.
- They include:
- Shortness of Breath
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death.
- How can I protect myself from getting COVID-19?
If you are traveling overseas follow the CDC’s guidance at CDC.gov/Travel.
There are steps you can take to prevent spread of flu and the common cold that will also help prevent COVID-19, including:
- Wash your hands with soap and water
- 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.
- Stay home if you are sick and contact your healthcare provider.
Right now, there are no additional precautions recommended for the general public in the United States.
- Can my healthcare provider test for COVID-19?
Healthcare providers collect the specimen to be tested should an individual meet the testing criteria. The CDC has tested samples from Michigan (all were negative).
As of Feb. 27, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Bureau of Laboratories can also perform the test.
- Be sure to maintain a supply of medications, food, and other essentials in your house.
- Avoid large gatherings, conferences and sporting events (e.g. events with over 100 people).
- Avoid in-person gatherings and activities, especially for organizations with individuals at risk of severe illness.
- Consider tele-learning or tele-work opportunities, where feasible.
- Limit non-essential work travel.
- If you care for a loved one living in a care facility, monitor the situation, ask about the health of the other residents frequently, and know the protocol if there is an outbreak.
- Limit visitors at hospitals and other facilities to only those who are absolutely necessary and implement screening of visitors for temperature and respiratory symptoms.
To receive continual updates from the MI Dept. of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), click here.
MDHHS has set up a site with all of the information and resources I have provided.
You can also find resources for Yourself, Employers and Employees, Childcare Providers and School Administrators, and Health Professionals about COVID-19, and mitigating the spread of the virus, along with other helpful information.
State Representative Donna Lasinski
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services: Michigan.gov/Coronavirus
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
* The Michigan House of Representatives is responsible only for content submitted with House resources and in accordance with the law and House policy. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.