Cases in Kent County are increasing rapidly. We must act now to reduce the spread of this virus. Here are some things that you can do to keep yourself safe and to help stop the spread of COVID-19:
- Wear a face mask any time you are outside your home (over your mouth AND nose!)
- Physically distance yourself at least 6 feet from other persons outside your home
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Try to avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Disinfect “high touch” areas in your home and car regularly with a disinfectant wipe or cleaning solution
- Get plenty of rest, eat well, and generally take care of yourself!!
- Avoid gatherings with people outside of your immediate household members, especially indoors and especially with large groups. Wear a mask if you do need to attend.
COVID-19 testing is widely available and anyone who wants a test can have a test. Unfortunately, with the rapid increase in cases, you may have to wait in line to be tested. Plan ahead. Time to get results varies, but is generally 24-72 hours.
How to find a testing site:
- During regular business hours, you can contact our office for an order to be tested through Saint Mary’s or Spectrum Health by appointment.
- Mercy Health: now by appointment only
- You can schedule yourself a test at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s through their COVID-19 website: www.mercyhealth.com/COVID-19
- Scroll down the web page until you see “I have symptoms of COVID-19 and want a test” or “I want a COVID-19 test but I have no symptoms” and click the appropriate “choose location” box.
- Spectrum Health: currently testing only those with symptoms due to large volumes
- You can also schedule yourself a test at Spectrum Health through their COVID-19 screeners by using the Spectrum Health MyChart app. See www.spectrumhealth.org/COVID-19 for more information.
- Listing of all testing sites in the greater Grand Rapids area, including hospitals, pharmacies, urgent care, and other sites
- www.michigan.gov/cornavirus Click on “find a test site”
- Listing of all testing sites in the state, including hospitals, pharmacies, urgent care, and other testing sites
**this information is rapidly evolving. You may have heard about recent changes to quarantine recommendations in the media. At this time, given the current extremely high prevalence of COVID-19 in West Michigan, we recommend continuing with the guidelines below until the Kent County Health Department further clarifies what the safest course of action is for our community. (Update 12/4/2020)
Persons who have had direct (“first degree”) exposure to a person positive for COVID19 should quarantine for 14 days after the last known exposure.
- The incubation period for COVID19 is anywhere between 2 and 14 days. This means symptoms could show up anywhere between 2 and 14 days from when you are exposed.
- While we do highly recommend testing for exposed persons, you need to be careful to not get tested too early and get a “false negative”.
- Please wait at least 5 - 7 days after the exposure to get tested for COVID19.
- If you do start getting symptoms at any point during the quarantine period, get testing immediately. There is no need to wait further.
- Remember that even with a negative test, you are not “safe” and need to quarantine until the 14 days has passed.
- For more information please feel free to call our office, or see the following websites:
If you are sick and suspect you may have COVID19 it is very important to get tested. Please call our office and talk to our nurses regarding your symptoms.
We do offer Telehealth appointments so you do not need to leave your home to be seen.
If you are very short of breath or have other life-threatening symptoms please call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Department. COVID19 can get worse rapidly, so don’t wait to seek care.
- Persons sick with COVID19 or suspected COVID19 need to self-isolate in their
- 10 days since onset of symptoms AND
- at least 24 hours with no fever (without medication) AND
- improvement in other symptoms (such as cough, congestion, shortness of breath)
- Note that loss of taste/smell can linger for weeks, you do not need to continue to isolate for these symptoms as long as the other criteria are met
- What does self-isolation mean?
- Stay in a separate room in your home from other family members. Sleep in a separate bedroom and use a different bathroom, if possible ◦ If you must be around other members of your household, wear a face mask at all times
- Avoid direct contact with pets, if possible
- Do not share items such as eating utensils, drinking glasses, or towels
- Disinfect commonly touched surfaces (such as doorknobs) frequently
- Wash your hands frequently, especially after coughing/sneezing or touching your face
COVID-19 has proven to be a different experience for everyone, but common symptoms include:
- Fever (>100.4) or chills
- Body aches, headache
- Sore throat, congestion, runny nose
- Loss or change in sense of taste or smell
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
If you don’t have any symptoms but tested positive, you must self-isolate for 10 days from your positive test. Just because you don’t have symptoms does NOT mean you can’t spread the virus.
- Kent County Health Dept
- State Of Michigan
- Spectrum Health
- Mercy Health Saint Marys
- Metro Health Grand Rapids
Information provided by the Michgian Dept of Health and Human Services COVID19 Response Team regarding additional resources:
- If you are feeling anxious or looking for mental health and wellness resources, visit www.Michigan.gov/StayWell for hotlines, texting resources, and mindfulness tools.
- To find resources in your community and sign up for assistance programs, go to www.Michigan.gov/MIBridges.
- For additional help locating food, housing, childcare, and other community services, call 2-1-1 at (844) 587-2485 or visit www.mi211.org.
- You can also call the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 public hotline at 888-535-6136. The hotline is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.