CHIPPEWA COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
CHIPPEWA County, Michigan – As of April 22, 2020, Chippewa County has 1* positive and 1 probable COVID-19 case, zero deaths and 126* tests conducted. Beginning on April 27, Chippewa County Health Department (CCHD) will provide updated statistics on each Tuesday and Friday at chippewahd.com and on Facebook @chippewacountyhealth. (*Case counts may differ if a case gets reassigned to another jurisdiction. Test numbers
may differ as more commercial labs are utilized and only positive tests are reported to the Health Department.)
Confirmed cases are those individuals with a lab-confirmed positive. Probable cases refer to individuals who had close, sustained contact with a lab-confirmed positive individual and then begin showing two or more COVID-19 symptoms.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has recently expanded testing eligibility to include residents of long-term nursing facilities and essential workers who are not displaying symptoms. Although MDHHS is allowing for additional tests, two important items remain: a person must receive authorization by a health care provider to receive a test, and adequate testing supplies must be available. Results may take up to six days to receive and during that time, the individual will be
instructed to self-isolate until the results are received. Self-isolation is extremely important, as it will help decrease the chance of spreading COVID-19 in the event that the results are positive. Self-isolation means that a person remains in their home, away from the general public and apart from other family members as much as possible.
Individuals who test positive will be contacted by a Chippewa County Health Department (CCHD) staff person, required to remain in self-isolation at home, and be monitored through daily phone calls with our staff. If you have a positive COVID-19 test, it is important to be specific when reporting your whereabouts and people with whom you had close contact. This detail will help CCHD staff trace and contact those individuals so they can also be monitored. Anyone who has been in close contact with a person who
has a positive COVID-19 test will also receive a phone call from CCHD staff and may be instructed to self-isolate.
Additionally, we have received many questions on why public health does not share more information on cases such as: where a positive case resides within the county, places the individual has been, and why other health departments provide this information. While Chippewa County covers a large geographic area, it has very close-knit, sparsely-populated communities where even minor pieces of information, such as where an individual works or lives (even by zip code) can comprise privacy. However, as case counts increase and patient privacy can be assured, CCHD will strongly consider publishing any relevant data to keep the public informed. Thankfully, at this time, Chippewa County does not have nearly the number of cases as seen in SE Michigan and other parts of the country.
It is important to remember that viruses do not discriminate based on location. Everyone should treat their immediate surrounding as if the virus is present. Treat every person as though they are infected because the virus can go undetected in many people. People of any age, even those who do not have any symptoms, can spread COVID-19.
CCHD strongly urges our community to continue following “Stay Home, Stay Safe” orders, social distancing guidelines, wearing face coverings in public, and remaining at home as much as possible. Now is not the time to browse at grocery stores or congregate in neighborhoods or parks–no matter your age.
We are well-positioned in Chippewa County to get through this together IF we all adhere to the community mitigation guidelines. Thank you, everyone, for staying home and staying safe!
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