Chippewa County Health Department COVID-19 Advisory

CHIPPEWA COUNTY, Mich., Aug. 24, 2021 – Local transmission of COVID-19 is at “high” level as defined in the CDC COVID Data Tracker. Chippewa County Health Department strongly recommends masking for everyone in indoor, public spaces. Anyone eligible but not yet vaccinated against COVID should do so as soon as possible. Vaccination is safe, effective, free, and available at multiple community locations.

Local COVID cases have increased steadily in recent weeks. Chippewa County increased 55 cases since August 16, 2021; test positivity has increased to 5.9%. Increases in hospitalizations or deaths may lag weeks behind increases in cases; however, hospitalizations or deaths have been rare among vaccinated individuals since vaccination became widely available.

Health Department recommendations should be taken seriously during a pandemic and without the need for additional state or local orders. Data and public health practice support the use of vaccination, masks, and additional prevention measures like physical distance, frequent hand cleaning, and appropriate isolation or quarantine if exposed.

COVID Vaccination
Vaccines are available from the Health Department, at pharmacies and other health care providers. To locate a vaccine clinic near you go to: vaccines.gov. The Chippewa County Health Department currently holds vaccination clinics each Tuesday and Wednesday; appointments can be made online at www.chippewahd.com or by calling 906-635-3640.
Everyone 12 years and older is eligible for vaccination. The Health Department has Pfizer, Moderna, and one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines available.

Updated Mask Guidance
The CDC has recommended masking for everyone, vaccinated or unvaccinated, in areas with high or substantial COVID transmission.

Increased transmission is likely because of the Delta variant now circulating. National data show the Delta variant is different and much more contagious. Because no vaccine is 100% effective, some vaccinated people can become infected and may transmit the virus to others. However, the vast majority of hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among unvaccinated individuals, locally and elsewhere.

Delta is causing more cases in children, with resulting rising hospitalization and complications such as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, and children under 12 are not yet eligible for vaccination. Some people are not able to mount a robust immune response to the vaccines because of immunocompromising conditions. To protect those and other more vulnerable members of the community, and to prevent further closures, economic damage and students missing school, our goal is stop the spread of the virus. A multilayered approach is recommended, including vaccination,
masking, ventilation, social distancing, testing, tracing and isolation when indicated.

Virtually all hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among unvaccinated individuals, locally and elsewhere. The vaccine’s first job is to prevent serious illness or death. Some cases occur among fully vaccinated individuals, which is expected. Cases in vaccinated individuals tend to be mild. The Health Department continues to monitor hospitalizations by vaccination status.

Vaccination Coverage
Within Chippewa County, 51.1% of all residents are fully vaccinated and of that number, 29% between the ages of 12-19 are fully vaccinated.

Local COVID information and updates are always available at www.chippewahd.com.

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This story was prepared by the staff at EUP News or contributed from an outside source.

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