Jackson County COVID-19 Response Efforts

According to the Jackson County Health Department, the COVID-19 outbreak is beginning to take a turn for the better. Efforts continue to be increased across the board in the public health, medical and emergency response communities to keep this progress moving forward. Jackson County thanks all of its residents, business owners and responders for the sacrifices they have made in their lives that have helped drive down the “curve”.

Positive cases of Covid-19 are investigated on a daily basis and other close contacts of the individuals testing positive are identified and provided instruction for quarantining and breaking the cycle of disease spread. Jackson’s medical care community from local providers, congregate care homes, home health agencies on up to the local hospital and EMS agencies have all ensured that those in need of care get care.

The Jackson COVID-19 Action Network, also known as JCAN, is bringing together local government, organizations and businesses to help. JCAN is working to make sure Jackson County residents have access to food, shelter, information and other basic needs during this crisis.

Families in need are directed to call the 211 helpline so they can be put on a list for assistance from JCAN. Those wishing to volunteer with the JCAN effort are also asked to call 211. JCAN’s efforts are supported by the COVID-19 Response Fund created by the United Way of Jackson County and the Jackson Community Foundation. As of April 16, a total of 48,559 items have been distributed. Donations are being accepted through the United Way’s website, and have come from local businesses, organizations, and residents. Currently, no government funds are secured to fund these operations and they are all supported through the donation fund.

Jackson County currently has four drive-through testing centers through Henry Ford Allegiance Health and the Center for Family Health that have increased capacity and offer testing based on pre-screening. Individuals can call the Henry Ford My Care Line at 313- 874-1055 or Center for Family Health at 517-748-5363 to obtain testing information and locations.

In addition, we are seeing greater numbers of recovered patients who may be taking part in a Henry Ford Health System study to help with finding a cure and or a vaccine to fight this deadly illness. Both medical facilities have developed capacity and procedures for First Responders and other essential critical infrastructure workers to be tested quickly when needed so they can get back on the job of protecting and serving our residents.

The Michigan Association of Local Public Health (MALPH), an association of local public health officers, have provided the Governor’s Office a consensus document regarding key strategies needed for reopening Michigan for business. The document identified nine items as necessary to be in place for a highly successful Michigan reopening to occur. The list of recommended actions ensures

1. collaboration is occurring at all levels of government, 2. testing, surveillance and case investigation is available across all local communities, 3. businesses and worksites are practicing safe measures to protect their employees and patrons, and 4. ensuring everyone is able to receive services regardless of gender, race or socioeconomic status:

The recommended guidance list submitted is as follows:

Coordinated State & Local Strategies

  1. Local public health to review and respond to new guidance and orders
  2. Clear and consistent guidance and orders across Michigan
  3. Gradual reopening process that prioritizes openings based on low risk to public health
  4. Workplace controls to maintain public health Shoring Up Local Testing, Tracing, and Surveillance Infrastructure
  5. Testing available for every resident in every community
  6. Real-time surveillance to measure COVID-19 in every county
  7. Flexible and funded case investigation and contact tracing improvements Pandemic Resilience & Recovery in Communities
  8. Serving populations experiencing disparities and extreme hardship
  9. Empowering Michiganders to take action to protect health

The Jackson County Health Department encourages employers in the community to do their part in protecting workers through social distancing, the use of cloth face masks, use of gloves, and proper hygiene through frequent handwashing with soap and water or antiseptic dispensers placed strategically throughout their facilities, as outlined in the current Executive Orders.

Everyone can do their part in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our community by practicing the following:

  • Frequent handwashing with soap and water for 20 seconds or use of a hand sanitizer containing 60% alcohol.
  • Covering your mouth when you cough with disposable tissue or elbow.
  • Avoid large crowds and groups of people. Best practice is to just stay home.
  • Practice social distancing – allowing at least six feet between you and others around you
  • Wear a cloth mask that covers your mouth and nose when you are in public
  • Don’t touch your face with your hands, especially around the mouth and nose area.
  • Stay home if you are sick such as a fever, coughing, headaches, runny nose, diarrhea, chills, muscle aches or sore throat.