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Residents are Asked to Take Personal Action if They Test Positive for COVID-19

Wednesday November 11, 2020

And to take personal action after contact with a person who tests positive.

The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency (BHSJCHA) announces that, effective this week, procedures for case investigations have changed. Widespread community transmission has placed tremendous strain on public health capacity throughout Michigan and locally, with more cases than there is capacity to handle. As a result of the large number of new positive cases, local health department staff may not contact every positive case.

Because of the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, there have been delays in the amount of time it takes to contact all persons who test positive for the virus and some residents haven’t received a call. There are also residents in quarantine who have been in close contact to someone who has COVID-19 who haven’t been contacted. Residents in Branch, Hillsdale, and St. Joseph counties are requested to take personal action if they test positive or are a close contact to a positive case by not waiting for Your Local Health Department to call. “If we all work together and follow the guidelines for COVID-19, we can bend the curve and reduce the number of cases and deaths in our 3-county area,” states Rebecca Burns, Health Officer.

To maximize staffing resources and prevent outbreaks amongst vulnerable individuals, BHSJCHA has begun prioritizing case investigation to notify those who are:

All other individuals who test positive will be contacted as capacity allows.

If someone is awaiting test results, they must stay home until the results are in. If their test is negative and they are in quarantine, they must finish the 14-day quarantine. For residents that test positive; isolate yourself from others. To isolate, stay in a separate room from other members of your household and use a separate bathroom if at all possible. Individuals who test positive are contagious for 48 hours prior to the onset of their symptoms and through the end of their isolation. Then notify your close contacts (people who have been within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period with or without a face covering) that they may have been exposed to you while you were contagious; encourage them to quarantine for 14 days since last exposure and consider getting tested. Contact your employer to let them know you tested positive so that they can perform contact tracing.

Resources to assist residents with COVID-19 questions and needs during isolation and quarantine have been provided in the COVID-19 Tool Kit on this website.
View COVID-19 Tool Kit

With the holiday season coming, BHSJCHA strongly encourages residents to help reduce the risk of community transmission by