As Covid spikes continue and are spurred on by the Omicron variant, more and more businesses across the nation, and in West Michigan, are being impacted.

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But unfortunately in Kent County, the guidance isn't too clear on when workers can safely come back after a bout with Covid.

Kent County Health Department
Kent County Health Department
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When can workers go back to work after Covid in Kent County?

As the health department headquartered in Michigan's second-largest metro area, the Kent County health department oversees guidance for the county's nearly 700,000 residents and those who work in the county as well.

Currently, if you work or live in Kent County the guidance on the website tells you that you must isolate for ten days following a positive test or the onset of symptoms, whichever comes first.

But, that information is dated April 30th of last year.

Screencap/Kent County Health Department
Screencap/Kent County Health Department
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What are the CDC guidelines for returning to work in Michigan?

You may have heard that the CDC recently updated its guidelines to allow workers back on the job after 5 days if masked and if they exhibit 'no symptoms or if you are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and your symptoms are improving.'

CDC.gov
CDC.gov
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Has Kent County updated the Covid Calculator?

As of this posting, the Covid calculator is unavailable for use. It would likely seem to be updating to the new guidelines, but that's really not clear on the website.

Screencap/Kent County Health Department
Screencap/Kent County Health Department
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Is Kent County recognizing the new Covid CDC Guidelines for Return To Work?

It does seem that Kent County is recognizing the new guidelines as they have a link to the new CDC guidance on their website, even if it's not explicitly stated.

We reached out to the Kent County Health Department (ironically enough, their response came as the author of this piece was in Covid isolation) and got this response from Jennifer Zapasnik, Kent County's Covid Contact Tracer:

The CDC and KCHD have updated their guidance to a 5 day isolation, regardless of vaccination status, as long as the positive employee is not symptomatic or symptoms are resolving.  Some employers are adopting this and some aren't.  It's up to the employer on how they prefer to handle/advise the employee.
Kent County Health Department
Kent County Health Department
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Why is this important, don't the CDC guidelines 'overrule' any other local rules?

Not necessarily, most government agencies have rightly left the final decision-making to units of local government, which is great for being proactive at a local level but can obviously cause confusion when guidelines aren't updated clearly on the local level.
So yes, for now, Kent County is recognizing the Back to Work Covid Guidelines from the CDC, even if that info isn't easy to find.

Michigan Offering Free at-Home COVID-19 Tests at Public Libraries

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is offering Michigan residents free at-home COVID-19 tests which are available at various public libraries throughout the state.

We'll update the list as more libraries have test kits available.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.

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When I recently tested positive for Covid-19 I started to think "what if something happened and I didn't make it?" These are just some of the things that ran through my mind.

 

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