Washtenaw County Puts Out COVID Test Challenge, Detects Rare Case Of Hantavirus

Jun 8, 2021

Say Yes! COVID Test Challenge
Credit Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Washtenaw County continues making progress in the fight against the coronavirus. Vaccine sites are still available, and a new COVID-19 test challenge has been initiated. At the same time, a rare case of the Sin Nombre hantavirus has been detected in the county. WEMU's David Fair gets further details on these developments from Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Ringler-Cerniglia.

COVID VACCINE UPDATES:

Continue to provide vaccination & focus on making it as easy to get as possible

  • The EMU Convocation Center running half days Wed & Sat through the end of June (except Sat 6/19).
  • Walk-in without an appointment at the Health Dept Tues through Fri from 9-11:30am & 1-3:30pm.
    • Any of the three vaccines.
    • Spanish interpreter today 6/8 (phone translation for other languages).
  • Community pop-up vaccination clinics this week listed at washtenaw.org/covid19vaccine
  • Taking the clinic RV out to community sites, posted on our COVID-19 vaccine page
    • You can help name our new mobile clinic. Form on our website. We’ll be giving away some tee shirts/prizes to randomly selected entries.
  • This week: First United Methodist, downtown Ypsilanti, multiple schools across county and the Pull Over Prevention Clinic.
  • Last round of schools clinics – if you get the first dose in the series you’ll have to come to the health dept for the 2nd dose.
  • Home visits continue where needed.

HOME TESTING INITIATIVE: "SAY YES COVID CHALLENGE"

  • Provides home test kits (free, rapid) to Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti residents with goal of preventing/reducing spread of COVID-19.
  • Unvaccinated individuals 8 years + to test 2x per week for a month. Pick those individuals in the household with the highest risk (2-3 per house).
  • Cooperative effort with National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, test manufacturer Quidel & CareEvolution.
  • Individuals can order kits online at covidTestAAYpsi.org or pick up during vaccination hours at the Health Dept.
    • Test kits will also be available for pick up at Health Dept vaccination clinics in AA & Ypsilanti
  • Option to participate in research study.
  • Frequent, rapid testing can help identify cases early and prevent addition spread.

NON-COVID NEWS: HANTAVIRUS

First human case detected in Michigan

  • Rare but severe: Sin Nombre hantavirus (causes Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome or HPS).
  • Transmitted through infected rodents (mice).
  • Exposure to urine, droppings or bites. Mostly likely exposure is through inhaling contaminated particles while clean or working in an infested area.
  • Not transmitted person to person.
  • More at washtenaw.org/mice.

Prevention

  • Keep rodents out of your home.
  • If you find them (or evidence of them) – clean carefully.
  • Ventilate area first.
  • Disinfect before cleaning (i.e. wet droppings and nesting materials with disinfection to avoid airborne dust/particles).

No-risk encounters

  • Seeing rodents outside.
  • Pets (dogs/cats) do not carry or transmit hantavirus. If your pet brings in a rodent, follow cleaning instructions (i.e. plastic bag/gloves; disinfect.

RESOURCES:

Washtenaw County Health Department

Washtenaw County Health Department COVID-19 Site

Breakdown of Washtenaw County COVID-19 Cases

CDC COVID-19 Information

CDC COVID-19 Variant Information

Washtenaw County Health COVID-19 Testing Information

Washtenaw County COVID-19 Vaccination Info

CDC Post-Vaccination Guidelines

Michigan Workplace COVID Safety Guidelines

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu