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

Washtenaw County

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.


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.


  • 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.


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.


  • 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.


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

Contact David: dfair@emich.edu
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