Change in quarantine causes confusion

On April 5, 2021 the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced a change in quarantine guidance from as few as 10 days to 14 days for those exposed to COVID-19 in the State of Michigan.

The quarantine change was recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in response to the dramatic increase in cases and variant spread of the COVID-19 virus.

This change has been especially confusing for some Michiganders who were recently contacted by Traceforce, the contact tracing platform used by many health departments, including Mid-Michigan District Health Department. Traceforce did not update its system to the new 14-day quarantine until April 15, 2021. As a result, Traceforce inadvertently sent out letters to numerous close contacts informing them that they need to quarantine for 10 days, when they actually need to quarantine for 14 days. If you were identified as a close contact on or after April 5, you do need to quarantine for 14 days, even if you received a letter from Traceforce stating otherwise.

Schools and businesses located in Clinton, Gratiot, and Montcalm Counties are reminded to follow the new quarantine guidance.

Mid-Michigan District Health Department would also like to remind the community that proof of antibodies or a negative COVID-19 test result during quarantine will not reduce or end quarantine. The only close contacts excluded from quarantine are those who have been infected with COVID-19 within the last 90 days or are fully vaccinated for two or more weeks prior to exposure. The health department would also like to point out that the length of quarantine and release from quarantine is determined by public health, not ones’ healthcare provider.

For more info on quarantine and isolation, visit the Mid-Michigan District Health Department’s website at: https://www.mmdhd.org/covid-testing/.


Health department pauses use of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have agreed to pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine following several reports of adverse events. This recommendation is supported by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

Safety of the COVID-19 vaccine is a top priority for the Mid-Michigan District Health Department (MMDHD). While the adverse events associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine appear to be extremely rare, MMDHD is following the recommendation of the FDA and CDC to pause use of the vaccine until more is known.

All MMDHD clinics using the Johnson and Johnson vaccine have been put on hold. If the Johnson & Johnson clinics are cancelled, those with appointments will be notified in advance.

“I would like to reassure the public that MMDHD is not dependent on the Johnson & Johnson product to achieve our vaccination goals,” said Health Officer Marcus Cheatham. “If the Johnson & Johnson vaccine remains unavailable, we will continue to vaccinate using Moderna, which is not impacted by the Johnson & Johnson pause. Those wishing to get the Moderna vaccine can visit the website www.mmdhd.org/covid-vaccine-information/ to schedule an appointment.

To date more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been safely administered in the U.S. The recommendation to pause comes after six reported cases in the U.S. of a rare type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices was scheduled to meet Wednesday, April 14 to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. The FDA will then review the Advisory Committee’s analysis as it continues to investigate these cases. Mid-Michigan District Health Department will pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine out of an abundance of caution until the findings of the investigation have been released.

Less than one in every million Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients have reported the rare blood clot, but those who have been vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the last three weeks should be aware of the issue and watch for symptoms like a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath. If these symptoms develop, they should contact their health care provider.

Mid-Michigan District Health Department serves the residents of Clinton, Gratiot, and Montcalm Counties.


Clinton Transit now offering Saturday bus service

In response to the increased need for access to COVID-19 vaccination appointments, Clinton Transit, a rural public transportation system serving Clinton County, is expanding service to Saturdays.

Starting April 17, the Blue Bus will now be available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every Saturday for Clinton County passengers. This is in addition to their already established service hours of Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. As these additional service hours are rolled out, community members will need to schedule Saturday rides by 6 p.m. the Friday before. All rides continue to be fare-free.

“Public transit works best when it meets the need of the community and are responsive to that need,” says MaLissa Schutt, Executive Director of Clinton Transit. “We recognize that more and more people need help in getting to their COVID-19 vaccination appointments. We hope by expanding out service to Saturdays it gives riders the access they need.”

Transportation requests to vaccination appointments are not limited to service days and times or within Clinton County. Riders simply need to disclose at the time they are scheduling their ride that the ride is for their vaccination appointment. No further proof of appointment is necessary.

In addition to vaccination appointments, riders will now be able to use public transportation on Saturdays for all essential needs, to patronize local businesses, and more. Office hours will remain Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“We know how important public transit is to keep people connected in all different areas of their life,” says Schutt. “Our riders rely on us to take them other places like visiting a family member, their job, and to pick-up groceries or a prescription. People want to be out in their community. Life doesn’t stop happening on Fridays.”

Clinton Transit is a public transit system that keeps people connected throughout Clinton County. Fondly known as the Blue Bus, Clinton Transit’s demand response system responds to ride requests and provides safe, reliable transportation for all county residents. Learn more at clintontransit.com.


Free Food Backpacks still available

Compassion in Action, along with Gracepointe Wesleyan Church, is providing free non-perishable food for families in need.

There are No eligibility or sign up requirements.

If you are in need of supplemental food, please see the details below:

– What: Free non-perishable food for students (and their families) in grades K-12.

– When: Two Wednesdays a month from 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Listed below are the remaining distribution dates
Wednesday, April 21
Wednesday, May 5
Wednesday, May 19

– Where: Gracepointe Wesleyan Church in St. Johns (located in the South pointe Mall by Jade Garden)

– Who: Parent, student or family member can pick up food. (You can also pick up food for others not able to be there in person.)

– How:
Drive up to the church (curbside) between 5:30-7:00 on dates listed above
Tell us how many students are in the family
Receive food backpacks in your trunk!

For more information contact compassioninaction20 16@gmail.com.


Take a Stand Against Sexual Violence on April 22

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the United States. Sexual Assault includes any type of unwanted sexual contact, ranging from sexist attitudes and actions to rape and murder. Forms of sexual violence include rape or sexual assault, child sexual assault and incest, sexual assault by an intimate partner, unwanted sexual contact/touching, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation and trafficking, nonconsensual image sharing, among others.

According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), an American is sexually assaulted every 73 seconds, and every 9 minutes, that victim is a child. Meanwhile, only 5 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison. In addition to this, 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime, and 3% (1 in 33) of American men have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. 9 out of every 10 victims of rape are female, and the majority (55%) of sexual assaults occur at or near the victim’s home.

SafeCenter Domestic and Sexual Violence Services of Clinton and Shiawassee Counties is the area’s designated agency for providing advocacy, counseling, awareness, and education to adult and child survivors, and the greater community. SafeCenter staff are on the frontlines, offering 24-hour emotional support via the crisis hotline, providing emergency shelter to those actively fleeing dangerous situations, responding to the hospital for domestic and sexual violence emergencies, as well as providing ongoing advocacy and counseling sessions to adults and children.

SafeCenter needs your support on Thursday, April 22, 2021 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. to continue providing these essential services to adult and child survivors. SafeCenter will be hosting their first ever virtual fundraising event on their Facebook page facebook.com/thesafecenter.org.

All are welcome to attend. Donations will be accepted online via their website www.thesafecenter.org, in-person at the Owosso and St. Johns Office, and/or by mail: PO Box 277, Owosso, MI 48867 before, during, and after the event.

By attending this event and giving to SafeCenter, you partner in the mission to Empower, Advocate, Educate, and Prevent and provide essential services to adults and children who are in dangerous and potentially lethal situations. Your contribution also provides SafeCenter with the ability to partner with other community organizations across the area and hold those who seek to do harm to others accountable for their actions. We can’t do this work alone. Take a stand against Sexual Violence this April, support SafeCenter, and help make our community a safer place to live, work, and play for all.


Relay for Life schedules events

Relay for Life of Clinton County is looking for donations of items for their silent auction.

The event will be held on May 2, 2021 from 10 a.m. through noon. It will be hosted online through the ACS platform, Greater Giving. There will be no fees, no item limit.

When you register you can put your cc information in so it charges it automatically any winning bids. No muss, no fuss!

Please end picture, detailed description, and value to Nikki, nlmyers14@outlook.com or Mariene sguirly627@live.com by April 27. Email any auction questions to Nikki or Marlene.

Upcoming events for the 2021 Relay for Life event include:

– Scavenger Hunt: May 7-9, 2021
– Drive Thru Luminaria: May 7. 8-10 p.m. St Johns Downtown Depot


Legion holding Swiss Steak fundraiser dinner April 24

On Saturday, April 24, 2021 American Legion Post 153, 110 E. Walker St. in St. Johns will host a Swiss Steak dinner from 4:30 – 7:00 p.m. or until is gone.

The menu includes Swiss Steak, au gratin potatoes, vegetable, salad, roll, and dessert for $10.00 (dine in or take out). A beverage is not included.

Open to the public; you do not need to be a Legion Family member to attend the dinner.

A 50/50 raffle drawing is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Proceeds from beverages benefit the Lounge. Proceeds from the meal benefit the ALA 8th District Leadership Development Fund.

Masks are required for entry; social distancing practices will be in place.