Leelanau News and Events

With An Average 50 New Cases Per Day, Benzie-Leelanau Health Department Shifts Away From Contact Tracing

Jan. 13, 2022

Due to case increases as the COVID-19 Omicron variant spreads in Michigan and locally, combined with waning public participation in contact tracing and case investigation, the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department (BLDHD) will begin shifting away from universal contact tracing and case investigations to focus on high priority community groups and those in congregate settings.

This shift away from direct case investigation and contact tracing via phone call comes after a significant increase in cases.

“With more than 10,000 new COVID-19 case referrals per day being reported across Michigan and averaging over 50 new cases per day in our two-county jurisdiction, and the Omicron variant surge expected to continue, individual level case investigation and contact tracing are no longer as effective tools with respect to controlling COVID-19 transmission on a population level,” said health officer Lisa Peacock of the BLDHD’s pandemic response.

“We will continue to monitor and provide outbreak investigation and infection prevention support for long term care facilities, shelters, schools and other congregate-like settings as well as public health awareness and education campaigns that tell people what their test results mean and how they can move forward in a way that limits spread of infection to their friends and families as well as monitor and provide outbreak investigation and infection prevention support for long-term care facilities, shelters, schools and other congregate-like settings,” Peacock added.

Health department officials remind residents of four key points amid case increases and the Omicron variant being detected within the jurisdiction:

• Stay home if sick and experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19

• Get tested if symptomatic or once 5 days have passed after an exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19. Testing locations in Benzie and Leelanau County can be found here. Stay home until results are received. If you used a home self-test and receive positive results, report your positive status to get resources and support from the health department.

• Wear a mask when out in public settings correctly and consistently, whether fully vaccinated or unvaccinated, as an extra layer of protection.  

• Get vaccinated and boosted. The safe and effective vaccinations are offered at a number of local pharmacies and at health department clinics. For vaccine clinics in Benzie and Leelanau counties, head here to self-schedule an appointment. Parents looking for pediatric COVID vaccination appointments are asked to call the health department at 231-882-4409 to schedule.


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