As students, staff, and faculty gather with friends and family to celebrate the holidays and take a much-deserved break, it is important to protect those individuals around us. Stay away from others if you are sick, wash your hands, stay physically active, get enough sleep, and enjoy healthy foods (along with some of those holiday indulgences!).
The KIP December Health Brief provides a snapshot of COVID-19 trends, notion of the “tripledemic” this winter, health and well-being tips, vaccine and booster guidance, and resources.
The current COVID-19 community transmission level for Houghton County is low (note this does not include results from rapid at-home tests). This is good news as hospitalizations right now are also low. However, the combination of respiratory illnesses including COVID-19, flu, and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) are on the rise across the country which is leading to an increase in medical visits and hospitalizations. The threat of a possible “tripledemic” is a current concern of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Accordingly, it is important that we continue to do our part by following the recommended public health guidelines. If you are sick, get tested as soon as possible. Finding out what you have will provide you with the best options for treatment and will provide crucial information to those around you so they can protect themselves too. As you travel over the winter break be sure to check community transmission levels at your destination as well.
Also, some helpful resources for information on where and when to get COVID-19 booster and flu shots are Vaccines.gov and this CDC website, which will calculate when an individual is due for a booster. The U.S. Federal Government is also offering free COVID-19 tests by mail, and most pharmacies can help you use your health insurance benefits to reduce the price of tests.
Our public health messaging would not be complete without including physical activity promotion as a key mitigation component. As an effort to help keep everyone active over the winter break, the UP and Moving team will be delivering live workouts on Thursdays at 9:30am (12/22, 1/5) and Saturdays at 10:00am ET (12/24, 1/7). All ages and abilities are welcome, no specialized equipment needed, and join us through Zoom or Facebook live.
Here are some additional resources
- Influenza activity: FluView (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- COVID-19 activity (at-home tests are not included): COVID data tracker weekly review (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Wastewater surveillance for COVID-19 in selected areas in Michigan: Sentinel Wastewater Epidemiology Evaluation Project (Michigan Dept. Health Human Services)
- RSV activity: RSV Surveillance Systems (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)