Any suicidal thought is a risk. Help is always available. HealthWest's 24/7 crisis line is (231) 722-HELP. Anyone with a mental health concern can also walk into our offices at 376 E. Apple Ave., during business hours for an assessment. If there is an immediate fear of death or injury, please call 911.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
(800) 273-TALK (8255)

Crisis Text Line:
Text Home to 741741

Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio
(888) 628-9454

LGBTQ Youth Hotline
(866) 488-7386

Suicide Hotline for Deaf & Hard of Hearing
(800) 799-4889

 

You helped keep Muskegon County healthy. But our work is not yet over

COVID-19 has taken a toll on our community.

 

We’ve lost dozens of our friends, family members, and neighbors, and our economy strained under the changes necessary to fight the disease.

 

But, unsurprisingly, Muskegon County is resilient.

 

Thanks to the efforts of our essential workers, our businesses, and, most importantly, every community member who took steps to prevent the spread of the virus, we’ve been able to limit the public health ramifications many other large counties around the state have experienced during the pandemic.

 

However, after a period of steady, low infection rates, we are starting to see the virus rear its ugly head here once again.

 

Infection rates are up. Hospital demand is increasing.

 

It’s clear: Muskegon County’s work is not yet complete.

 

As expected, we’ve seen the virus pop up in congregate living facilities, and employees become exposed through their place of work. We’ve also observed outbreak clusters linked to known places or social events, such as parties, weddings, and funerals.

 

But, more concerning, we’ve experienced a similar amount of infections associated with close contacts, such as family and friends.

 

The second-most common source of exposure we’ve witnessed is secondary cases within the household or instances where someone brings the virus into their home and infects other family members or roommates.

 

These trends are particularly concerning as our weather begins to turn colder and people head indoors. Things could be further complicated if people gather to celebrate holidays or social events such as football tailgates, Halloween parties or even Thanksgiving.

 

Our ability to limit in-person interactions and follow safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be critical in Muskegon County’s continued fight against COVID-19.

 

Residents are encouraged to limit in-person interactions to those that live in their household. If you must meet with others from outside your home, do so in large spaces with good airflow, with few people, and wear masks.

 

Quarantine if you are exposed to the virus. If you are infected or feeling sick, isolate yourself from other members of your household to prevent further spread.

 

Get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms or have had close contact with someone confirmed to have the virus. Muskegon County has several testing sites open to the public. You can find a testing location by calling 2-1-1 or visiting www.Michigan.gov/coronatestfinder.

 

We understand these sacrifices are not easy. But, for some, these choices could be the difference between life and death.

 

Your dedication to keeping our community safe has been remarkable. By working together, we know Muskegon County will come out of this pandemic stronger, healthier, and more united than ever before.

 

Sincerely,
Kathy Moore
Public Health Officer, Public Health – Muskegon County

 

Julia Rupp
Executive Director, HealthWest