MDHHS activates Community Health Emergency
Coordination Center in response to 2019 Novel Coronavirus
Local health departments coordinating with state to proactively protect public health
LANSING, Mich. – As cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) continue to increase in the United States and internationally, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) activated the Community Health Emergency Coordination Center (CHECC) today to support local and state response to the outbreak.
“We at MDHHS recognize the potential threat associated with this virus and are working to identify any suspect cases in Michigan along with our local health partners,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “To help coordinate Michigan’s response to 2019 Novel Coronavirus, we are opening the Community Health Emergency Coordination Center to assist the multiple public health jurisdictions involved in the response and prevention of coronavirus here in our state.”
The CHECC will develop and distribute guidelines and educational materials concerning 2019-nCoV to public health agencies and healthcare providers as needed. This includes coordination with local health departments, including Detroit and Wayne County Health Departments especially as Detroit Metropolitan Airport has become a 2019-nCoV screening location.
To date, there are no confirmed cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus in Michigan. MDHHS has issued statewide messages through the Health Alert Network encouraging healthcare providers across Michigan to assess patients for exposures associated with the risk of 2019-nCoV infection, including travel to China or close contact with a confirmed case, and for symptoms consistent with 2019-nCoV infection. This includes coughing, shortness of breath and fever.
The first U.S. case-patient was identified on Jan. 21, and had recently traveled from Wuhan, China. Since that time, additional cases have been confirmed in the United States among persons who traveled from Wuhan, and two close contacts of confirmed cases. Globally, reported illnesses in people with 2019-nCoV have ranged from mild to severe, including death.
Last week, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar declared the coronavirus a public health emergency in the United States. In response to the evolving threat of the novel coronavirus, and to minimize the risk of the virus spreading, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has begun enforcing restrictions for all passenger flights to the United States carrying individuals who recently traveled from the People’s Republic of China. Any U.S. citizen who has been to China in the last two weeks will be diverted to one of 11 airports, including Detroit Metropolitan Airport, to be checked and potentially quarantined for an additional 14 days.
According to DHS, as of Sunday, Feb. 2, U.S. citizens who have been in Hubei province within 14 days of their return will be subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine to ensure they are provided proper medical care and health screening. U.S. citizens who have been in other areas of mainland China within 14 days of their return will undergo proactive entry health screening and up to 14 days of self-quarantine with health monitoring to ensure they have not contracted the virus and do not pose a public health risk.
Generally, foreign nationals (other than immediate family of U.S. citizens, permanent residents and flight crew) who have traveled in China within 14 days of their arrival, will be denied entry into the United States.