Health Dept Hosts virtual town hall on Monday
June 26, 2020 – District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) will be hosting a Virtual Town Hall on Monday, June 29 at 2:00 PM with Oceana and Newaygo County residents to discuss the increased number of COVID-19 cases in their communities.
DHD#10 would like individuals to email questions ahead of time, if possible, to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can be sure to answer them. There will also be a question and answer period at the end of the meeting.
The meeting will be hosted through Microsoft Teams and is limited to 250 callers; however, an unlimited number of individuals can join via your computer or through the Microsoft Teams App. This meeting will be recorded and posted to www.dhd10.org/coronavirus.
Login or call-in information is below:
To join via computer or Teams App, click this link: Join Microsoft Teams Meeting or go to: https://bit.ly/383M3K9
To call in, dial this number: +1 616-426-9797 United States, Grand Rapids (Toll)
Then enter this Conference ID: 281 435 947#
Tools for School 2020’s Application Deadline Approaching
The deadline to turn applications in to TrueNorth Community Services for the Tools for School 2020 program is quickly approaching: July 22.
Tools for School provides students from qualifying low-income families with new backpacks filled with essential school supplies. The program is for kindergarten through 12th grade students living or attending school in Newaygo County for the 2020-2021 school year.
“We’re not exactly sure what going back to school is going to look like in the fall but we know students will still need supplies, and we want to make sure all students get to start the school year off on a level playing field,” said Mike Voyt, Volunteer and Special Projects Coordinator for TrueNorth.
The 17th annual Tools for School Expo is scheduled for Tuesday, August 4, at the TrueNorth Service Center, 6308 South Warner Avenue (M-82) in Fremont. Families will be notified via mail regarding their application status and pick-up times.
The program’s sponsors are ChoiceOne Bank, The Gerber Foundation, and the Fremont Area Community Foundation.
Tools for School applications can be filled out online at:
https://www.truenorthservices.org/Assistance/Childrens-Services/Tools-for School; and are also available at the TrueNorth Service Center in Fremont.
For more information, contact Voyt at email@example.com or (231) 924-0641, ext. 119.
Top questions about state park campgrounds, opening Monday
Earlier this month, the Department of Natural Resources announced that camping, overnight lodging facilities and day-use shelters in Michigan state parks and recreation areas will reopen Monday, June 22. Since then, DNR parks and recreation staff have reported some repeated questions from customers. Here’s a look at the top three questions (and answers).
Do I need to have the Recreation Passport?
Starting Monday, June 22, yes. The required Recreation Passport – normally needed for vehicle entry to state parks, state forest campgrounds and state-managed boating access sites – had been suspended the past three months in order to minimize face-to-face interactions and the exchange of money between visitors and staff – precautions aimed at reducing the spread of the coronavirus.
Residents can purchase the passport when renewing license plates through the Secretary of State (for $12) or when visiting a state park (for $17). Out-of-state visitors can purchase the passport online or at state parks for $34 (annual pass) or $9 (daily pass).
Are bathroom buildings and other park amenities open?
At most locations, yes. Many state park amenities initially were closed due to COVID-19 public health and safety concerns, but now have reopened or are in process of reopening by June 22. Such amenities include bathroom buildings, hand-washing stations, sanitation stations, trash services, concessions, playgrounds, viewing platforms, fishing piers, sports areas, designated dog areas, picnic tables and shelters. Drinking fountains will remain closed until further notice.
Certain amenities at a handful of locations remain closed due to delayed construction projects. For information about a certain park, call that park’s main number or visit its Facebook page (where available). More information is available on the DNR’s COVID-19 response page.
Additionally, the DNR has developed new operational and sanitation procedures to ensure the safety of visitors, volunteers and staff. Some procedures – like checking in visitors, processing transactions and cleaning facilities – will look a little different and may vary by location. For example, visitors are encouraged to pay by debit or credit card to decrease the exchange of money.
Can I change my camping and overnight reservations?
Yes. Modifications to camping, overnight lodging facilities and day-use shelter reservations can be made by contacting the reservation center online at MiDNRReservations.com or calling 800-447-2757 (800-44-PARKS). Please note that the modification and cancellation policy can be found online. The DNR also has waived reduced-stay fees (percentage penalty) through Oct. 31, 2020.
There are still opportunities to book a stay in nearly all DNR facilities this summer and into fall. Reservations for campsites and harbor slips can be made up to six months in advance of a planned arrival date, or 12 months in advance for overnight lodging facilities and day-use shelters.
Finally, all visitors are reminded that everyone still needs to do their part to protect themselves and others while enjoying the outdoors. Practice proper social distancing when around people who are not part of your household, and wear a face covering when in an enclosed indoor space.
Local salons and barber shops reopen at last
A lot of adjustments and sacrifices have been made during the COVID-19 pandemic. People were asked to stay at home except for necessary ventures out, it dropped an economic bomb on businesses, forced cancellations of schools, festivals, concerts, and sporting events, diminished wedding plans, crushed countless gatherings and (horror of horrors) created panic buying of toilet paper.
The fallout has been significant and as restrictions began to be eased up a bit folks were able to slowly crawl to a return to some semblance of normality. Outdoor businesses resumed, then later retail was able to open and last week restaurants evolved from take out to limited in-house service.
But one hairy issue remained for the citizenry.
Salons and barber shops remained closed and one needed only to give a glance around at the populace to perceive the difference.
Some tried a home trim with what one would politely call 'mixed results'. Those who, uh, ‘modify’ their hair color suddenly looked as two toned as a pair of saddle shoes or even worse sporting a whole new shade (orange?) as the result of an attempt gone awry.
But Monday this all came to an end as customers poured into salons across the county to avail themselves of styling, manicures, pedicures, facials, trims, coloring, weaving, texturing, perms and any other of the many services provided by our local professionals.
Of course like so many other parts of our lives this also means there are adjustments.
Rose Contreras from Escape Salon in Newaygo will open her doors on Tuesday (June 16th) possibly due to her tendency toward not following the crowd and blazing her own path, but more likely because she has always been closed on Mondays.
Either way Rose, who has the ability to make my dwindling mane to look manageable, will be doing business a bit differently after reopening by instituting some cautionary measures recommended by those who set guidelines for such things.
Walk-ins will not initially be part of the Escape routine, bringing guests along to your appointment is ill advised unless they too are going to have work done, and Rose has recently completed a course in Barbicide COVID-19 Certification (who knew there was such a thing?).
“Although I sanitized frequently previous to the coronavirus I will now be sanitizing tools, shampoo bowls, shampoo chairs, styling station and chairs, waiting room chairs, kiosks, door handles and myself :) in between every client,” she reports.
And she asks that her clientele be punctual since the above measures are certain to create a bit of a time crunch. I admit being a bit unsure if this was directed at me since there is a personal tendency toward being flexible with the whole time thing.
So, if you’re already a Rose Regular it’s likely your appointment has been etched in the books but if not you can give her a call at 231-414-1462 and she will work you in when she can.
And while not everyone can pull off the new PPE look with the level of distinction shown in the above photo, Rose certainly wears it well.
She told us she even has lipstick on underneath the mask.
Ken DeLaat, N3
“My hair had grown out long and shaggy—not in that sexy-young-rock-star kind of way but in that time-to-take-Rover-to-the-groomer kind of way.”- Jim Butcher, White Knight
Conservation Efforts to Protect Endangered Species
The Michigan Nature Association (MNA) will host a live webinar on June 24th for anyone interested in the conservation efforts for the Karner blue butterfly that are happening in Newaygo County. We will also talk about the MNA nature sanctuaries in the Newaygo area and how you can volunteer to help with their protection.
The Karner blue butterfly is one of Michigan’s rarest butterflies and is listed as endangered by the federal Endangered Species Act. It requires dry-sand prairie and oak-barren habitats found in the Newaygo area that can support wild lupine, a native wildflower. The larvae or caterpillar stage of the Karner blue butterfly feeds exclusively on wild lupine.
“The webinar is a great opportunity to learn about some very special places in Newaygo County and the Karner blue butterfly without leaving home,” said Diana Digges, the webinar organizer and a Huron Pines AmeriCorps member serving MNA.
MNA will be hosting the hour long webinar online via Zoom on Wednesday, June 24th at 7pm.
If you are interested in attending or have any questions, please email MNA’s AmeriCorps member, Diana Digges at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will provide you with the information needed to log onto the webinar. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis, so register soon!
Tamarac now offers outdoor fitness activities, curbside Café service
FREMONT, Mich., June 10, 2020 – Tamarac, the center for Health and Well-being, is now offering outdoor fitness classes and activities, as well as food and beverages from its Café for pickup.
On June 1, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer eased some restrictions on wellness and fitness centers. Tamarac members can now exercise and be active outdoors, in gatherings of less than 100 people, for classes ranging from Zumba and cycling to yoga and more. The classes are Mondays-Fridays, starting as early as 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The classes will ensure six-feet social distancing between all participants and instructors.
“On behalf of all of us here at Tamarac, we are excited to welcome back all our members,” said Tamarac manager Amanda Irwin. “All of us miss our members, serving them and helping them achieve their wellness goals. We’ve been social distancing for months and in that time, we’ve been focusing on ways we can help you stay fit, healthy and well-nourished, while also safe.”
These activities are weather dependent and will be cancelled due to rain or excessive heat. For a full schedule of these outdoor classes or weather-related updates, please see Tamarac’s Facebook group, or call 231.924.1600. The sessions will be held in Tamarac’s backlot, patio, garden and other outside locations.
Tamarac’s website is www.tamaracwellness.org and its Facebook group is www.facebook.com/groups/TamaracWellness
Though Tamarac’s indoor facilities are not open yet, the Café is starting curbside service. View the Café’s updated menu on Tamarac’s website, under the “membership/Café” tab. Call 231.924.1601 to place orders between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Special prices are being offered for Tamarac’s outdoor classes, and unused portions of packages can be used for indoor classes when Tamarac fully reopens:
“As part of Spectrum Health, Tamarac offers a team of medical and health professionals to support us and provide information that can help us reopen with safety in mind,” Irwin said. “We are guided by a wealth of expert medical knowledge as well as information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State of Michigan, Newaygo County and the Medical Fitness Association.”
Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial and Tamarac have been implementing extra cleaning and sanitizing.
At Tamarac, each trainer and instructor are trained in proper protocols for disinfecting and sanitizing equipment. Tamarac’s cleanliness and sanitizing measures include:
Sanitizing wipes will be available at each outdoor area to conveniently wipe down equipment after use, and each station will also include hand sanitizers for personal use.
Members will be able to sign up for classes through Tamarac’s online membership software, Empower M.E. Members can change account information and billing, sign up for classes and pay for services.
Because Tamarac’s facility remains closed, membership payments will not start. Tamarac is finalizing a plan for its full reopening and will provide details at a later date.
Spectrum Health shares expertise from infection prevention and occupational health to help businesses adapt to a new work environment
Grand Rapids, Mich., June 8, 2020 – Spectrum Health is offering guidance to West and Southwest Michigan businesses as they adapt to operating in a new environment with the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal is to equip employers and employees with advice on infection prevention and practical resources to help increase safety and minimize risk.
“As a health care organization and dedicated community partner, we strive to educate those we serve about health and wellness,” said Tina Freese Decker, President & CEO, Spectrum Health. “Now more than ever, businesses are seeking guidance on best practices that support a healthy workplace as we navigate this new landscape. We are pleased to provide this toolkit leveraging our infection prevention expertise to benefit our community."
“Many businesses are facing unprecedented challenges from financial loss to securing cleaning supplies to a work force reluctant to come back due to safety concerns,” said Keith Hustak, vice president, Urgent Care, Occupational and Virtual Health. “We are here to help and support employers and employees by sharing our expertise with easy-to-use health and safety resources.”
The toolkit consists of the following resources:
Employer Guide – A foundational primer to help businesses no matter where they are in the process, whether it is navigating reopening to the community, welcoming employees back
on-site or adapting to a new environment. The guide includes expert tips, best practices, checklists and ready-to-use signage and more. Request your free copy to download: https://www.spectrumhealth.org/covid19/employer-resources
Webpage – A dedicated employer resources webpage has been created that is a ‘one stop’ for resource for FAQs, downloadable templates and industry resources. Link to https://www.spectrumhealth.org/covid19/employer-resources for the latest updates, materials and services.
COVID-19 Symptom Checker – A free mobile site designed to help employees routinely check for symptoms before they come to work. The tool works optimally on a mobile device, available at: https://covid19symptomchecker.spectrumhealth.org
Employer Hotline – Call 616.486.1075 for help with all COVID-19 related questions including what to do if someone tests positive, contact tracing, personal protection equipment, infection prevention or other situations. The Employer Hotline is open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Gerber Memorial kicks off new health and wellness coaching program
FREMONT, Mich., June 4, 2020 – Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial is now offering a new health and wellness coaching program with a certified health professional to help people improve their overall health and wellbeing through changes in mindset and behaviors.
“The goal of health and wellness coaching is to help people develop sustainable healthy lifestyles so they can foster overall wellbeing,” said J.J. Schafer, Gerber Memorial fitness coordinator and a Wellcoach certified health and wellness coach. “The coach partners with the client to step through mental and physical barriers, for lasting change. During our time spent together, I can help the individual set attainable goals that align with their values. As we all experience significant changes in our world today, reconnecting with our vision of staying healthy and well is more critical than ever. Our health and wellness coaching program is part of our effort at Gerber Memorial to care for the whole person.”
To sign up for a session, call Schafer at 231.924.1894 or email
An individual 60-minute session is $40; a 30-minute session is $25. The Overall Well-being package program is also available for $150. The 6-week package includes a 60-minute kick start session with five 30-minute sessions during the next five weeks. Sessions can be performed in person, as well as remotely, via live teleconference and over the phone.
Schafer will help participants of the program identify their priorities and develop a personalized wellness plan that includes three-month goals, a vision and next steps. This process is expected to take 60 minutes. Subsequent 30-minute coaching sessions are for reviewing vision and goals, and exploring and resolving progress and obstacles.
To obtain the nationally accredited Wellcoach certification, Schafer sat for several exams and multiple individual mentoring sessions after completing a rigorous four-and-a-half-month training program. The certification is open to individuals with an associate’s degree or higher in a health-related field from an accredited institute of higher education, a fitness certification and other professional certifications or clinical licenses. It is also the first step to be eligible to earn the designation of “National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach,” one of the only certification programs that meets the requirements.
“Health and wellness coaching can benefit everyone, and is especially helpful for those who want accountability for creating and maintaining behavior change physically, emotionally, mentally and socially,” Schafer said. “I chose to pursue this certification because I’m passionate about health and wellness and our coaching program will help individuals reach their fullest health potential beyond eating the perfect diet and exercising.”
With recent changes to executive orders by Governor Whitmer, Family Health Care (FHC) is working to bring back additional services that were limited during the onset of COVID-19. Many of these changes will take place starting on Monday, June 1.
Those who are seeking medical and dental services deemed “non-essential” will now have the ability to schedule appointments. Pharmacies in three locations will now be open for in-person pickup.
Those coming to FHC’s health centers for appointments may notice some changes.
“Safety of our patients and staff is a top priority,” says Kathy Sather, President & CEO. “While you may not be able to see our staff’s faces due to the mask they wear, know they are happy and eager to help you.”
Changes include pre-screening and door screening of all patients entering the buildings. Masks are required for everyone entering the building; cloth masks are acceptable. Red markers have been placed on the floor to promote social distancing, and chairs are spaced six feet apart. Some reception areas have also had new windows installed.
Patients can also be assured that exam rooms are being thoroughly disinfected between patient visits. Staff will be taking all necessary precautions, including proper protective equipment, when interacting with patients.
Future changes include the addition of ultraviolet light and air cleaning systems to exam rooms.
Here is a current update on services and hours at Family Health Care Clinics:
Telehealth services are now available for non-life threatening medical concerns, behavioral health appointments and urgent dental needs. For more information, contact the Family Health Care office nearest you.
Curbside pickup service for those needing medications is available at all locations. For community members 60 and older, on our MedSync program, we now offer delivery within a 10-mile radius from our pharmacies in Baldwin, Cadillac, Grant and White Cloud. Please call your local FHC pharmacy if you need refills or have a prescription to pick up.
Baldwin, Grant and White Cloud locations: Pharmacy is now open to the entry of those who have been screened at the main clinic entrance. Masks are required. Hours of operation for pharmacies are:
All FHC medical clinics are open, including the Child & Adolescent Health Centers (CAHCs) at Grant Middle School, White Cloud High School, and Baldwin Elementary. The CAHCs are open to all patients up to 21 years of age. If you have a scheduled medical appointment, staff will attempt to call you before the appointment to complete a mandated COVID-19 questionnaire.
The centers located in Baldwin Elementary School, Grant Middle School and White Cloud High School are open to all patients up to 21 years of age.
Offices are now open for most dental and hygiene appointments.
Dental Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Open for in-office consultations and telehealth visits at all main clinics and Child & Adolescent Health Care Centers (White Cloud High School, Grant and Baldwin Middle School locations).
Prescription contacts and eye glasses that were ordered will be available for curbside pickup by appointment only.
From Newaygo County Parks Director Nick Smith:
Due to the latest developments with the Governor's Executive orders; as of this Friday, June 5, 2020, our campgrounds, with the exception of White Cloud, are open for recreational camping. You can make reservations online and over the phone now. Camping cabins and group campsites will remain closed until Friday, June 12. Please make your reservations online if possible as our phone lines are overloaded right now.
-To prevent the spread of coronavirus, we are asking that campers follow the following guidelines:
-Maintain at least 6ft of social distancing while using the public areas of the park
-Masks are recommended in buildings that are open to the public
-Avoid the use of public restrooms or showers if you're able. The less public interaction, the better
-The dump station is open for use, and we recommend seasonals operate as self-contained as they possibly can. You are also welcomed to hire a private company to pump out your trailer if you wish.
-Respect your neighbors and do not enter their campsite area unless invited.
-No one should not be cutting through people’s campsites
-All pets must be on a leash and clean up after immediately
-Please use a credit card whenever possible to limit in-person interaction with our staff in the offices.
-Park offices are closed to the public; please use the service windows for all transactions at this time.
Playgrounds and other park amenities may be closed a little longer so please plan accordingly. Effective Friday, June 5, our normal cancellation policy will go back into full effect.
Happy camping and welcome back!