Saginaw Co. launches COVID-19 self-reporting app

COVID-19
COVID-19(WILX)
Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 12:28 PM EST
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SAGINAW COUNTY, Mich. (WNEM) - The Saginaw County Health Department is launching a COVID-19 self-reporting app.

The app allows residents to provide personal information online and avoid a phone call from the health department to complete their COVID-19 case investigation.

“We hope the process is easier and less intrusive online,” said Christina Harrington, Saginaw County Health Department health officer. “On the contrary, the health department’s role has NEVER been about that. Our jobs as public health experts are to track and monitor disease spread while guiding and educating our community about next steps to minimize the spread. We’re here to support and help one another -- not punish or admonish anyone.”

Harrington noted residents can be unresponsive or reluctant to talk over the phone. She stressed health department staff should never be perceived as COVID-19 “enforcers” looking to get anyone in trouble for having or spreading COVID-19.

The app will send daily text messages from the Saginaw County Health Department to COVID-19 positive cases identified in the Michigan Disease Surveillance System. The app directs users to fill out a form and submit it.

Staff at the county health department will use the information to “close out” COVID-19 cases, which is a required process for infectious diseases in Michigan.

Residents can also self-report before getting the text message. The Saginaw County Health Department is advising residents to not report at-home antigen test results without a confirmatory PCR test.

Users can also input any close contacts they may have exposed to COVID-19. Those identified will get a text from mySaginawHealth. Close contacts using the app will be connected to information about whether or not they are exempt from quarantine and outline the precautions they should use.

Residents can request a return-to-work or school letter. Users may be denied this letter if they aren’t in the disease surveillance system because they took an at-home antigen test and didn’t get a confirmatory PCR or their positive test results have not yet shown up in the system.

The app can help users get confirmatory PCR tests after testing positive with an antigen test. Residents can also scan and email test results or call the health department if their letter is denied.