Frequently Asked Questions

Keeping the Home Safe

As a family, you can plan and make decisions now that will protect you and your family during a COVID-19 outbreak. Find more information and guidance here.

For Residents and Communities

COVID-19 is caused by a new respiratory virus. The virus began circulating in humans in December 2019. Health experts are concerned because little is known about this new virus and it has the potential to cause severe illness and pneumonia.

Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus. They include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death.

Health experts are still learning about how this new coronavirus spreads. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:

  • Between people who are in close contact (within about six feet) of an ill person
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes
  • It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes

If you are traveling domestically or overseas, follow the CDC's guidance at

There are steps you can take to prevent the spread of flu and the common cold that will also prevent COVID-19, including:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you are sick and contact your healthcare provider

Recent studies show that a significant portion of individuals with COVID-19 lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.

In light of new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19 in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

Maintaining 6-feet minimum social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of COVID-19. CDC also advises use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and to help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The cloth face coverings recommended to slow spread of COVID-19 are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those critical supplies must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Individuals that are concerned about their health and experiencing respiratory illness or other serious or concerning symptoms should contact their healthcare provider for further guidance. Healthcare providers request testing based on a patient's signs, symptoms, travel history, and risk.

Testing remains somewhat limited at this time, although capabilities are expanding. If your symptoms are mild, stay home and isolate yourself as much as possible to prevent spread. If you develop difficulty breathing or have a sustained high fever that does not respond to medication, seek medical care and guidance from your provider. Do not show up at your provider's office, the local health department, an urgent care or the emergency room without calling ahead. If you feel it is a medical emergency, contact 911 and notify dispatch personnel that you may have COVID-19.  

While capabilities continue to expand, a prioritization schedule of testing resources remains in place. You can view that schedule here. If you are not experiencing symptoms, you do not need to, and will not be, tested. If you develop symptoms, please follow the guidance in the "I feel sick, and am showing some of the symptoms" question.

Contact any primary care physician first. If they are not available, contact a local urgent care.

Great Lakes Bay has also set up a specific number for new patients wanting to establish care in relation to COVID-19. New patients or people with no primary care provider wanting to establish care related to COVID-19 symptoms and/or known exposure, please call 989-753-6000 for assistance.

Recently, Rite Aid Pharmacy on State Street in Saginaw has begun facilitating a self-swabbing drive-thru option for those showing symptoms. Anyone wanting to be screened can go online here to see if they meet qualifications for testing.

We do not have test kits here at SCHD and are not testing individuals for COVID-19 at this time. 

All questions related to test results should be directed to the physician who ordered the test. 

Older individuals and persons with pre-existing medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer, or diabetes appear to develop serious illness more often than others. 

The risk also increases depending on where you are - and more specifically - whether there is a COVID-19 outbreak unfolding there. Follow restrictions on gatherings, practice social distancing recommendations where possible, clean surfaces around you and in your home frequently, and practice proper hand washing procedures frequently to limit your risk. 

Create a household emergency plan of action and follow all hygiene recommendations. Find more information at CDC's "Get Your Household Ready" Guide, here.

Our Environmental Health Department can help you with general cleaning and disinfecting questions. Give us a call at 989-758-3686.

For more information, you can also consult the CDC recommendations found here.

You can still leave the house for medical needs. Visits for many services are restricted for urgent needs only. Try to see if your provider has a telehealth option available.

You can find the full order, as well as all other Executive Orders issued by Governor Whitmer, at the MDHHS website.

You must register with either Red Cross or to be a volunteer. They will verify your credentials.

If you would like to donate locally, consider contacting the Saginaw Community Foundation, as they have a local fund for the COVID-19 crisis.

The Health Department, as well as all other County buildings, are currently closed to the public, however, we still have staff here and available for answering your calls. All customers are directed to call the department if they have emergent needs.

Health Department services are currently operating as follows:

Children's Special Health Care Services 989.758.3845 Services will be provided via phone.
Communicable Disease 989.758.3880 Services will be provided via phone.
Hearing & Vision 989.758.3890 No services will be available.
Environmental Health Services 989.758.3686

CAMPGROUNDS: Inspections can be done where contact is not necessary.

DAYCARE: No daycare inspections or renewals.

FOOD: No routine food inspections. Limited complaint investigations. Will continue to address food borne illnesses. No temporary food permits will be issued. No STFU inspections.

POOLS: No inspections will be provided.

WELL & SEPTIC: Will continue with any services where contact is not necessary (e.g. vacant land inspections, septic inspections, well inspections).

Immunizations 989.758.3840 No services will be provided with the exception of immunizations that are needed for a high-risk medical condition with referral from a  primary care provider or specialist.
Laboratory 989.758.3825 Will continue to do water testing. Lab must be contacted via phone to make arrangements to get testing done.
Lead services 989.758.3850 No in-home inspections. Interviews can be completed over the phone.
Nurse Family Partnership 989.758.3845 Visits will be provided via telehealth means only.
Personal Health Center 989.758.3870

FAMILY PLANNING: No services provided.

STD: No routine services will be available.

WIC 989.758.3733

No WIC clinics or in-office appointments available. You will be contacted by WIC staff regarding your benefits. If you have questions or concerns about your WIC benefits, please contact the WIC office.


The State of Michigan has created a statewide hotline for residents to call. The hotline is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1-888-535-6136.

We also have staff here at SCHD ready to help you. Please call our designated COVID-19 hotline Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 989-758-3828 and we will provide guidance or direct your call as appropriate.