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Public Health FAQ


I was at LTBB round dance, I've been told that the round dance may had caronavirus exposure. Has your department been notified.
Thank you for your question.  Yes, our department was notified. We implemented immediate precautionary 
measures guided by CDC (Centers for Disease Control) practices to protect the community against potential

Soumit Pendharkar, Health Administrator

How long is the typical incubation period when exposed to COVID-19? How long until we start feeling symptoms?


This is a difficult question to answer as we are not exactly sure of when exposure occurred in the currently
ill patients as we do not know who for sure has the COVID-19 virus. 
Symptoms may range from very mild cold like symptoms to gravely ill. 
The CDC recommends that you symptom check for 14 days after suspected exposure. 
If no symptoms at that time you should be fine.
You can go to the CDC web page which is updated regularly for the latest information at www.cdc.gov

Will previously scheduled appointments with GTB dental and the GTB clinic still be accepted next week?
Both the medical and dental clinics are seeing patients next week.
We are rescheduling patients to the next available date for any cancellations.
Thank you for asking.


Are the Elder Workers still contacting the elders who might need help?
Yes, The Elder Coordinators and The Community Health Representatives have
teamed up together, to ensure that all 408 (estimated) elders that are in the 6-county services area
be contacted. At that time the elder will  be asked to do an Elders Emergency Intake assessment.  
Thank you for reaching out, have a great day!

How many cases have been confirmed in Mi?
According to the State of Michigan website (link included) on 3-12-2020, “LANSING, MICH. The Michigan 
Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the health departments in Ingham, Kent,
Montcalm, Oakland, St. Clair and Washtenaw counties announced today 10 adults tested presumptive
positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
This brings the state total of COVID-19 cases to 12.”

What is recommended beyond Michigan and Federal, International government guidelines that our families can prepare or gather?(Culturally: recommended by our cultural and bear clan), to prepare in the absence of modern medicine availability
Gzhemnidoo gave us many Traditional Medicines to protect us from foreign diseases, bacteria and viruses. 
The Traditional Medicines we’re recommending for preventative measures are to drinking cedar tea or
sap water daily. Smudging your home and family members are also traditional protective measures
that can be done on a regular basis. Anishinaabe people have many Traditional Medicines, cedar
and sap water are currently easily accessible and available to all of us right now.

Are elder lunches still going to continue? For some, this may be their only meal.

Elder’s luncheons will continue, however a plan for home delivery is being worked out.
 Sonya Zotigh, Tribal Manager

Our daughter has asthma and is supposed to begin taking steroids on the onset of any illness and during sports seasons. should we be starting this now in case she gets sick?

Thank you for the question.

 At this time I would recommend that you contact your daughter’s primary care physician or the physician that manages her asthma for specific recommendations for her.  Follow the recommended guidelines by the state and federal government, such as good hand washing and avoiding large crowds or anyone that is symptomatic.

 Michigan information:  Michigan.gov/coronavirus

 Federal information:  CDC.gov

Where should an elder go (67+) if she has symptoms of fever of 100.4+, dry cough, body aches, and fatigue. Should I present at the clinic or urgent care? Should I just stay home? Right now this is a hypothetical but I want to know what to do.

At this time we recommend calling your primary care physician if your have these symptoms. If after hours, you may call your local Urgent Care or physically present. We recommend calling first in order to get specific instructions to minimize cross exposure with other people in the waiting room.  Call 911 if your symptoms are emergent such as difficulty breathing. Please refer to the CDC guidance for patients at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html

With the symptoms that you listed in an elder I would recommend urgent care or ER as special testing may be required.  If you ever want to discuss symptoms with someone in the clinic please call and we can give specific recommendations.  If the clinic is closed and you are concerned go to urgent care do not wait until we reopen.


I do recommend following information on either the state or federal web page dedicated to COVID-19.





Are GTB behavioral health Services being provided through an online Interface?

Yes, Services are being provided through telephone contact and currently setting Tele-health in place with Zoom for online interface with the Psychiatrist, BH Counselors, Peer Recovery Support Specialists, DV Advocates, and Family Services Social Workers.


Can a tribal member be tested more than once? OR Is there a limit to the amount of times a tribal member can be tested?

Thank you for your question.  Yes, a tribal member can be tested more than once.  There is no limit to the amount of times a tribal member can be tested at the GTB Health Department.  However, I would encourage you to call the clinic and talk to a nurse or medical provider to discuss your particular situation.  This is because there are clinical scenarios where it may be too early to test.  Also, we want to maximize the clinical usefulness of the test.   




Soumit Pendharkar, Health Administrator


If a tribal student is showing a higher than normal temperature reading at school and is sent home, can student be seen immediately for COVID-19 testing? Miigwetch.


Thanks for your question.  Clinic COVID testing occurs at 1:15pm Monday-Thursday.  If a student is sent home and needs a test, please call 231-534-7256 for an appointment to be fit into the next available testing time.  We will fit you in to the schedule as soon as possible.


Can the clinic please post the hours and procedures for drive-through Covid testing and who is eligible for that testing? thank you-Megwetch! 


Thanks for your email.  Yes, we will put out a flyer with the information you requested shortly. 

- Soumit Pendharkar, MHA, FACHE Health Administrator


Is there any plans for distribution of the Covid-19 Vaccination to tribal members on any different schedule than what is being planned for the general population of Michigan? 

Thank you for your question.  For our vaccine distribution and administration, we are following the CDC prioritization.  The State of Michigan also follows the same guidance.  However, GTB has moved rapidly down the prioritization list and is currently vaccinating tribal elders, essential workers, and those that are medically vulnerable.  The State of Michigan is still focused mainly on health care workers and long term care residents. Thus, GTB has already moved forward into vaccinating tribal members.

- Soumit Pendharkar, MHA, FACHE Health Administrator