Should You Be Using a Contact Tracing App? And Other Helpful Tips for Navigating COVID-19 This Winter
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a presence in everyday life. While the future may hold plenty of uncertainty, there are certain steps we all can take to keep ourselves, our families and our communities healthy: wash your hands, wear a face covering in public and stay six feet apart. In addition to these precautions, you may want to consider taking an active part in contact tracing. While you may be hearing about it for the first time, the method is not new.
Contact Tracing in Michigan
Contact tracing is key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and helps protect you, your loved ones and your community. While it is essential detective work, done with the goal of locating the origin of an outbreak and notifying anyone who may have been exposed, contact tracing has been used by state and local health departments for decades to slow or stop the spread of infectious diseases.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget recently announced the statewide rollout of the official Michigan COVID-19 exposure notification app MI COVID Alert. This mobile phone app can let you know if you’ve been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, help officials track outbreaks and more. With this new technology you should, however, beware of fake contact tracing calls.
Helpful Resources to Navigate COVID-19 This Winter
MIBluesPerspectives, supported by doctors and experts at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, is here to help. Find daily updates on the latest pandemic news and restrictions here: COVID-19: What You Need to Know.
A wealth of resources is available on this page to guide you through this latest season of change.
Managing Your Physical Health:
Staying healthy is top of mind this year during the pandemic – which is why it’s more important than ever to stay up to date on doctor’s visits and routine vaccinations:
- Don’t Skip Your Child’s Doctor Visits This Year
- People with Asthma Should Take Extra Precautions During COVID-19
- The Difference Between COVID-19 and the Flu
- To Help Fight Coronavirus, Get a Flu Shot
- 6 Things Everyone Should Know About the Flu Shot
- Diabetes and COVID-19: What You Should Know
- Emotional Eating on the Rise During the Pandemic
- Your Responsibility if Exposed to COVID-19
- Staying Safe at Sporting Events During COVID-19
Prioritizing Your Mental Health
Find a wealth of doctor-reviewed resources and articles in this curated toolkit from MIBluesPerspectives:
- MIBluesPerspectives Mental Health Toolkit
- Depression Signs to Watch For as Quarantine Fatigue Sets In
Getting to Know Your Health Plan Coverage
Keeping up with your physical and mental health means getting to know your health plan coverage. Members with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan or Blue Care Network insurance can find a primary care provider by logging into their member account online at bcbsm.com, using Blue Cross’ Find a Doctor tool or downloading the BCBSM mobile app.
Finding a mental health provider in your network also works the same way. Members with Blue Cross insurance can start by calling the BCBSM Behavioral Health Services phone number on the back of their member I.D. card. Blue Care Network members can call the number on the back of their insurance card, (800) 482-5982 24/7, and get referrals for providers conducting telehealth groups related to COVID-19. The call center clinical team will direct members with information and referrals.
Supporting Caregivers at Home
The COVID-19 pandemic may have altered care plans for older adults or family members, and caregivers may find themselves with increased demands and responsibilities as a result.
- 6 Steps for Adjusting to Your New Role as a Caregiver
- Care for the Caregiver: Tips for Balance When You’re Caring for an Adult
- Combating Caregiver Isolation and Loneliness
- COVID-19 Home Cleaning Checklist
- The Impact of Caregiving on Mental and Physical Health
- Tips for New Caregivers
Supporting Families at Home
Families with children are making difficult choices about how to approach school this year due to the pandemic.
- COVID-19 Home Cleaning Checklist
- How to Respectfully Engage on Social Media When Your Opinions Differ
- Meeting the Unique Needs of Students During Pandemic
- Preparing Children for a New School Year in a Pandemic
- Supporting the Mental Health and Well-Being of Michigan Students
- Increase in Cyberbullying During COVID-19
Solutions to Managing Stress and Anxiety
Prioritizing self-care can help you manage your stress and anxiety. Here are some ways to incorporate stress management techniques into your everyday life:
- Building Resilience: How to Flex Your Mental Muscle
- Find the Motivation to Get Things Done
- Good Mood Foods: What to Eat to Feel Fantastic
- How Yoga Breathing Can Reduce Your Stress Level
- Managing Social Anxiety During and After COVID-19
- Mental Health and Movement: How Running Boosts Your Mood
- Relax Your Mind with These Popular Meditation Styles
- Tips for Staying Substance-Free During a Pandemic
- Using Your 5 Senses to Calm Anxiety
- Navigating New Anxiety Amid COVID-19
Photo credit: Imgorthand