November – “Don’t Bring COVID Home for the Holidays” events!
Alcona Health Center is holding “Don’t Bring COVID Home for the Holidays” events in November and December. These events will feature a walk-in COVID Vaccine Clinic. Those getting their primary series of COVID vaccine or their booster dose during these events are able to get a $10 gas card to help offset transportation costs, and a gift bag with a free COVID test kit, a pocket size hand sanitizer, and information on reducing risk.
You do not need to be an established patient to participate. We ask that you bring a photo ID and insurance card for vaccination, but there is no out-of-pocket expense. If this is not your first dose of COVID vaccine, please bring your vaccine card. (One gas card per person limit, while supplies last. Each location listed will have a limited supply allocated.) Of course, there is no way to eliminate all risk – Getting vaccinated, staying boosted, washing hands, masking up, testing and isolating/quarantining when appropriate are all tools to help us minimize the risk of getting sick and passing it to others.
Community Health Center of Northern MI (Harbor Springs): December 12th, 2022, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
AHC Alpena Services: December 15th, 2022, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
AHC Cheboygan Campus Annex: December 15th, 2022, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
AHC Indian River: November 29, 2022, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Moderna bivalent booster will be offered. 18 and over only please. And again on December 13th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Moderna bivalent booster will be offered. 18 and over only please.
AHC Lincoln: Watch for December dates coming soon!
AHC Oscoda: December 13th, 2022, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
AHC Ossineke: December 20th, 2022, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
AHC Petoskey Child Health Associates: Watch for December dates coming soon!
AHC Pickford: December 6th, 2022, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Do you need a free at-home COVID test?
Alcona Health Center has free tests available during regular business hours. Please do not enter our building if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID or have had a close contact exposure.
You can also order free tests to be delivered to your home by clicking here.
Information listed on the page link above includes when you should use your at-home test kit, next steps if you have had a close contact exposure or test positive, and treatment options.
Do you need to have a COVID test at one of our offices? Please call the Alcona Health Center location nearest you to schedule a same day or next day appointment.
Vaccine eligibility is currently open to everyone 6 months and older!
- For more information on eligibility for children and young teens click here.
Bivalent Booster is now recommended for everyone 5 years and older.
- For more information about who should get a booster and when you should get it, click here.
Are you ready to get vaccinated?
After filling out the pre-registration form for yourself or your child, our staff will be in touch to schedule your vaccine for a location and time that works best for you.
Need an after-hours option or prefer to get vaccinated somewhere else? Click here to find other options near you – vaccines.gov
Questions About COVID Vaccines? Check with a trusted resource…
AHC wants to be sure that you have the accurate information that you need. We are offering a free COVID Vaccine Answer Line. Anyone with questions about COVID vaccines can call (989) 736-9819 to have a one on one conversation about their concerns. (Typically this will be a scheduled call back from a Care Manager RN) You do not need to be an established patient to use this service.
More Resources on COVID Vaccines –
If you are looking for information on the COVID vaccines work, how effective or safe they are, or even how they were developed so quickly, we suggest checking out the videos available here – COVID-19 Vaccines: What You Need to Know
AHC Trusted Voices video series also provides great information from healthcare providers in our communities. The first six installments of the video series can be found here! Watch for more to come.
Click to view previous videos in the series…
AHC Trusted Voices – Leah Conboy, DO (Pediatrician)
AHC Trusted Voices – Jenni Attie, FNP (Pediatric Nurse Practitioner)
AHC Trusted Voices – Kathleen Dunckel, MD (Retired Family Physician)
AHC Trusted Voices – Katherine Erwin, LMSW (Behavioral Health Therapist)
AHC Trusted Voices – Anna Rumbles, PharmD (Pharmacist)
AHC Trusted Voices – Sarah Stevens, PAC (Family Medicine)
AHC and MidMichigan Health Virtual Town Hall – COVID Vaccines and Your Family (from Dec. 8, 2021)
If you are immunocompromised or have a chronic health condition you should reach out to your healthcare provider for specific guidance on masking for your situation. You should also be mindful and take extra precautions if someone you regularly have contact with is at high risk.
Otherwise, the best resource for knowing when to mask will be following the guidance of your state and local health departments and following the CDC recommendations based on community level risk.
The CDC now has an interactive tool to help you see the current risk level by county. Use the tool above to find up to date data that will allow you to make informed decisions.
Alcona Health Center is happy to pass along masks for free to community members when available to us. You can check with your local office to see if we currently have them in stock.
For more information on where to locate free masks and education from the CDC on masking click here.
Have you tested positive for COVID-19?
As your Patient Centered Medical Home, it is important for your Alcona Health Center provider to be notified of any lab or test results that you have gotten from another provider or outside testing facility. This also applies to a positive COVID test. If you have had a COVID test done at a pharmacy, other testing facility (not ordered by your AHC provider), or at-home COVID test and the result is positive, please contact us right away. Your primary care provider will note it in your chart and staff will be able to provide support for any follow up care that you may need.
Treatment is available!
Some people have been eligible for intravenous treatments for COVID-19 for some time. Now there is an oral medication (Paxlovid) that has been approved by the FDA under Emergency Use Authorization for the treatment of COVID-19. Treatment with this medication needs to begin within the first 5 days, so it is important that you reach out to your healthcare provider right away if you have a positive test. For more information on the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization and on the safety of Paxlovid, visit Pfizer’s website –https://www.covid19oralrx-hcp.com/
Other COVID-19 Updates…
Patient Safety – Alcona Health Center has adapted our practices and protocols due to COVID-19. We have implemented a front door SCREENING program for anyone who enters the facility. This screening involves brief questions regarding your medical condition. We ask that only essential people accompany the patient to the clinic and that everyone continues to wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose for the entire time of the visit. (Children under two should not wear a mask.) Please adhere to social distancing rules of staying 6 ft apart from others while in our buildings and on our campus.
TELEHEALTH appointments are available for both medical and behavioral health services. In many cases, you can see your healthcare provider without leaving the comfort of your home and without coming through the clinic doors. We also have implemented secure wifi hotspots and access to tablet devices for patients who wish to utilize telehealth appointments but who would otherwise not have access to a device or the internet. This “tablet” option is available at most locations and will soon be expanding to others! “Tablet” appointments are also utilized when a patient is deemed to possibly be contagious. An evaluation with a healthcare provider can be done on the tablet, with the availability for curbside testing for flu, strep throat or COVID if needed. Please phone the location nearest you for more information or to schedule a telehealth or “tablet” appointment.
Walk In Services are temporarily discontinued, but same day appointments are available! Some same day appointments are reserved on each provider’s schedule. Additionally, we are now offering Acute Care Clinic hours at our Alpena Services and Urgent Care at Community Health Center of Northern MI. Both services at these locations are intended for non emergency, same day appointments for illness and injury. You do not need to be an established patient of Alcona Health Center to access this service. You must phone ahead to secure an appointment time. Walk up traffic is not permitted. For more info on these services please phone Alpena Services at (989) 356-4049 or Community Health Center of Northern MI at (231) 348-9900.
COVID-19 HOTLINE: The State of MI has established a hotline to answer questions, daily from 8am to 5pm at (888)535-6136
COVID-19 Mental Health Warm Line: The State of MI warmline will operate seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. at 888-PEER-753 (888-733-7753). It is intended to serve individuals living with persistent mental health challenges including anxiety, depression and trauma. Individuals in crisis, including those considering suicide, are urged to contact the Disaster Distress Helpline 24/7 at 800-985-5990 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 800-273-8255.