[!] Alert:

Alcona Health Center continues to require all patients and visitors to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth while on our campuses. Thank you.

COVID-19 ALERTS!

Please check back often for the most up to date information…

Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19

    • Wash Hands Often
    • Wear a Mask in Public (until fully vaccinated or for all when indoor public spaces in an area of high transmission)
    • Social Distance (until fully vaccinated)
    • GET VACCINATED! 

Ready to Get Vaccinated?

Click here – COVID-19 Vaccine Pre-Registration Form

Vaccine eligibility is currently open to everyone 12+.  (For more information on eligibility for children and young teens click here.) After filling out the form, our staff will be in touch to schedule your vaccine for a location and time that works best for you.  Not ready to register online? You can also phone us at (989) 736-9819 to sign up for your COVID-19 vaccine.

Alcona Health Center regularly stocks both Pfizer and the J&J vaccines.  Please let us know if you have a preference.

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 – Katherine Erwin, LMSW

AHC Trusted Voices – Anna Rumbles, PharmD

AHC Trusted Voices – Sarah Stevens, PAC

News, Updates and Education

10/21/21 – CDC Announces Expanded Eligibility for COVID-19 Booster Shots

From the CDC press release, “For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at 6 months or more after their initial series:

For the nearly 15 million people who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are also recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.”   Click here to read the full press release.

8/23/2021 – Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Granted Full FDA Approval 

From the FDA press release, ” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee), for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.”  The full press release can be viewed by clicking here. 

8/13/2021 – CDC Press Release Regarding Third Dose of Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines for Some Individuals

The CDC issued a press release on 8/13/2021 regarding a third dose of Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines for some immunocompromised individuals. An excerpt from the release can be read here – “While people who are immunocompromised make up about 3% of the U.S. adult population, they are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 because they are more at risk of serious, prolonged illness. Included in CDC’s recommendation are people with a range of conditions, such as recipients of organ or stem cell transplants, people with advanced or untreated HIV infection, active recipients of treatment for cancer, people who are taking some medications that weaken the immune system, and others.  A full list of conditions can be found on CDC’s website.”  Click here for the full release.

8/12/2021 – FDA Update Regarding Third Dose of Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines for Some Immunocompromised 

The FDA updated the emergency use authorizations for Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to allow for the use of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.  Specifically, this applies to those who have had a solid organ transplant or those who are equivalently immunocompromised.  While the FDA continues to monitor data and may make other recommendations in the future, this action on 8/12/21 regarding a third dose or “booster” does not apply to most people.  See the full media release here –  Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update_ FDA Auth..

CDC Gives Updated Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People

UPDATED: CDC has adjusted their recommendations on masking based on updated scientific studies and the Delta Variant.  They are now asking that regardless of vaccination status, that you mask up when in indoor public spaces if the area you are in has a high transmission rate.

On May 13, 2021 the CDC issued updated guidance for those who are fully vaccinated. (You are considered fully vaccinated once you are two weeks past your second dose of Pfizer or Moderna Vaccine or two weeks post your Johnson & Johnson Vaccine.) While this guidance does loosen restrictions on masking and social distancing for fully vaccinated people, they are careful to state “except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance”.   Alcona Health Center will still maintain our masking and social distancing policy at this time.  Masks that cover the nose and mouth must be worn at all times while on our campuses regardless of vaccination status.  To read or print the pdf of the CDC Guidance from May 13, 2021 click here.

 

FDA Approves Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine for Children 12+

Children 12 and older will now be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine under an Emergency Use Authorization.  For more information read the press release from the FDA here.   The Fact Sheet from the CDC for COVID-19 Vaccine for Pre-teens and Teens can be downloaded here.

Alcona Health Center to Resume Use of Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine

Alcona Health Center will be resuming use of the J & J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine as of 4/26/21. The updated Emergency Use Authorization information issued by the FDA is listed here​. If you have questions or concerns about the J & J/Janssen vaccine, please let us know and other accommodations may be made.  Your health and confidence in the vaccine is our priority.   The Pfizer vaccine will continue to be available for 16 and 17 year olds.

COVID-19 and Vaccines- A Town Hall Meeting Video Replay – 

This event was held on April 7, 2021 at 7 pm.  NOTE – Due to concerns about community spread of COVID-19 the in person portion of the event was canceled. Attendance was completely virtual. To see a list of all of the panelists (including our very own Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Thomas Marshall), you can  click here.

 

As COVID-19 vaccines become available to more people, we think it is important that our patients have access to information about them.  We hope you find these resources helpful.  If you have additional questions or concerns we urge you to reach out to your primary care provider, or other trusted healthcare professionals. 

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ Video featuring Thomas Marshall, MD and Bernie O’Brien, PAC

 

 

CDC- Facts About COVID-19 Vaccines  We know that there are a lot of questions and even some “myths” about the new vaccines.  This fact sheet is full of great information.

For more information about mRNA vaccines, visit the CDC site here or view/print the information by clicking here – Understanding mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines

Downloadable PDF Version (mRNA)

For more information on understanding how Viral Vector COVID-19 Vaccines (like Johnson & Johnson’s) click here.

Downloadable PDF Version (Viral Vector)

Prepare for what to expect when you get the vaccine – What to Expect at Your Appointment to Get Vaccinated for COVID-19

(View or print as a PDF)

v-safe website – Sign up or log in

 

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 test done at a pharmacy or other testing facility (not ordered by your AHC provider) 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.

COVID Testing Options

Alcona Health Center offers multiple COVID-19 testing options.

  • Patients of AHC who feel they need a test, whether they currently have symptoms or not, can reach out to their healthcare provider at the office where they are typically seen.  Staff and your provider will work with you to evaluate your needs for care and testing based on your individual case.  An in-person or telehealth (or “tablet”) appointment may be scheduled and depending on your location and needs, testing may be done at the office or a referral may be made to a testing center.
  • Those who do not have a healthcare provider, may contact the Alcona Health Center office nearest them for help setting up an appointment for evaluation and testing.
  • Those who have a healthcare provider elsewhere, should directly contact their healthcare provider for a referral to one of our Drive Up Testing Centers.  (See list of locations below.)

Drive Up Testing Centers Information

Alcona Health Center is offering Drive Up Covid-19 Testing in several counties in Northern Michigan.  Testing at these locations is open to anyone in the community but requires a referral/order from a medical provider and is by appointment only.  Specific details for each testing site are listed by location below.  Please read the Patient Swab Collection Directions and watch the demonstration video prior to your appointment. Both are listed lower on this page. 

 

ALCONA COUNTY-

Location: Alcona Health Center parking lot, 177 N. Barlow Rd, Lincoln, MI

Days/Hours: Monday through Friday by appointment only (and with a health care provider referral)

Phone: Alcona Health Center patients and those without a health care provider call (989) 736-8157 ext. 9819.  Those who receive care elsewhere contact your provider directly.

ALPENA COUNTY – 

Location: Alcona Health Center parking lot, 1185 US 23N., Alpena, MI ( by Acute Care entrance at the northern end)

Days/Hours: Monday through Friday by appointment only (and with a health care provider referral)

Phone: Alcona Health Center patients and those without a health care provider call (989) 356-4049 ext. 3832.  Those who receive care elsewhere contact your provider directly.

CHEBOYGAN COUNTY-

Location: Cheboygan Campus Annex, 722 South Main Street, Cheboygan, MI

Days/Hours: Monday through Friday by appointment only (and with a health care provider referral)

Phone: Alcona Health Center patients and those without a health care provider call (231) 627-7118 ext. 2186.  Those who receive care elsewhere contact your provider directly.

IOSCO COUNTY-

Location: Alcona Health Center parking lot, 5671 N. Skeel Ave., Oscoda, MI (Use Glennie Rd entrance.)

Days/Hours: Monday through Friday by appointment only (and with a health care provider referral)

Phone: Alcona Health Center patients and those without a health care provider call (989)739-2550 ext. 1165.  Those who receive care elsewhere contact your provider directly.

 

Drive Up COVID-19 Testing Instructions

Please read these instructions Patient Swab Collection Directions and watch the video before your drive up test.

 

Outside Healthcare Provider Documents-

ProviderLetter Alcona Testing Site

ProviderLetter Alpena Testing Site

ProviderLetter Cheboygan Testing Site

ProviderLetter Iosco Testing Site

PUI_Quest Order Form

 

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.

Special appointment times for higher risk patients – As part of our COVID-19 response plan, we have set aside special appointment times for the elderly or those with certain medical conditions that may make them higher risk for getting complications if they get COVID-19 or another virus.  Please let the receptionist or scheduler know if you have: Asthma, Chronic Kidney Disease with Dialysis, Diabetes, a serious heart condition, a blood disorder or if you are immunocompromised or over 65 years old.

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 location.  Acute Care Clinic hours are offered 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 Acute Care Clinic hours at Alpena Services location see their location page.

DENTAL SERVICES – As our Dental Team works towards once again offering expanded services, we request that our patients review this document prior to coming into our offices –  Dental Reopening Welcome Letter and Safety Information

Our PHARMACIES are open and are taking extra steps to ensure proper social distancing and patient safety.  Our Alpena location requests that patients use the drive thru option only at this time for increased safety.  If you are unable to use the drive thru, phone us and we can make special arrangements.

Other Resources…

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.

State of MI COVID-19 resources webpage

CDC Corona Virus webpage