Please check back often for the most up to date information…
Fighting COVID Together!
Walk-in COVID Vaccine Clinic and At-Home Test Distribution Events
Alcona Health Center encourages use of all of the tools we have to fight COVID. Getting vaccinated and testing are two of the ways we can fight COVID together. Locations, dates and times are listed below for Walk-in COVID Vaccine Clinic and Free At-Home COVID Test events. 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. (While supplies of tests lasts. Limits may be imposed.)
Community Health Center of Northern MI (Harbor Springs): May dates pending
AHC Alpena Services: At-home COVID test kits and N95 masks are available for free daily – Monday to Friday (8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays (9:00 a.m. to noon)! To access these, please use the pharmacy drive-thru at the south end of the building. You do not need to be a patient to access these.
AHC Cheboygan Annex Building: At-home COVID test kits are available for pick up every Monday – Friday 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Walk-in COVID vaccines are not available at this location. Please phone (231) 627-7118 to schedule an appointment for vaccination.
AHC Indian River: May dates pending
AHC Lincoln: Every Friday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
AHC Long Rapids Plaza (Alpena): May dates pending.
AHC Oscoda: May dates pending
AHC Ossineke: May dates pending
AHC Pellston: May dates pending
AHC Petoskey Child Health Associates: May 26th from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. June 21st from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
AHC Pickford: Every Thursday from 8:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
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.
Vaccine eligibility is currently open to everyone 5+. (For more information on eligibility for children and young teens click here.) After filling out the pre-registration 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 stocks Moderna and Pfizer 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…
Know Your Community Risk Level!
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.
News, Updates and Education
3/29/2022 – CDC Recommends Second COVID-19 Vaccine Booster for Some
On March 29, 2022 the CDC announced that they are updating recommendations to allow certain immunocompromised individuals and people over the age of 50 who received an initial booster dose at least 4 months ago to be eligible for another mRNA booster to increase their protection against severe disease from COVID-19. From Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky:
“Today, CDC expanded eligibility for an additional booster dose for certain individuals who may be at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19. Boosters are safe, and people over the age of 50 can now get an additional booster 4 months after their prior dose to increase their protection further. This is especially important for those 65 and older and those 50 and older with underlying medical conditions that increase their risk for severe disease from COVID-19 as they are the most likely to benefit from receiving an additional booster dose at this time. CDC, in collaboration with FDA and our public health partners, will continue to evaluate the need for additional booster doses for all Americans.”
To read the full press release click here.
1/31/2022 – FDA Grants Full Approval of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine – “Spikevax”
The FDA announced on Monday, January 31st that they have issued full approval of a second COVID-19 vaccine. To see the full press release click here.
1/18/2022 – Chippewa County Press Release on Omicron
View the press release from Chippewa County Health Department below or click here for the pdf version.
12/27/21 – CDC Updates and Shortens Recommended Isolation and Quarantine Period for General Population
See the chart below for new CDC guidance. To read the full media release from the CDC click here.
11/26/21 – CDC Issues Media Release on New Variant – Omicron
On November 26, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified a new variant, B.1.1.529, as a Variant of Concern and has named it Omicron. You can read the CDC Media Release on the variant by clicking here.
11/24/21 – AHC and MidMichigan Health to Offer a December 8th Virtual Town Hall – COVID Vaccines and Your Family
This event happened on December 8th. To view the video replay, click here.
11/19/21 – From the CDC: People age 18 years and older who received Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may get a booster.
For more information on boosters follow the link here to the CDC.
11/19/21 – MDHHS Issues Face Mask Advisory for the Holiday Season Due to Rise in Cases
From the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, “MDHHS will issue a Public Health Advisory that recommends everyone over the age of 2 should wear a face mask at indoor gatherings regardless of their vaccination status. In addition, establishments should implement a policy to ensure that all persons entering or seeking services, including employees, wear a mask. This face mask advisory will remain effect until further notice.” The full release can be viewed by clicking here.
11/2/2021 – CDC Announces Pfizer’s COVID Vaccine is Approved Under EUA for Children 5-11 Years Old
From the CDC press release, “Today, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that children 5 to 11 years old be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine. CDC now expands vaccine recommendations to about 28 million children in the United States in this age group and allows providers to begin vaccinating them as soon as possible.” To read the full press release click here. If you have questions about vaccinating your child, we suggest reaching out to your child’s pediatrician or primary care provider. AHC also offers the COVID Vaccine Answer Line at (989) 736-9819 and will be working to provide educational opportunities for the public.
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:
- 65 years and older
- Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
- Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
- Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings
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..
For more information on understanding how Viral Vector COVID-19 Vaccines (like Johnson & Johnson’s) click here.
Prepare for what to expect when you get the vaccine – What to Expect at Your Appointment to Get Vaccinated for COVID-19
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.
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 and Community Health Center of Northern MI locations. 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.
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.