Regular Updates related to COVID-19 will be addressed below and sorted by date.
•4/08/20-The facilities crew recently completed work on part of the outside exam area. We can now see patients in that area if needed. We are waiting for delivery of a large oxygen tank for our respiratory care area. Unfortunately, as with everything else COVID-19 related, some of the necessary supplies are more difficult to obtain readily. We completed a request for additional personal protective equipment through Indian Health Services. We are working on many components of a “surge plan”, addressing staffing, supplies, space, capacity, standards of care, and resources. It is a long and detailed process. We have made some changes to the process for pharmacy pick up to increase social distancing. The number of cases and deaths in the state of Michigan continues to climb, throughout the state and the upper peninsula. The southeast part of Michigan is operating in crisis mode. There is fear of running short of medications necessary for use in ventilated patients and efforts are being made to get those. The testing criteria has once again changed but the changes do not directly affect us. Patients still must meet symptomatic criteria before testing can be done. The state lab reports a 24 hour turn around time now that there are 15 or more additional labs performing testing in Michigan. It was reported that there are 8 strains of the virus worldwide and three of those have been identified in Michigan. We need to do our part to keep social distancing, spread the word to everyone we know, and educate however we can. It is now recommended by the CDC that we all wear cloth masks when out in public (grocery store, pharmacy, etc.). There are a lot of people sewing them but here is a quick video from the CDC website showing you how easy it is to make one for yourself or your family. Take care. Be safe.
Here is a step-by-step guide for making your own face mask.
•4/01/20-Thank you to our dedicated patients! We appreciate your understanding as we navigate a period of big changes and daily updates. Through it all, we are here for you! We want to give back to our patients and supporters by regularly answering your most frequently asked questions. Our goal is to share as much accurate and resourceful information as possible. We are hoping to accomplish this through a series of educational videos, posts, Facebook lives, or combination thereof. Send us questions (via Facebook or Instagram) that you have about the Coronavirus or health related questions in general, and we will do our very best to answer in one of the methods above. Chances are, if you are wondering about it, someone else is too!
Positive COVID-19 cases continue to rise sharply and there are more known cases showing up close to us. We continue to work hard to stay a step ahead. Our temporary exam area arrived yesterday and the facilities crew is working hard to have this ready by the end of the week. We’ll be able to evaluate and treat patients with symptoms that could be due to COVID-19 in a safer manner.
Almost daily, there are continued phone conference updates from the State of MI or the Health Departments, etc., Number of confirmed cases in Michigan rose to 7,615 as of 3/31/20. It is important to remember, persons with mild symptoms are not even tested, so there are many more than that. Field hospitals are being erected throughout the state and a couple of sites in the Western U.P. were looked into over the weekend.
Wash your hands often, DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE, sanitize frequently touched surfaces, cover your cough and sneezes, and stay home if you are sick!
•3/25/20-We have received approval from the USDA and State of Michigan to conduct WIC certifications and re-certifications by telephone through May 31, 2020 due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Lena will be available for WIC services on a limited basis and will not be attending face to face visits. Therefore she will not be at the Lac Vieux Desert Health Center at all during the month of April. We are working to ensure all WIC clients receive the benefits they need. Clients due for education visits will be contacted by phone call or text. They will be given instructions on how to complete their WIC education visit on-line and contact Lena. This will ensure they continue to receive benefits.
Certification and/or re-certification clients will be contacted by phone to conduct the visit. They must talk to Lena on the phone, there are no ways for this to be done on-line. If clients do not answer their phone they will be left a voice or text message asking them to contact the WIC office in Baraga as soon as possible. This message will include the phone number and office hours Lena will be available. When allowable re-certification benefits will be extended for 30 days if they do not answer the call. However, they must contact Lena within those 30 days in order for WIC benefits to continue beyond that point. Each 30 day extension will be different for each client. Please note that 30 day extensions will not be available to all clients. These clients will be notified of this by voice or text message. Feel free to contact Lena at Lena.Wascher@kbic-nsn.gov, 906-353-4527 if you have any questions.
•3/24/20-The numbers of positive cases and deaths in Michigan continues to escalate. There also continues to be a shortage of tests and Personal Protective Equipment. The testing criteria has for COVID-19 has changed. All providers and all labs must test within criteria. The work restrictions for healthcare workers with known exposure has lifted. The Stay safe/stay home orders are in effect in an effort to halt the uptick (flatten the curve). The screening recommendations have also been expanded to include family or household members. Patients that present at the clinic will be asked if they or anyone in their household has a fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc. We continue to try to be a step ahead and are developing a plan to keep in touch with our patients if they are not coming into the clinic. We are working on telehealth visits and looking ahead at other ways we can take care of our patients and community during these trying times. Take care everyone! Stay safe, stay home (if you can).
•3/18/20- Due to the recent Coronavirus state of emergency, we will be screening all patients and employees prior to entering the clinic. Patients with debilitating conditions and aged 60 and over will likely be contacted by phone and given the option keeping their appointment, scheduling for a later date, or being able to speak with a nurse or provider by phone to help make that decision. To reduce risk of infection we ask that no non-essential visitors accompany patients to their appointments.
This is a precautionary measure to ensure that patients and employees are triaged properly and that the correct preventative and reactive action is taken to help decrease the spread of Coronavirus. We appreciate your understanding as we work to do what is best for you, the patient, while keeping the community and employee risk as low as possible.
In an effort to continue to align with Coronavirus recommendations, we are in the process of implementing a Telehealth resource for appointments. This decision was made in an attempt to ensure that patients, employees and community members remain as safe and as healthy as possible. Stay tuned for more information on this subject in the next few days.
We’ve expanded the restrictions for visits to include more than just 60 and older; starting Monday ALL non essential visits should not occur in the building. The nurses will discuss existing appointments with those patients who already have appointments scheduled. The dental and optometry departments will only see patients with emergent/ urgent needs. Pharmacy will waive the mailing fee for prescriptions. Michigan cases have jumped to 80 today, and the first patient died in lower MI. There are still no confirmed cases in the U.P.
•3/17/20- We continue to monitor the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation closely. As we strive to provide the best care and keep our patients safe, please note the following changes:
LVDHC is encouraging patients, particularly those over the age of 60 or with chronic health conditions, to consider delaying non-essential clinic appointments until further information about COVID-19 becomes available. We will be happy to provide needed medication refills or address any issues possible by phone during this period.
Our priority is to be sure we are seeing the patients that need to be seen.
We will begin screening all employees, patients, and visitors as they come into our health centers. No non-essential persons (family or friends) should come to the clinic if they are not to be seen as a patient or pharmacy customer.
For patients with respiratory symptoms, additional precautions and protocols will be followed.
Remember, patients at higher risk of having COVID-19; with fever, cough, travel history—should NOT come into the clinic but should call the clinic from home.
We will reduce transportation availability starting Monday 3/23/20.
We are working on setting up Telehealth capability for the medical providers.
Our top priority is to keep the community healthy, and to ensure our staff remain healthy and available to serve the community.
The best advice is still for the public to use common sense hygiene practices: Give people who are coughing space, wash your hands often, don’t touch your face, and if you or your family members are sick, stay home.