Preparing and Responding to the Coronavirus

Preparing and Responding to the Coronavirus

Updated April 1, 2020

Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, and a national emergency by President Trump. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued an emergency order requiring state residents to stay at home to try to halt the spread of the virus here in Michigan. Residents can leave to seek medical care, purchase groceries, pick up prescriptions or perform other limited activities. Schools and nonessential businesses are closed.

The governor’s order exempts emergency workers and others who perform jobs key to the operation of communities or businesses who provide necessary commodities. Among those exempted are health-care facilities and their workers. The governor recognizes the importance of the front-line efforts of the Center for Family Health and other health care professionals to battle this virus and keep those not infected healthy.

The Center is working hard to keep our patients, staff, and community members safe from COVID-19. We are working with state and local health experts to ensure that we are following the most current recommendations for screening and treatment of patients who may have symptoms of COVID-19 or been exposed to someone with the disease. We want to assure our patients and community members that we’re doing all we can to maintain a safe environment.

As we work in tandem with other health organizations during this crisis, we remain committed to serving and protecting our 30,000-plus patients, staff members, and community members who access our facilities. Our work helps to support our local hospitals and emergent care systems by providing care for health issues not related to the COVID-19 virus. Patients with diabetes, COPD, high blood pressure and other serious health conditions must continue to have care or face short-term and long-term repercussions. We will continue to provide care to those vulnerable populations to ensure their sound health and, in some cases, even survival. Our babies, children and pregnant women also require monitoring, and diagnosis and treatment for routine illnesses.

In order to better protect and serve our patients, we have reduced the number of locations where we are seeing patients, closing our four school health centers – Northeast Health Center, the Parkside Health Center, Jackson High School Health Center and the Northwest Community Health Center. In keeping with the Governor’s executive orders and recommendations by the American and Michigan Dental Associations, our Dental Clinic has also postponed all regularly scheduled dental appointments at this time. We will only see patients with emergency dental needs during this time. We are scheduling our emergency dental visits by appointment only. Please call us at (517) 748-5500 to make an appointment regarding your emergency dental needs. No walk-ins will be accepted.

Our pharmacy will remain open for patients who need prescription refills. If you have concerns about picking up prescriptions, please call us. We now are offering home delivery of prescriptions. Please contact us at (517) 748-5400, choose option 3 to speak with a pharmacy staff member.

To safeguard everyone, we are also asking patients who have medical, dental or behavioral health appointments at any of our CFH sites not to bring visitors or guests unless absolutely necessary. We are also asking other visitors to not visit any of the CFH sites until further notice.

To further assist our patients during this time, we have begun offering video visits through MyChart. If you are interested in learning more about a video visit through MyChart, please contact us to schedule an appointment. At that time, we will ask you if you have a MyChart set up. If not, we can help you set it up before your visit.

In adhering to State and Federal recommendations, we will be asking all patients who come in with emergencies to the Center about any symptoms they may have with sickness. Screenings will take place at entrances to our buildings. We have and continue to take other steps necessary to avoid the spread of COVID-19 including screening our staff and patients, providing extra cleanings to all equipment, surfaces, and exam rooms, and reminding everyone to wash hands with soap and water.

We encourage all our patients to Call Us First before going to the Emergency Room unless you are having a life-threatening emergency. Patients and community members who suspect they may be sick with COVID-19 are asked to call CFH at (517) 748-5500 before seeking treatment in person. Our nurses and providers can help decide if you can be safely treated at home, or if you should be seen in our office or the emergency room. Remember: Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

People with certain conditions are at high risk for severe problems if they become ill with COVID-19. These conditions include:

  • Age 65 years or older
  • Chronic lung diseases (COPD, emphysema, etc.)
  • Pregnancy
  • Tobacco use
  • Conditions that weaken the immune system (cancer, diabetes, HIV, etc.)

If you have one of the high-risk conditions, exhibit any of the COVID-19 symptoms or have come into contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, contact us by phone to find out if you should be tested or seen in an emergency room.

Steps to protect yourself from the spread of coronavirus include:

  • Stay calm. We can get through this pandemic if we keep calm and follow these tips. 
  • Stay home if you’re sick. If you need medical care or believe you have COVID-19, call us at (517) 748-5500. DO NOT COME TO THE CENTER.
  • Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after visiting a restroom, a public place or after sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose.
  • If soap and water is not available, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands, or use a tissue and throw it away.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Put distance between yourself and other people. Follow the CDC recommended guidelines of social distancing ourselves.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. These should include tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, and phones.

Your health and safety are our highest priority, and we appreciate your understanding during this evolving crisis. Because we are living in a rapidly changing environment, we may need to adjust our response as the situation changes. To stay up to date, check out our Facebook page frequently. We will be posting updates as this crisis evolves. For testing information, you may also contact Henry Ford Allegiance Health COVID-19 Drive Through Screening Station hotline at (517) 205-6100. The State of Michigan has also set up a website for up-to-date information on COVID-19 which can be found at www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/.

Thank you for your ongoing patience and we apologize for any inconvenience.