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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

At McKenzie Health System (MHS), we take the care of our community and our staff very seriously. It is extremely important that healthcare continues to be provided to our community and that the community utilizes the care. The steps we are taking will allow that to continue in a way that is safest for those we serve.

Information About the COVID-19 Vaccines

Information About the Moderna Vaccine

The Sanilac County Health Department is currently scheduling COVID-19 vaccines for phases 1A and 1B. This includes critical healthcare workers, first responders, childcare, law enforcement, pre-K through high school staff, and residents and people aged 65 years and older. To get the latest information about vaccine scheduling at the Sanilac County Health Department, visit https://www.sanilachealth.com/covid-19-vaccinations.

About Coronavirus or COVID-19

There are many news stories and conversations circulating regarding the Coronavirus or COVID-19. The information below has been provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), and Michigan Health and Hospital Association (MHA). Additional information is available on their websites.

What is Coronavirus or COVID-19?

  • Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China and has now spread throughout the world.

The most important thing our community members can do to prevent illness is to:

  • Wash your hands often (at least 20 seconds of scrubbing with warm water, including in between and the tips of your fingers and near your wrists)
  • If soap and water are not readily available to wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • If you cough or sneeze, do so into your elbow or a tissue – not your hands
  • Stay home if you have cold or flu symptoms
  • Frequently disinfect high-traffic surfaces in your home or work (such as doorknobs, light switches, remote controls, faucets, cell phones, and common area surfaces)

What should I do if I have symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) and think I may have been exposed to COVID-19?

Contact your doctor if you have symptoms in the list below and have been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled from an area with existing cases of COVID-19. The CDC has issued guidance to healthcare providers for determining which patients likely need testing.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Where is the best source of up-to-date information about COVID-19?

COVID-19 causes mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you think you have COVID-19, please contact your primary care provider, local Health Department, or local hospital by phone for care instructions. The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) has also established a hotline to answer health-related COVID-19 questions. The hotline is open 7 days per week from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 888-535-6136.

  • For Michigan residents, the MDHHS website is the best place to start as it contains both Michigan-specific information and the CDC’s guidance for the public. Click here to visit the MDHHS website.
  • For the latest updates for Michigan visit www.michigan.gov/coronavirus. If you scroll to the bottom of the page, you will see a map of Michigan. If you click on Sanilac County, you will find the latest statistics released about the Sanilac County Health Department.

COVID-19 FAQ

Q. How can I get tested to see if I have the virus?

A. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you can contact your family healthcare provider to request a test or call the hospital main number, 810-648-3770 to schedule a test.

Q: If the vaccine doesn’t contain the virus itself (either alive or dead), what exactly is in the vaccine that is supposed to protect us.

A: The vaccine contains a protein that tricks the body to think it was exposed to the virus to start making antibodies to fight it off in case it’s exposed to the actual virus.

Q: Do you know what kind of precautions they were taking to ensure that, although they were able to make this vaccine in such a short amount of time, it will not have any negative long-lasting effects on us in the future.

A: Long-term effects are not known yet beyond the 9 months the vaccine has been studied.

Q. How do I stay up-to-date on what’s happening with COVID?

A: Town Hall events, which are hosted by the McKenzie Foundation and include COVID-19 updates, can be viewed by visiting www.McKenzieHealth.org/TownHall.

For the latest updates for Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/coronavirus. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Sanilac County on the Michigan map. There you will find the latest statistics released about Sanilac County.

What to Do if You Think You Might Be Infected

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, please contact your primary care provider’s office. If you currently do not have a primary care provider, you can call the main hospital phone number at 810-648-3770. For your convenience, the phone numbers for the McKenzie primary care providers are listed below. Patients who need to be seen on an emergency basis should go to the emergency room and, if possible, contact the hospital by phone FIRST at 810-648-3770 so that we can appropriately manage your entrance and transport through the hospital.

Croswell Clinic
Matthew Gormley, MD
Kimberley Curell, PA-C
810-679-0012

Lakeshore Internal Medicine, Port Sanilac
Mark English, MD
810-622-9248

McKenzie Family Healthcare, Sandusky
Mark English, MD
Melissa E. Shimshock, MSN, FNP-C
810-648-9677

McKenzie Health and Wellness Center, Sandusky
James L. Sams, MD
Nicole Krosnicki, DNP, FNP-C
810-648-3229

McKenzie Rural Health Clinic, Sandusky
Megan Burgess, MSN, FNP-C
Michael Lewis, DNP, FNP-C
Brandy Trepkowski, MSN, FNP-BC
810-648-2232

Peck Medical Center
James L. Sams, MD
Stephanie Hebberd, MSN, FNP-BC
810-378-4900

McKenzie After-Hours Clinic, Sandusky
Kristie Morgan, MSN, FNP-C
74 S. Elk Street, Sandusky
810-648-6202

Safety Measures

To our support staff, patients, and the community at large, all patients will be screened for coronavirus and required to wear a mask, which can be provided if you did not bring one. All McKenzie Health System staff are screened for symptoms daily and required to wear masks when working with patients, while in public areas, and anytime social distancing is not possible. Scheduling will continue to allow for social distancing. In addition, visitor restrictions remain in place; however, circumstances, where patients require someone to accompany them will be taken into consideration.

Visitors Restrictions effective 3/14/20

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, McKenzie Health System has updated VISITOR RESTRICTIONS and will not permit any visitors into the ER for any of our patients except in the case of end-of-life care and those with impairment. Even with those exceptions, visitors must be healthy and not have signs of a respiratory infection such as cough, fever, or shortness of breath. Limited visitation is permitted as necessary for other inpatient and outpatient departments.

Patients and visitors arriving at the hospital campus will need to enter through the first door of the main entrance and communicate with ER staff using the phone on the wall before entering through the second door into the building. The second door leading into the hospital will remain locked until ER staff has screened the person requesting entry.

How McKenzie Health System Remains Prepared

The McKenzie team is committed to being prepared to care for the community. McKenzie Health System has a “preparedness” plan in place covering many different types of crises, which includes illnesses like COVID-19. This plan is reviewed and updated on a regular basis, and drills are held to assure staff members understand the overall plan and what their role is should a crisis occur. As part of our plan, we work closely with federal, state, and local partners to best respond to situations and stay informed. In addition:

  • Staff continues to monitor communications from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), as well as other trusted sources.
  • The team is in regular discussions about the situation and how this is unfolding to make sure we stay up to date in how we are caring for our community.
  • Visitor restrictions have been implemented.
  • More frequent cleaning and disinfecting of common areas and shared surfaces is taking place.
  • We have identified and prepared additional space that may be needed for isolation and patient care.
  • Continuous close monitoring of supplies, including personal protective equipment to protect our staff and patients, is taking place.
  • We continue to reinforce CDC messages and share what we know on our website and with local media to educate the public.

About Local Testing

The question was recently asked regarding where COVID-19 testing can be done. In an effort to help everyone understand testing and provide the options, please see the information below, posted 4/30/20.

  • The nasal swab test for the COVID-19 virus: This test is done to see if the patient is currently infected with the virus and is the testing most often done today.
  • The blood test for COVID-19 antibodies: This test shows if your body has responded to the virus by producing antibodies. MHS is using the Ortho Anti-SARS-CoV-2 test, which is achieving 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity which means that it will detect the COVID-19 antibody and will not confuse it with an antibody for a similar virus. Read the latest release regarding COVID-19 antibody testing at McKenzie Health System (click here).
  • How and where to get tested: You should contact your primary care provider for testing.With an order, results will be shared with your provider, who can help you understand what the results mean and can assist in helping you determine any additional steps that may need to be taken. If you need testing and do not have a primary care provider, call 810-648-3770. There are additional testing sites in the state which can be located by visiting michigan.gov/coronavirus and clicking on “Find a testing site near you”. You can also click this link to go directly to that page: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-99891_99912---,00.html.
  • Drive-thru testing: Sanilac County Health Department (SCHD) provides drive-thru testing, by appointment. Call their COVID-19 Testing Hotline at 810-206-0682 to make an appointment.

MHS Laboratory Testing

The links below contain information pertaining to the COVID laboratory testing at McKenzie Health System.

A Message from Steve Barnett, DHA, CRNA, FACHE, President/CEO and James L. Sams, MD.