News

(Daily) COVID-19 Community Updates

The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) a pandemic. We have created this blog where regular updates will be posted with information from the WHO, CDC, Ottawa County Health Department and NOCHS to help keep our community informed.


Updated: July 6, 2020 – 4:28 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
Michigan — Recovered 52,841 (reported weekly); Cases 72,941; Deaths 6,218
Kent County — Cases 4,875; Deaths 136
Ottawa County — Cases 1,135; Deaths 51
Muskegon County — Cases 897; Deaths 51
National Update
Hot Spots — The number of people hospitalized grew by 5% or more Sunday in 23 states, based on a seven-day moving average.

Los Angeles — Today, County health officials formally urged local hospitals to prepare facilities and staff for a surge of coronavirus patients in the coming days. “Today I write you to urge that you begin implementing your decompression plans,” wrote Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer and Health Officer Muntu Davis in a letter to the region’s hospital executives. “Los Angeles County data is continuing to show a steep increase in the number of community cases of COVID-19. The daily number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients continues to rise, and the LA County Department of Health Services (LAC DHS) is projecting a marked increase in the coming weeks.” Ferrer and Davis went on to warn that if the trend continues, the number of ICU beds — already a limited resources — “is likely to become inadequate in the near future.” That near future is the next two to three weeks.

Miami – Today, Miami-Dade County closed bars and restaurants. “We want to ensure that our hospitals continue to have the staffing necessary to save lives. At this time, I plan to keep open various outdoor activities, including condominium and hotel pools with strict social distancing and masks rules, as well as summer camps and child daycare centers with strict capacity limits, requiring masks and social distancing of at least 6 feet,” Mayor Carols Gimenez said in a statement. The county’s beaches will be open Tuesday but the Mayor said they would be closed again if beachgoers fail to follow anti-crowding rules. Offices, retail stores and personal grooming businesses will remain open “for now,” he added.

Texas — Texas had more than 8,000 hospitalized cases patients on Sunday, a record number of hospitalizations and one of the highest in the country, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by the COVID Tracking Project. Hospitals in at least two Texas counties, Starr and Hidalgo, are at full capacity and local officials are urging residents there to shelter in place and avoid gatherings, according to local officials. Hospitals are on track to be overwhelmed in approximately two weeks as cases mount, Mayor Sylvester Turner said on CBS’ “Face The Nation” on Sunday.

STATE OF MICHIGAN UPDATE
Statistical Milestones (some perspective) —

  • This week there were no new coronavirus-related deaths reported Sunday, the first time since the mid-March when the first COVID-19 death was reported by the state.
  • Michigan reported Monday fewer than 300 new cases of COVID-19 for the first time in five days.
  • As of Thursday, the state had tracked 315 hospitalized inpatients with COVID-19 compared to mid-April, when Michigan had about 3,900 people in the hospital with COVID-19.
  • While Michigan has experienced an increase in new cases in recent days, the increases are small compared with what’s happening in other states.
  • Michigan, which once ranked third for cases and deaths nationally, now ranks 12th for cases and seventh for deaths linked to the virus, according to tracking by Johns Hopkins University.
  • Last week, the state reported 2,524 new cases, a six-week high, according to the state’s data. Still, the tally is less than half of the total for any week in April.
  • Likewise, the number of new deaths linked to the virus has remained low in recent weeks and the weekly percentage of tests returning positive results has crept upward but has been under 3% for four weeks now.

EMS & ER Update —  In an effort to better understand the impact that COVID fear is having on health outcomes, the State of Michigan health officials released a report last week that analyzed “out-of-hospital deaths and emergencies.”  Michigan EMS data show that cardiac arrest calls are up 43.3% between March and May compared to the same timeframe last year, with out-of-hospital deaths up a staggering 62%. And the CDC reported that ER visits were down 42% nationally at the outset of the pandemic.


Updated: June 22, 2020 – 4:20 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
Michigan — Recovered 49,290 (reported weekly); Cases 67,957; Deaths 6,097
Kent County — Cases 4,603; Deaths 124
Ottawa County — Cases 971; Deaths 51
Muskegon County — Cases 822; Deaths 49

NATIONAL UPDATE

Trend lines — As of Sunday, the nation’s seven-day average of new COVID cases increased more than 24% compared with a week ago, according to Johns Hopkins University data. COVID-19-related hospitalizations are growing in 14 states as of Sunday, according to the COVID Tracking Project. Texas and Arizona have reported increases in people currently hospitalized COVID based on a seven-day moving average — In TX, a 37% increase compared with a week ago, and in AZ a near 29% increase compared with a week ago. As of Saturday, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 83% of inpatient beds and 85% of intensive-care unit beds were in use.

Therapy — Gilead Sciences Inc. announced plans to start human trials of an inhaled version of its anti-COVID-19 drug, Remdesivir. U.S. regulators gave Remdesivir emergency use authorization in May, and since has been used to treat hospitalized COVID patients after a study showed it could speed recovery. It is administered through daily infusions at a hospital over a course of five to ten days, however. An inhaled version could be used with a broader group of patients, including those with milder symptoms, who don’t need to be hospitalized.

STATE OF MICHIGAN UPDATE

State of Emergency Extended – Last week on June 18, the Governor signed Executive Order 2020-127, extending the state of emergency declaration related to COVID until July 16. A report from the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team (UK-based crisis scientific and advisory team looking at trends in England and U.S.) indicates aggressive mandates in MI lowered the number of cases and deaths that would have occurred without any intervention.  With reductions in COVID cases the State has relaxed restrictions on business activities and daily life. If current trends continue the Governor has stated that the entire state will be moved to Phase 5 (containment – all businesses opened with mitigation measures in place, gatherings still restricted in size with social distancing measures) by July 4.

LOCAL SURGE UPDATE 

State Parks Reopening — State Parks in Michigan (including Grand Haven) re-opened today, with restrictions. The state suspended use for the past three months to try and reduce face-to-face contact and the exchange of money due to COVID. State officials strongly encourage social distancing requirements. NOCHS will continue to communicate and work with local municipalities to provide real-time hospitalization and testing data enabling leaders to make informed decisions to protect NOCHS and the broader community should we see a change in trajectory.

North Ottawa Care Center/Hospice Testing Mandate —  On June 15, MDHHS released new guidance requiring diagnostic testing practices in skilled nursing facilities which requires:

  • Testing of all new or returning residents during intake and routine quarantine of new residents; testing of any resident or staff member with symptoms or suspected exposure.
  • Mandatory baseline testing of all existing residents and staff working at skilled nursing facilities in areas classified as medium risk of higher. (As of this morning, Ottawa and the majority of counties in the lower peninsula are categorized as medium risk.)
  • Weekly testing for staff until the county moves to a risk level below medium. (This will be checked routinely to ensure the facility’s testing protocols remain consistent with the State’s guidance.)
  • If facility develops a positive COVID case, weekly testing of residents and staff will occur until it has 14 days without COVID case development.  After that, weekly testing for residents will stop and if the facility is in an area under medium risk, weekly testing for staff will stop.
  • Hospice Community staff, who are providing care in skilled nursing facilities, and our Hospice Residence staff will also be tested on a weekly basis while our region remains in a medium or high risk area.  Hospice of North Ottawa Community has been testing its residents upon admission or presence of symptoms and will continue to do so.

Updated: June 15, 2020 – 6:00 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
Michigan — Recovered 44,964 (reported weekly); Confirmed Cases 66,085; Deaths 6,017
Kent County — Confirmed Cases 4,463; Deaths 115
Ottawa County — Confirmed Cases 936; Deaths 50
Muskegon County — Confirmed Cases 742; Deaths 42

NATIONAL UPDATE

Second Wave? — The number of active global cases hit an all-time high in June. Meanwhile, there is evidence that a second wave of infections is emerging in many parts of the U.S. All states have now begun reopening their economies, easing social distancing restrictions. But data show that, simultaneously, 22 states are trending in the wrong direction, showing at least a 25% increase in new cases last week. For weeks, the number of Americans testing positive for COVID-19 hovered around 20,000/day, but a change is taking place at the local level. While the incidence of new cases of COVID-19 is slowing in some parts of the country, it is growing rapidly in others. In addition to concerns about community spread as the economy re-openings, another contributing factor to rising case data, is more testing.

Experts Continue to Express Concern — In an interview published Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, top U.S. infectious-disease expert, warned that waves of infection could come “back and forth” for months and not begin returning to “normal” for at least a year. He added that the real end of the crisis will only come with the development of a vaccine, which remains in development with hopes of becoming available by end of this calendar year.

New Hotspots Emerging — While major cities like New York and Detroit have seen marked decreases in COVID-19 hospitalizations, Houston and Phoenix are dramatically increasing. Last week, Texas set a new record for COVID-19 hospitalizations in four of the five days. Health officials in both cities are concerned that the increase may strain hospital capacity.

FDA Revokes Usage of Two Drugs — The FDA has revoked its emergency-use authorization for two malaria drugs, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, for the treatment of COVID-19, citing that it is more harmful (cardiac complications) than helpful.  After reviewing new information from large clinical trials the FDA believes that the suggested dosing regimens are unlikely to produce an antiviral effect. The drugs, which also have been used to treat lupus and other conditions, aren’t being removed from the market. And the FDA says the drugs can still be prescribed by doctors for “off-label” uses if they think it’s appropriate. Clinical trials also will continue. But the emergency permission granted by the agency last February that added the drugs to the federal stockpile and allowed them to be distributed to states for use against COVID-19 will end.

STATE OF MICHIGAN UPDATE

MDHHS Nursing Home Announcement Today — Later today, the MDHHS is expected to issue an Epidemiologic Order focused on testing protocols for all residents and staff in skilled nursing facilities. The order will also include further clarity on COVID-19 reporting requirements. Information expected to be announced by MDHHS includes:

  • Public release and posting of resident deaths by facility & staff deaths
  • Testing strategy for nursing facilities
  • Protocols for staff who test positive
  • The initiation of Rapid Response Teams designed to assist facilities in critical staffing situations
  •  Updates regarding Regional Hubs decommissioning and potential additional HUB locations
  •  Doctors Without Borders will be joining MDHHS to provide infection prevention & control support

North Ottawa Care Center has anticipated this announcement and is ready to quickly implement updated protocols as necessary. Restricted visitation is NOT expected to change as part of this announcement; the Governor’s EO for that does not expire until June 26.


Updated: June 8, 2020 – 5:00 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
Michigan — Recovered 42,041 (reported weekly); Confirmed Cases 58,999; Deaths 5,673
Kent County — Confirmed Cases 3,954; 103 deaths
Ottawa County —  Confirmed Cases 824; 43 deaths
Muskegon County — Confirmed Cases 697; 40 deaths

NATIONAL UPDATE

Did the Shut-Downs Slow Disease Spread? Two independent studies published today examined how stay-at-home orders and other restrictions limited the spread of COVID-19. One indicates shutdowns prevented 60 million coronavirus infections in the U.S. Another estimated shutdowns saved about 3.1 million lives in 11 European countries, including 500,000 in the United Kingdom, and dropped infection rates by an average of 82 percent, sufficient to drive the contagion well below epidemic levels. The two reports, published simultaneously Monday in the journal Nature, used completely different methods to reach similar conclusions. They suggest that the aggressive measures, which caused massive economic disruptions and job losses, were effective at halting the exponential spread of the novel coronavirus. Full story:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/06/08/shutdowns-prevented-60-million-coronavirus-infections-us-study-finds/

WHO Warning Issued — In a news conference today, the World Health Organization warned that the pandemic is far from over, and strongly encouraged protesters to wear masks and maintain social distancing, as well as encouraged governments to be cautious during anti-racism demonstrations around the world. WHO officials acknowledged that several countries are seeing positive signs, but in these countries, the biggest threat now is complacency.

STATE OF MICHIGAN UPDATE

MDHHS Updates COVID-19 Stats on Website — In an effort to provide more information about COVID-19, MDHHS is providing additional and improved statistics on its website:  https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/

Starting today, you can see:

  • Confirmed and probable cases and deaths by age group, sex and race breakdowns for the state, preparedness regions and counties.
  • Total serologic and diagnostic tests by county and preparedness region.
  • Cumulative confirmed cases and deaths by date.

It’s also providing the national standard defining “probable” cases, in response to public confusion/scrutiny. Identifying probable cases and deaths provides a more complete picture about how COVID-19 has impacted the state. They are defined by one of the following:

  • Having clinical disease AND an epidemiologic link.
  • Having a presumptive lab result AND either clinical disease OR an epidemiologic link.
  • Having a death certificate that lists COVID-19 disease as a cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death without a positive COVID-19 confirmed lab result.

Executive Orders reopening parts of the state’s economy were issued last week by the Governor. These plans are being watched closely by governmental officials at every level to track the impact of public congregation on community spread of the disease. Here is a link to a great chart to help you keep tabs on what’s opening, when and where, and with what restrictions:

https://www.mlive.com/public-interest/2020/06/restaurants-pools-libraries-reopen-an-updated-chart-of-whats-allowed-in-michigan.html

LOCAL SURGE UPDATE

Urgent Care — As of today, the UC is now seeing all patients. (During the past few months it was using a telehealth screening mechanism to triage those with COVID symptoms and redirect to the ER if direct care was needed. That allowed the UC to minimize exposure to all other patients.)  The process is …

  • We still highly recommend that patients experiencing COVID-related symptoms call first to utilize the telehealth service.
  • All patients are triaged before entering the facility.
  • Those with COVID symptoms will be directed to a separate entrance and treated in rooms away from other patients by dedicated staff.
  • Patients needing non-COVID-related care will use the main entrance and be treated using standard protocol.

MillPoint Update — Lab is now opened, with X-Ray services resuming on Tuesday, June 9. Rehabilitation Services are still centralized at the Generation Care main facility on Lincoln St. in Grand Haven.COVID-19

Serology (Antibody) Testing — NOCHS is now performing IgG testing as well as total anti-body testing — both requiring a physician’s order and involving a blood draw. (A prior COVID-19 diagnostic test is not required.) “Total” antibody test results indicate if the patient has recently been infected or is currently infected. The IgG test give us even more specific results indicating if antibodies have present for 14 days or longer, presuming some level of immunity. How long that immunity lasts is still not known.

New Info on County Health Department COVID Dashboard — The County Health Department has added an important statistic to its dashboard, which is updated daily. Localized hospitalization data is now available in real time. This is, perhaps, the most important metric to watch as we move into the phased economic reopening. If we see hospitalizations sharply increase, it may be a signal that our community needs to adjust its plans/activity and strengthen social distancing measures.
https://ottawacountymi.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/8e2955c071394c70a6b69aff394c1a49


Updated: June 4, 2020 – 4:30 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
Michigan — Recovered 38,099 (reported weekly); Confirmed Cases 58,241; Deaths 5,595
Kent County — Confirmed Cases 3,851; 95 deaths
Ottawa County —  Confirmed Cases 807; 38 deaths
Muskegon County — Confirmed Cases 675; 37 deaths
NOCHS VISITOR POLICY Update: 

On Wednesday, June 3 The Governor announced an Executive Order expanding visitation in hospitals, outpatient clinics and doctor’s offices effective immediately, provided visitors can pass a health evaluation prior to entering the facility.

NOCHS has revised its policy accordingly. This new policy has been posted throughout the campus, along with reminders that all personnel and visitors must wear a mask at all times.

HOSPITAL CAMPUS

Updated visitor restrictions are as follows :

  • One visitor per patient per day for inpatients & outpatients
  • Two visitors per patient per day for minors and patients in the Family Birthing Unit
  • No visitors for COVID positive patients unless extenuating circumstances.

NORTH OTTAWA CARE CENTER — NO CHANGE

In compliance with the Governor’s Executive Order, which remains in place for nursing home facilities, no visitors are allowed at this time.

HOSPICE RESIDENCE AT HEARTWOOD LODGE — NO CHANGE

In compliance with the Governor’s Executive Order, which remains in place for Hospice facilities, we require that everyone must wear a mask and will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19. The visitor restrictions are as follows:

  • Two visitors per patient per day

Updated: June 1, 2020 – 4:49 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
Michigan — Recovered 38,099 (reported weekly); Confirmed Cases 57,532; Deaths 5,516
Kent County — Confirmed Cases 3,748; 89 deaths
Ottawa County —  Confirmed Cases 781; 34 deaths
Muskegon County — Confirmed Cases 645; 36 deaths

NATIONAL UPDATE

NEW: Health, State and Municipal Officials raised concerns this weekend about the possible impact of the protests on the health crisis. As of Sunday, the United States had recorded 1.7 million coronavirus infections and 103,000 deaths — a disproportionate number of them people of color. Crowded protests, like any large gathering, can facilitate spread of the disease; close proximity for extended periods of time and shouting/screaming that projects droplets farther, are chief concerns. Further, tear gas was used in some situations causing people to cough, sneeze and rub their eyes. Finally, arrests resulting in incarceration put people at even more risk, because jails are higher risk communal environments. On the other hand, outdoor open spaces and breezes dilute and disperse the virus. Still, experts are tracking concerns closely in the wake of a positive case emerging in the Ozarks after a record number of people gathered in local pools during Memorial Day weekend. A public health notice was issued in Camden County for anyone who participated in those holiday gatherings to self-quarantine and get tested. A similar, proactive notice was issued by Atlanta’s Mayor yesterday for protest attendees in that city to get tested.

NEW: New Treatment Testing  — Drug maker, Eli Lilly began the first study of an experimental drug derived from a blood sample of an early U.S. survivor of COVID-19, a new effort to take advantage of the molecular defenses developed by recovered patients.

NEW: COVID-19 Symptom May Be Permanent — Clinicians racing to understand COVID-19 are starting to discern an unusual trend: one common symptom—the loss of smell and taste—can linger months after recovery. Doctors say it is possible some survivors may never taste or smell again.

STATE OF MICHIGAN UPDATE

NEW: Stay-At-Home Order Lifted — The Governor announced today that the stay-at-home order will lift five days earlier than planned, on June 8, for the remainder of Michigan regions. These regions, comprising 93% of the state’s population, will move to Phase 4 entitled “Improving” within the MI Safe Start program. The Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan have been in Phase 4 for two weeks. Beginning immediately, outdoor gatherings of 100 people or less may resume with social distancing measures in place. Outdoor fitness, drive-in movies, and in-house services may also resume. Office work can resume, but if work can be performed from home, that is still preferred. On Thursday, June 4, retail may resume without appointments. And on Monday, June 8, restaurants may reopen to dine-in customers at 50% capacity.  Some businesses where close contact is necessary — gyms, hair salons, indoor theaters and casinos — will remain closed. The hope is to reopen all businesses by July 4.

NEW: MI Symptoms Web Tracker (Data Collection) — In an effort to help safely reengage the economy, the MDHHS and Labor and Economic Opportunity have collaborated with the U of M School of Public Health and College of Engineering to design a portal for employers also Michigan residents. Users enter information daily to help identify symptoms that might be caused by the virus and to make decisions about when to seek appropriate medical care. Local and state public health will also use the collective data to help identify the potential for new outbreaks of the disease. To log in visit:
https://misymptomapp.state.mi.us/login

NEW: Health Facility Visitation — On Friday, May 29 the Governor issued an EO extending strict visitor limitation requirements for hospitals and nursing homes, and the screening mandate for staff and visitors through June 26. In a separate EO that same day, the Governor extended the screening, employee notification and mask mandates for food-selling establishments and pharmacies through June 12.

REMINDER: Elective Cases Resume — The Governor’s EO temporarily banning elective surgery was lifted Friday, May 29 allowing all cases to be scheduled at hospitals across the state.

LOCAL SURGE UPDATE 

NEW: COVID-19 Serology (Antibody) Testing — NOCHS is now performing total in-house anti-body testing, requiring a physician’s order and involving a blood draw. (A prior COVID-19 diagnostic test is not required.) “Total” antibody test results indicate if the patient has recently been infected or is currently infected. A different test panel, set to launch later this week, will generate even more specific results. The test referred to as the “IgG antibody test” will tell us if antibodies have present for 14 days or longer, presuming some level of immunity. How long that immunity lasts is still not known.

NEW: North Ottawa Care Center Update

The Governor released an updated Executive Order extending the visitor restrictions through June 26.  As a result, long term care facilities will continue the visitor guidance encouraging telephone visits, ZOOM meetings and window visits.  We apologize if there is a delay in having an open phone line.   You may bring a cell phone for short term residents to assist in having an easier access to phone calls.  As we see in many communities near the lakeshore, the cell phone service can change at times.  For long term care residents, may we suggest the option of adding a land line the resident’s room.  You may do this by calling your phone provider, such as AT&T and asking to set up the phone line.  Please contact our Admissions office as they coordinate the internal set up. We have seen the best luck with large numbered telephones for ease of reading. 
 
For window visits, please note the record setting rainfall that we have seen this spring has resulted in an increasing amount of mosquitos.  We have contracted with services to spray for mosquitos, however it is a good plan to be prepared with appropriate bug repellant when going outdoors. 
 
We will continue all screening activities and ensure staff are wearing surgical masks as identified in the Executive Order.   As you may have experienced, wearing surgical masks can impact communication as it is difficult to read facial expressions or read people’s lips when they are speaking.  If you identify this as a barrier for your loved one, we can use communication boards to aide in improved communication. Please ask your nurse or neighborhood Team leader for assistance with this.
 
Thank you for your ongoing support as we implement the best strategies in keeping our residents safe.

Updated: May 26, 2020 – 5:05 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
Michigan — Recovered 33,168 (reported weekly); Confirmed Cases 54,881; Deaths 5,240
Kent County — Confirmed Cases 3,385; 68 deaths
Ottawa County —  Confirmed Cases 709; 27 deaths
Muskegon County — Confirmed Cases 603; 31 deaths

NATIONAL UPDATE

Worldwide Impact — There are now more than 5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, and U.S. cases account for nearly a third of them. It’s worth noting that the true number of cases may actually be higher due to testing lags, some countries not fully reporting data and asymptomatic people not getting tested. This case milestone prompted the director of the CDC to say he can’t guarantee whether a second round of lockdowns is coming as a possible second wave of the virus looms. Further, WHO emergencies head, Dr. Mike Ryan, said countries in Europe and North America should “continue to put in place the public health and social measures, the surveillance measures, the testing measures and a comprehensive strategy to ensure that we continue on a downwards trajectory and we don’t have an immediate second peak.”

U.S. Impact — Overall, the new cases by day continues to decline nationwide, as the death toll reaches almost 100,000. As of May 20, going into the holiday weekend, each state that had imposed a stay-at-home order or shelter in place (including Michigan) had begun lifting the restrictions of businesses and public spaces. People were allowed, in some places, to go back to restaurants and offices and places of worship generating multiple reports of social distancing defiance. State officials and health experts continue to seek expanded testing, contact tracing, improved treatment options and vaccine development as they consider moving forward reopening in phases.

STATE OF MICHIGAN UPDATEElective Surgery Allowed — In a May 21 news conference, the Governor rescinded the temporary ban on elective surgeries effective Friday, May 29, with no other restrictions imposed. This prompted an brief, immediate statement from the Michigan Hospital Association that you can read here:

https://mha.org/Newsroom/ID/2469/MHA-Statement-on-Resumption-of-Nonessential-Medical-Services?utm_source=Higher%20Logic&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Test&_zs=VXVWX&_zl=aSq62

Trend Lines — Sunday, May 24, was Michigan’s lowest single day death total since March. As of this past weekend, more than 330,000 recoveries were reported.

Antibody Testing Reports —  As antibody testing becomes more widely available, health officials will begin separately reporting results of statewide diagnostic and antibody testing, which previously had been reported together. Out of the 512,891 total tests that have been conducted statewide, 450,918 of those tests were diagnostic tests and 61,973 were serology (antibody) tests. Health officials emphasized the change in reporting will not affect the percentage of positive tests that are reported statewide.

LOCAL SURGE UPDATE 

NOCHS Surgical Reopening Status — Starting this week Friday, May 29, NOCHS will be providing full surgical, endoscopic and diagnostic services once again. While we have been slowly ramping back up by allowing time-sensitive cases to be scheduled at the direction of referring physicians, we have ample capacity to welcome all patients seeking elective surgical care. For a complete list of services that have re-opened visit: http://www.noch.org/main.aspx?id=6202

Thank you, Brenn Fricano for your donation of homemade face masks! ❤️😷❤️ We love the bright colors!

Thank you, Little Caesars for providing lunch to our hospital and Urgent Care staff on Memorial Day!


Updated: May 21, 2020 – 4:34 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
Michigan —
Recovered 28,234 (reported weekly); Confirmed Cases 53,510; Deaths 5,129  
Kent County —
Confirmed Cases 3,145; 62 deaths 
Ottawa County — 
Confirmed Cases 632; 25 deaths
Muskegon County —
Confirmed Cases 552; 26 deaths

Governor Whitmer Lifts Ban on Elective Surgeries and Procedures

Starting Friday, May 29, health care providers can perform nonessential medical, dental, and veterinary procedures. Read more here.

Please call your physician to reschedule or schedule your surgery or procedure at NOCHS. All services are OPEN at NOCH. 

Global Coronavirus Cases Hit 5,000,000 – see all the numbers here.

US Must Prepare for Second Wave And Lockdowns

Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, says the U.S. must be as “overprepared as possible” for a second wave of both lockdowns and infections. Read more here.


Updated: May 19, 2020 – 4:55 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
Michigan —
Recovered 28,234 (reported weekly); Confirmed Cases 52,350; Deaths 5,017  
Kent County —
Confirmed Cases 2,934; 58 deaths 
Ottawa County — 
Confirmed Cases 573; 25 deaths
Muskegon County —
Confirmed Cases 519; 25 deaths

Michigan’s Coronavirus Deaths Surpass 5,000

The State of Michigan announced 102 additional deaths attributed to COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the state’s total number of coronavirus-related deaths to 5,017.

The state also announced 435 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing that total to 52,350. Read more here.

Click here to read how to keep your home virus free.

Please do not delay seeking medical care.

If you had a medical procedure or surgery delayed, speak to your doctor to see when you can reschedule. And please go to the Emergency Room or call 911 if you are experiencing life threatening symptoms.


Updated: May 18, 2020 – 5:11 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
Michigan —
Recovered 28,234 (reported weekly); Confirmed Cases 51,915; Deaths 4,915  
Kent County —
Confirmed Cases 2,868; 56 deaths 
Ottawa County — 
Confirmed Cases 558; 24 deaths
Muskegon County —
Confirmed Cases 513; 24 deaths

NATIONAL UPDATE

Vaccine Trial — A vaccine manufacturer, Moderna, is reporting preliminary data suggesting its COVID-19 vaccine is safe, and appears to be eliciting in test subjects the kind of immune response capable of preventing disease. Read more about it here https://time.com/5838282/coronavirus-vaccine-moderna-results/

Pediatric Multi-Symptom Inflammatory Syndrome — On May 15, the CDC issued a national health advisory and posted information on its web site about the emerging illness. Today, the CDC issued another warning that children could develop this syndrome without ever knowing they were infected with the new coronavirus. More than 20 cases have been diagnosed in Michigan. Read more about it here  https://www.newsweek.com/cdc-says-children-rare-inflammatory-syndrome-mis-c-may-asymptomatic-coronavirus-1504832

At-home COVID-19 sample collection kit — The FDA announced on Saturday that it has authorized the emergency use of Everlywell, Inc.’s COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit. The product is a standalone, at-home, nasal-swab sample collection kit that can be sent to specified labs for subsequent COVID-19 diagnostic testing using certain tests separately authorized by FDA for use with the new kit. The labs authorized to test specimens collected using the authorized kit are Fulgent Therapeutics and Assurance Scientific Laboratories. Individuals must be screened via an online questionnaire, the results of which are reviewed by health care professionals, in order to gain access to the kit. Results are returned to the patient through Everlywell’s independent physician network and online portal.

STATE OF MICHIGAN UPDATE
Regional Re-opening Plans
–The Governor announced today, by Executive Order informed by the Michigan Economic Recovery Commission, the partial reopening of Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. Starting Friday (May 22), two regions — 6 and 8, which include 17 northern Michigan counties and the entire Upper Peninsula — will see some restrictions lifted. The decision was based on data analysis that show fewer positive cases diagnosed and deaths per day over a period of time, compared to state averages. The plan reopens retail and offices, including bars and restaurants, which will be required to operate at 50% capacity. Those businesses also must train employees on safety protocol, keep groups six feet from one another and require workers to wear face coverings. The EO does allow local government to take more restrictive stances, such as allowing only for outdoor seating. Small social gatherings of up to 10 people are now also permitted. Overnight lodging, campgrounds and rental properties in these regions are not yet permitted to reopen.

Testing — Michigan is now performing 15K diagnostic tests per day; ranking #6 in total daily tests and #7 in daily tests per million, nationally.

NOCHS UPDATE 

North Ottawa Care Center at Heartwood Lodge — In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order and our licensing authority, visitation at North Ottawa Care Center remains suspended. However, electronic ZOOM meetings and telephone visits are still available and highly encouraged. Window visits have also become a popular and welcomed way to interact safely with loved ones. As we transition from the cold winter months into spring and summer weather, we have developed updated visitor guidance that will impact how window visits, specifically, are conducted.

The warmer weather can allow us the opportunity to bring some normalcy back to our routines by allowing our residents to go outside to stroll in the gardens. This is an important component in quality of life and we appreciate your support as we move forward in assisting our resident’s while they spend much-needed time outdoors. Therefore, the courtyard will be closed to visitors when residents are outside. This may limit window visits for those residents with rooms looking onto the courtyard. We are happy to provide the option of window visits in the resident’s room or via the doors at the end of the hallway. We will continue to provide a phone to assist you with conversation, as the windows need to remain closed during these visits to minimize potential exposure.

At this time, we have placed a sign on the gate alerting our visitors that when residents are present, the courtyard is closed to visitors. “Gate visits” are prohibited as there is concern as the resident(s) may be exposed to the virus from our visitors. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Administrator or Director of Nursing.  We appreciate your on-going support as we make every attempt to ensure the safety of our residents.

Please remember, the State Ombudsman Office hosts a family conference call every Wednesday at 6:30pm via ZOOM.  This is a great opportunity to connect with the Ombudsman to answer questions on the licensing offices directives and protocols.

Please do not delay seeking medical care.

If you had a medical procedure or surgery delayed, speak to your doctor to see when you can reschedule. And please go to the Emergency Room or call 911 if you are experiencing life threatening symptoms.


Updated: May 15, 2020 – 4:00 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
Michigan — Recovered 22,686 (reported weekly); Confirmed Cases 50,079 Deaths 4,825
Kent County — Confirmed Cases 2,705; deaths 53
Ottawa County —  Confirmed Cases 501; 24 deaths
Muskegon County — Confirmed Cases 452; 22 deaths

Michigan records 50,000 positive COVID-19 cases.

The state is also nearing 5,000 deaths. Testing has continued to rise in the state and the Governor urges all residents who are experiencing symptoms to get tested.

The Governor launches an advisory council called, Return to Learn to figure out a plan for children to safely return to school.

The panel will be made up of more than 20 members representing K-12 administrators and educators, health experts and community stakeholders

Anyone interested can apply for the Return to Learn Advisory Council by going to Michigan.gov/appointments and click ‘apply now’ under boards and commissions. You will be able to choose Return to School Advisory Council under the appointment information tab within the application. Applications are due by Wednesday, May 20.

Please do not delay seeking medical care.

If you had a medical procedure or surgery delayed, speak to your doctor to see when you can reschedule. And please go to the Emergency Room or call 911 if you are experiencing life threatening symptoms.

NOCHS Spring Lake Mill Point Lab temporarily closes.

The lab draw site is now closed. Please go to the hospital’s main lab located at 1309 Sheldon in Grand Haven for lab work.


Updated: May 14, 2020 – 4:30 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
Michigan — Recovered 22,686 (reported weekly); Confirmed Cases 49,582 Deaths 4,787
Kent County — Confirmed Cases 2,627; deaths 48
Ottawa County —  Confirmed Cases 483; 23 deaths
Muskegon County — Confirmed Cases 435; 21 deaths

Backlogged Cases Reported in State’s COVID Numbers Today

Michigan has confirmed an additional 1,191 cases of coronavirus, a much larger increase than in recent days that the state attributed to the processing of backlogged results. The state says though the backlogged cases took a while to get into the state system, the patients who tested positive were notified in a timely manner. You can read more here.

Donate Blood
NOCHS is hosting an American Red Cross Blood Drive at Harvest Church on Friday, June 12 from 10 AM to 3:45 PM. There is an urgent need for blood donations nationwide.

If you would like to donate, please email nkamp@noch.org to reserve your spot.

Mask Care
Here are some important things to know about how to wear, remove and care for your face mask.

Q. Why do I need to wear a mask in public?
A. You can have an active COVID-19 infection even if you don’t have symptoms. Wearing a mask protects other people. It helps keep you from spreading the virus unknowingly to others. If we all exercise this courtesy, we will help prevent the spread of the virus.

Q. Does a mask or face covering protect me from the virus?
A. The virus enters your body primarily through mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth). A homemade cloth mask does not have the filters needed to protect you from inhaling the virus. The best protection for you is to wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, and practice social distancing. However, it is very important that you wear a face covering to avoid spreading the virus unknowingly to others.

Q. What is the proper way to wear a mask?
A. The mask or face covering helps keep droplets of moisture from spreading in the air as you talk, cough or sneeze. You need to fully cover your nose and mouth in order for the mask to do its job. Don’t forget your nose!

Q. How and when should I take my mask off?
A. It is best to wait until you are in your car or your home before removing your face covering, so that you can follow a safe procedure. The recommended way to handle your mask is as follows. First, sanitize or wash your hands. Then remove the mask, being careful not to touch the outside of the mask. Also avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Place the mask either in a paper bag or directly in the laundry, depending on where you are and what kind of face covering you have. Then sanitize or wash your hands again.

Q. What should I do with my mask after I remove it?
A. If your mask or face covering can be washed, the safest recommendation is to wash it every time you wear it. If your face covering cannot be washed, then place it in a paper bag to dry before you wear it again. Do not place it in a plastic bag or closed container. Trapping a moist mask in a place without air circulation is an invitation to grow unhealthy bacteria! It’s a good idea to keep a paper bag in your car so that you have a place to put your mask after you remove it. Then you can either carry it in the house for washing, or leave it in the car to dry for its next use.


Updated: May 13, 2020 – 4:58 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
Michigan — Recovered 22,686 (reported weekly); Confirmed Cases 48,391 Deaths 4,714
Kent County — Confirmed Cases 2,446; deaths 47
Ottawa County —  Confirmed Cases 444; 21 deaths
Muskegon County — Confirmed Cases 406; 20 deaths
Donate Blood
NOCHS is hosting an American Red Cross Blood Drive at Harvest Church on Friday, June 12 from 10 AM to 3:45 PM. There is an urgent need for blood donations nationwide.

If you would like to donate, please email nkamp@noch.org to reserve your spot.

From the Local Long Term Care Ombudsman Program
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak continues to evolve, it is important for the long term care ombudsman program to continue to advocate for residents in licensed nursing homes, adult foster care, and homes for the aged more than ever.  We recognize the importance of keeping family and friends informed of ever-changing guidelines.  We have created weekly question and answer sessions.  These sessions are designed to respond to questions being raised over the course of the week, allowing us to research and respond accordingly.

Sessions are one hour and take place every Wednesday at 6:30 pm.  We encourage families and friends of residents to join the calls.  If you have a specific question you would like answered, please contact us at 517-827-8010 and leave a message or send us a detailed email at MLTCOP@meji.org.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Please be sure to visit our website at MLTCOP.org for more details about the call and for information about COVID-19 and the ombudsman program.


Updated: May 12, 2020 – 4:59 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
Michigan — Recovered 22,686 (reported weekly); Confirmed Cases 48,021; Deaths 4,674
Kent County — Confirmed Cases 2,332; deaths 45
Ottawa County —  Confirmed Cases 430; 20 deaths
Muskegon County — Confirmed Cases 401; 20 deaths
Overall the state of Michigan is making progress in flattening the curve. Here are seven indicators that show Michigan’s positive progress in the coronavirus crisis.
As the state’s numbers decrease, Ottawa County is seeing an uptick in cases. You can read more about it here.
In case you missed it – The Michigan National Guard saluted medical workers from Grand Rapids skies today. Check out a video of it on our Facebook and Instagram.
Thank you, Coastal Community Church and Aldea Coffee for providing a morning perk for our employees during National Hospital Week!

Updated: May 11, 2020 – 4:48 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
Michigan — Recovered 22,686 (reported weekly); Confirmed Cases 47,552; Deaths 4,584
Kent County — Confirmed Cases 2,416; deaths 42
Ottawa County —  Confirmed Cases 420; 19 deaths
Muskegon County — Confirmed Cases 384; 20 deaths
NATIONAL UPDATE

COVID-19 Link to Pediatric Illness — Nationwide, nearly 100 children have been diagnosed with the newly identified syndrome called, Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Potentially Associated with COVID-19. At least eight states — California, Delaware, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington — as well as Washington, D.C., have reported cases. None in Michigan at this time. Health officials urge parents to seek immediate care if a child has:

  • Prolonged fever (more than five days)
  • Difficulty feeding (infants) or is too sick to drink fluids
  • Severe abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting
  • Change in skin color – becoming pale, patchy and/or blue
  • Trouble breathing or is breathing very quickly
  • Racing heart or chest pain
  • Decreased amount of frequency in urine
  • Lethargy, irritability or confusion

Most concerning is that children can develop problems with heart function; possibly the result of a child’s immune system going into overdrive after a COVID-19 infection. Many, but not all, children with the condition have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. Some children don’t develop symptoms until a month after exposure to the virus.

New COVID-19 Antigen Test — The first emergency use authorization for a COVID-19 antigen test has been issued by the FDA. Antigen tests are a new category of tests for use in the coronavirus pandemic and quickly detect fragments of proteins from the virus in samples collected by swab from people’s noses. It’s a very rapid test that could be used in a doctor’s office on the same machines used to test for strep throat and flu. PCR tests (like the ones we do in NOCHS’ lab) are incredibly accurate, but take time. This test could provide results in minutes, but may not detect all active infections because they aren’t as sensitive. Positive results from antigen tests are highly accurate, but there is a higher chance of false negatives; negative results do not rule out infection. Negative results may need to be confirmed with a PCR test prior to making treatment decisions or to prevent the possible spread.

STATE OF MICHIGAN UPDATE

Industry Reopening Update — The Governor has reopened manufacturing starting today. Automakers don’t resume until May 18. Companies must provide daily entry screenings for all entering the facility, question about symptoms/exposure, and do temperature checks as soon as no-touch thermometers can be obtained. Companies must also create dedicated entry points and suspend entry of all non-essential in-person visits, including tours.

COVID-19 Treatment — Michigan is one of six states getting a shipment of remdesivir a drug that has shown to help coronavirus patients recover faster in preliminary trials. The HHS shipped 40 cases to Michigan. Health care providers have been asked to contact the state health department if interesting in procuring. Going forward, HHS is requesting certain data from hospitals to inform HHS’s distribution, e.g. weekly data on the number of currently hospitalized COVID-19 patients and, of those hospitalized, the number requiring placement in intensive care units.

LOCAL SURGE UPDATE 

Predicitve Model Update — More analysis of the predictive models (U of M, U of Pennsylvania and COVIDActNow.org) suggest that West Michigan, and specifically Ottawa County, will continue to experience a flattened curve, assuming social distancing mitigation continues. Some have confused “flattened curve” with less disease. That’s not entirely accurate. The goal was to slow the spread so hospitals would not be overwhelmed with cases spiking all at once, like we saw in Detroit and elsewhere. But the curve — although flatter — is still a curve. This means we will still see increases in positive cases continue to rise locally, because we are testing more; and some of those will require hospitalization. That elevation may sustain for a while. But it is looking less likely that we will see a “surge” or maxing out regional hospital capacity. A few models continue to indicate that peak illness could come in a few weeks, while one predicts it could come as late as July. Regardless the virus will be with us, in some form, for a while.

NOCHS Reopening Plan — NOCHS summarized its phased reopening plan for services at the hospital on a new landing page of the web site,  http://www.noch.org/main.aspx?id=6202


Updated: May 7, 2020 – 4:15 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
Michigan — Recovered 15,659 (reported weekly); Confirmed Cases 45,646; Deaths 4,343
Kent County — Confirmed Cases 2,076; deaths 41
Ottawa County —  Confirmed Cases 331; 17 deaths
Muskegon County — Confirmed Cases 344 cases; 19 deaths

Stay Home, Stay Safe – In a press conference today, Governor Whitmer extended the Stay Home, Stay Safe orders until May 28. She also discussed a six step phase plan to reopen Michigan’s economy (read here).

The governor said the state is currently in phase three.

The phases are:

  1. UNCONTROLLED GROWTH: The increasing number of new cases every day, overwhelming our health systems.
  2. PERSISTENT SPREAD: We continue to see high case levels with concern about health system capacity.
  3. FLATTENING: The epidemic is no longer increasing and the health-system’s capacity is sufficient for current needs.
  4. IMPROVING: Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are clearly declining.
  5. CONTAINING: Continued case and death rate improvements, with outbreaks quickly contained.
  6. POST-PANDEMIC: Community spread not expected to return.

The new order will also allow manufacturing, including the Big 3 automakers, to resume work on Monday May 11. Under the order, manufacturing facilities must adopt safety measure to protect workers from spreading COVID-19. See the press conference, here.

Hydroxychloroquine: According to a new observational study published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, Hydroxychloroquine, a decades-old malaria drug touted by President Donald Trump, didn’t appear to help hospitalized patients with Covid-19. Read more here.

Ten COVID-19 Anxiety Reduction Strategies: Stay Home Stay Safe order from Governor Whitmer is in place to keep Michiganders safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ever changing news and information about COVID-19 may increase anxiety. Here are some things you can do to help relax and lessen stress. 

By the Numbers: Here is a good link to see how we are doing overall as a state with coronavirus. Click here.

Reminders:

NOCHS Spring Lake Lab Draw Site Re-opens

NOCHS’ lab draw site at Mill Point Station in Spring Lake is now open. Operating hours are Monday – Friday, 6:30 am to 3:00 pm.

North Ottawa Care Center – Mother’s Day Flowers

Mother’s Day is soon approaching and we would like to encourage those who have family members at Heartwood Lodge to send flowers a few days earlier this year because of the extra precautions we are putting into place due to COVID-19.

If you are planning to send flowers, please consider having them put in a glass vase for same day delivery. We will be sanitizing all glass vases before bringing them to any resident. Items in plastic pots or baskets will also be wiped down, but will be stored in a plastic bin, with your resident’s name on it and held for 72 hours before being delivered for extra precaution.

We would highly encourage glass vases this year so that your family member can receive the flowers the same day.

 


Updated: May 6, 2020 – 4:20 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
Michigan — Recovered 15,659 (reported weekly); Confirmed Cases 45,054; Deaths 4,250
Kent County — Confirmed Cases 2,016; deaths 40
Ottawa County —  Confirmed Cases 313; 13 deaths
Muskegon County — Confirmed Cases 335 cases; 19 deaths

Giving Tuesday – Thank you to all who donated to NOCHS on #GivingTuesday. We continue to be blessed by your generous support yesterday, and every day.

National Nurse Week and Hospital Week – Today is the beginning of a national two-week celebration honoring all nurses and health care workers. We are thankful for their courage and grateful for all they give. Here’s to the 173 nurses, and nearly 900 employees and physicians at NOCHS. Every one of them a front-line hero.

Upcoming Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Mental Illness & COVID-19

Many of us have questions on how COVID-19 will affect mental health in our area, and what is being done to prepare for the expected increase in needs. Here’s your chance to hear critical and timely information, and ask questions from the safety of your home. Learn more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/560114778222186/

Reminder: If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please call our testing hotline at 616.935.7810.

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Thank you — Taryn Bradtmueller for the homemade ear savers and M.W. Watermark for the fabric masks.


Updated: May 5, 2020 – 4:45 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
Michigan — Recovered 15,659 (reported weekly); Confirmed Cases 44,397; Deaths 4,179
Kent County — Confirmed Cases 1,914; deaths 40
Ottawa County —  Confirmed Cases 295; 12 deaths
Muskegon County — Confirmed Cases 318 cases; 18 deaths

Giving Tuesday — Today is #GivingTuesdayNOW, a global initiative we are participating in to support nonprofits in our communities.

We need each other like never before. You need expert care, close by. We need your investment.
If there is anything that the last few weeks have taught us, it’s that “community” is still very much our middle name. We’re in this together now, and for the long-term. Your ongoing support in the form of in-kind donations, monetary donations (in any amount) and choosing us for services keeps our expertise embedded in this community, doing our part to keep our hometown strong. We are beyond grateful for the outpouring of love and respect you’ve showered upon us. We feel it deeply. We hope you feel the same from us with every interaction, every single day. We are so honored to be here.
And we thank you from the bottom of our heart.
Watch a special message here:

Thank you to Jeff Gural at Northwind Productions for gifting us this video for #GivingTuesdayNOW.

Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Mental Illness & COVID-19

Many of us have questions on how COVID-19 will affect mental health in our area, and what is being done to prepare for the expected increase in needs. Here’s your chance to hear critical and timely information, and ask questions from the safety of your home. Learn more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/560114778222186/

Grand Haven State Park lots closed due to overcrowding

The parking lots at Grand Haven State Park have been closed due to “overwhelming crowds ignoring physical distancing requirements. Read more here.


Updated: May 4, 2020 – 5:56 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
Michigan —
Recovered15,659 (reported weekly); Confirmed Cases 43,754; Deaths 4,049
Kent County —
Confirmed Cases 1,786; deaths 39
Ottawa County — 
Confirmed Cases 275; 12 deaths
Muskegon County —
Confirmed Cases 304 cases; 17 deaths

Giving Tuesday — May 5 is #GivingTuesdayNOW, a global initiative we will be participating in to support nonprofits in our communities. Look for our posts on Facebook throughout the day to find ways to support NOCHS.

NATIONAL UPDATE

Social Distancing Guidelines — The President allowed the federal government’s coronavirus social distancing guidelines to expire on April 30, allowing states to take charge.

COVID-19 Treatment — The FDA authorized antiviral drug, remdesivir, for emergency use as a coronavirus treatment. A recently completed study led by the NIH found that remdesivir shortened the recovery time for some coronavirus patients by four days.

Antibody Test — Swiss drugmaker Roche received Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA for an antibody test designed to help determine if a person has been infected by the coronavirus and developed antibodies against it. Its reported that the test (blood draw) has a specificity rate exceeding 99.8% and sensitivity of 100%, meaning tests would show very few false positives and no false negatives. The World Health Organization, however, has warned that it’s too early to say whether people who have had the virus are immune from subsequent infections.

STATE OF MICHIGAN UPDATE

Status of Stay-At-Home Restrictions  The Governor announced revisions and an extension of Michigan’s stay-at-home order on April 24, setting a new end date for the order limiting most in-person business and activity through May 15. Landscapers, lawn-service companies, nurseries and bike repair shops have returned to work subject to strict social distancing. Big-box stores have reopened closed sections of stores. Other retailers are now open for curbside pick-up or delivery. Residents are allowed to travel between their residences again, although it is “strongly discouraged.” Public-facing businesses like gyms salons, bars and in-person dining at restaurants remain closed.

Elective Surgery — On April 30, the Governor extended Michigan’s state of emergency to May 28. While the legislature may challenge the legality of this action, the declaration is currently effective. Relevant details for hospital include …

  • Executive Order 2020-17 — This order prevents hospitals, outpatient surgery centers and dentists from conducting non-emergency or non-essential procedures but allows clinicians to determine when a patient needs care that will impact their health and well-being. While this is in place until May 28, we expect the governor to act on this order soon, e.g. issuing an FAQ outlining loosened restrictions.
  • The Governor and the State’s Chief Medical Officer have acknowledged support for hospitals doing additional medical procedures as capacity, testing and PPE supply improve, and has publicly urged patients to reschedule care they may have delayed and to not put off any further medical needs.

Visitor Restrictions — On May 3, the Governor extended restrictions barring non-essential visitors to health care. The new order remains in place through 11:59 p.m. May 31. The previous orders state that non-essential visitors are prohibited from entering health care facilities, residential care facilities, and congregate care facilities. That include visitors who are not:

  • Necessary for the provision of medical care, the support of activities of daily living, or the exercise of power of attorney or court-appointed guardianship for an individual under the facility’s care.
  • A parent, foster parent or guardian of an individual 21 years old or younger and who is under the facility’s care.
  • Visiting an individual under the facility’s care that is in serious or critical condition or in hospice care.
  • Visiting under exigent circumstances or for the purpose of performing official governmental functions. The birth of a child qualifies as an exigent circumstance, allowing a partner and doula to accompany a laboring mother, if they pass the health evaluation required by the order.
The order also requires facilities to accommodate remote visitations by way of phone or video conferencing programs. The order was first issued March 14, then extended on April 5 to May 3.
THANK YOU — 
Thank you, Home Depot Grand Haven for your continued generosity! They donated 1000 disposable gloves to us today! 🖐🖐🖐
Thank you to Judith Dembowske for ANOTHER batch of homemade masks for our staff! 😷😷😷
And thank you Rykes for bringing six boxes of donuts for our staff to enjoy today! 🍩🍩🍩

Updated: May 1, 2020 – 4:45 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
Michigan —
Recovered 8,342 (reported weekly); Confirmed Cases 42,356; Deaths 3,866
Kent County —
Confirmed Cases 1,600; deaths 36
Ottawa County — 
Confirmed Cases 254; 11 deaths
Muskegon County —
Confirmed Cases 288 cases; 17 deaths

Surgeries to Begin Next Week

Starting Monday, May 4, we will slowly re-open our surgical and Endoscopic capacity to accommodate time-sensitive patients whose doctors have deemed their case a priority. We encourage all patients who have had their surgery canceled to reach out to their physician to discuss what options might be available to them. In preparation, NOCHS has put a number of mechanisms in place to ensure the safety of patients and staff. These include screening all people coming into the building, and requiring masks to be worn in all public spaces, enforcing strict visitor restrictions, testing all surgical patients, testing hospital staff, establishing a separate “surge” ER entrance to keep patients isolated, establishing a remote test collection site to draw symptomatic patients away from the hospital, etc.

Fortunately, to this point, our community, and consequentially it’s community hospital (NOCHS) have a low disease burden with comparatively few Covid cases.

NOCHS Spring Lake Lab Draw Site Re-opens

Also, NOCHS’ lab draw site at Mill Point Station in Spring Lake will re-open on Monday, May 4. Operating hours will be Monday – Friday, 6:30 am to 3:00 pm.

North Ottawa Care Center – Mother’s Day Flowers

Mother’s Day is soon approaching and we would like to encourage those who have family members at Heartwood Lodge to send flowers a few days earlier this year because of the extra precautions we are putting into place due to COVID-19.

If you are planning to send flowers, please consider having them put in a glass vase for same day delivery. We will be sanitizing all glass vases before bringing them to any resident. Items in plastic pots or baskets will also be wiped down, but will be stored in a plastic bin, with your resident’s name on it and held for 72 hours before being delivered for extra precaution.

We would highly encourage glass vases this year so that your family member can receive the flowers the same day.

Hospice of North Ottawa Community 

Hospice of North Ottawa Community provides a comforting service that can allow people to experience togetherness at the end of life, even during COVID-19. Medical Director, Dr. VanderHeide answers some common questions below.
Q. What is hospice?
A. Hospice is specifically designed to provide comfort-focused care, equipment and services in the last few months of life. The objective is to help patients stay comfortable and experience the end of life on their terms. It is also intended to provide support for family members and caregivers, relieving stress and helping them deal with the many unknowns.
Q. Is North Ottawa Community Hospice still providing care during the coronavirus pandemic?
A. YES! We are still providing this essential care through a combination of services. We can use telehealth for some of our work, and then add in-person visits when it is necessary. We also have a hospice residence where patients can stay. Our staff is screened twice per day for fever and other symptoms. We also have all the necessary personal protective equipment and training to provide care.
Q. Why should I consider hospice care rather than having my loved one in the hospital?
A. Hospitals are required to restrict visitors in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. This means that a hospital patient at the end of life is virtually alone, increasing their hardship as well as that of their family and friends. However, visitation (with appropriate precautions) is more accessible for patients who are receiving hospice care in their own home or at our hospice facility. This is important for the patient, but also for the friends and family who want to create memories with someone they love.
Q. Do you help patients use technology when in-person visits are not possible?
A. Yes. We know how important it is for patients and those who care about them to connect. Our staff has phones and tablets, and will use them to facilitate calls and video conferencing with friends or family members.
Q. It is very difficult for people to grieve during this time, as many conventional end-of-life rituals cannot be observed. What can North Ottawa Community Hospice do to help?
A. We have a grief and bereavement team that is providing phone support during this time. They are available to anyone in the community who is grieving a loss…even if that person did not receive hospice care from us. Please call (616) 846-2015 and ask to speak to a bereavement counselor if these services would be helpful to you.
Q. How would I request hospice care?
A. Talk to your physician if you feel that hospice care might be right for you or a loved one. Once we receive a referral, our team will schedule an evaluation to start a plan of care. If you have questions, please call us at (616) 846-2015.
Thank you Grand Finale for providing tomato bisque soup and fresh bread for our employees today! YUM! ⠀
Thank you to the family of a patient for providing soft pretzels and sandwiches for our Med/Surg and ICU staff. They were so grateful.
Thank you to Hot Logic for their donation of 500 masks and Hot Logic Minis for our employees!⠀
Thank you to Betty Cooper for homemade masks, and to Lynn Soper for homemade ear savers!

Updated: April 30, 2020 – 4:49 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
Michigan —
Recovered 8,342 (reported weekly); Confirmed Cases 41,379; Deaths 3,789
Kent County —
Confirmed Cases 1,479; deaths 33
Ottawa County — 
Confirmed Cases 236; nine deaths
Muskegon County —
Confirmed Cases 276 cases; 17 deaths

DO NOT Delay Emergency Care

Concerns about COVID-19 should not prevent you from seeking medical attention in the event of an emergency. Hospitals are well equipped to provide safe and high-quality care to those who need it. Your health is essential – do not delay emergency care.

COVID-19 Remote Testing Site
We have updated the hours for our COVID-19 screening hot line (616-935-7810). Staff is available to answer your call, Monday – Friday from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM and on the weekends from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.
NOCHS’ Palliative Care Offers In-Home Visits
Did you know we are still offering in-home palliative care? Check out some common Q&As here.
Q. What is palliative care and who can get it?
A. Palliative care is a medical specialty that focuses on helping patients with the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. That could include, for example, pain, depression, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, anxiety and any other symptoms that may be causing distress. The goal is to improve quality of life for both patient and family. Palliative care serves as an extra layer of support to help patients understand their disease or condition and live more comfortably with it. Palliative care is offered to people with any serious illness at any stage of disease, even at the time of initial diagnosis. This includes serious chronic illnesses such as COPD, heart diseases, kidney disease dementia and many others.
Q. Is palliative care still available during the coronavirus pandemic?
A. YES! We are still providing this essential care through a combination of services. We can use telehealth for much of our work, and then add in-person visits when it is necessary. This hasn’t been a huge change for us. Many of our patients are confined to home due to their health conditions and we routinely deliver care this way.
Q. Why would I want palliative care, especially now?
A. Patients with serious illnesses already struggle to manage the symptoms and complications of their diseases. Add the stress of today’s environment, and the safety precautions required for leaving the home, and it just becomes harder. Palliative care can make it easier for caregivers as well as patients to cope. It also eliminates the stress of needing to leave the house for care.
Q. Can you provide palliative care to someone with COVID-19?
A. Yes, we are prepared to do so, although we have not yet encountered a patient who has tested positive for the virus. Our staff is screened twice per day for fever and other symptoms. We also have all the necessary personal protective equipment and training to go into the home safely when needed.
Q. Is palliative care covered by insurance?
A. Palliative care is covered by most insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare. However, 60 percent of Americans who qualify for palliative care don’t use it. Many patients simply don’t know the care is available, or don’t realize they might benefit from utilizing it. That’s unfortunate, because palliative care is a valuable service that helps many people achieve a better quality of life.
Q. How would I request palliative care?
A. Talk to your physician if you feel that palliative care might be right for you or a loved one. Once we receive a referral from your physician, our team will schedule an evaluation to start a plan of care. If you have questions, please call us at (616) 846-2015.
THANK YOU to our employee, Sabrina Frank for coming up with the idea for this decal and providing it for all of our employees. She organized the entire project and asked her friend, Erin Chittenden, to make all of them and even got her husband’s company, Mike’s Mobil, to help fund the project. ⠀
We are grateful for this gift and everyone involved – thank you! 💛
THANK YOU — to Judith Debowske, Toni Wilson, Melodee Bergy, Cynthia Revilla, Tammy Beswick, Robin Vanderlaan, Susan DeGarmo and Cheryl Dodger for donating homemade masks, and Mary Ogden for making earsavers, for hospital staff and their families. ⠀⠀
Also, THANK YOU to Michigan Chinese American Coalition – MCAC for donating 400 surgical masks as part of their “Fight Covid-19” Campaign.

Updated: April 29, 2020 – 4:42 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
Michigan —
Recovered 8,342 (reported weekly); Confirmed Cases 40,399; Deaths 3,670
Kent County —
Confirmed Cases 1,395; deaths 33
Ottawa County — 
Confirmed Cases 224; nine deaths
Muskegon County —
Confirmed Cases 262 cases; 16 deaths

New data suggests patients with severe Covid-19 who took Remdesivir could recover faster than patients who didn’t take it, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said today. The FDA plans to announce an emergency-use authorization for Remdesivir. The authorization could come as soon as Wednesday. You can read more here.

Highlights from the Governor’s 3:00 PM news conference today:

  • The governor will sign an executive order on Friday that will loosen her Stay Home, Stay Safe order for the construction industry. Residential and Commercial Construction can reopen May 7.
  • She also announced a plan that would give college tuition to essential employees who are working the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Futures for Frontliners will create paths to earn a technical certificate, associate degree or even a bachelor’s degree for those working in hospitals, childcare, grocery stores, nursing homes, public protection and more.
  • Gov. Whitmer also announced she’s expanding the state’s Workshare Program to reduce employee hours to receive weekly unemployment insurance benefit plus the $600 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) weekly benefit. The program can act as supplemental pay for critical infrastructure workers and will be in place through July.

The CDC has updated the testing criteria for COVID-19 including new symptoms.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea

Please call 616.935.7810 if you think you need to be tested.

Tuesday, May 5 is #GivingTuesdayNow

#GivingTuesdayNow is a new global day of giving and unity – in addition to the regularly scheduled Dec 1, 2020 #GivingTuesday – as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. More information can be found here.


Updated: April 28, 2020 – 4:49 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
Michigan —
Recovered 8,342 (reported weekly); Confirmed Cases 39,262; Deaths 3,567
Kent County —
Confirmed Cases 1,305; deaths 33
Ottawa County — 
Confirmed Cases 210; nine deaths
Muskegon County —
Confirmed Cases 242 cases; 15 deaths

The US hit one million cases of COVID-19 today.

Read about how the hospital is poised to open more services here: https://www.grandhaventribune.com/news/health_care/local-health-care-systems-ready-to-reopen-services/article_e2eb5987-d32b-5004-bb11-f4e691c836e7.html?fbclid=IwAR1b4GTNjthkcG7PtFAAYXqcUStg7TT51FUV8TQF1IJl8Aa6xtcwGX-szGM

Volunteer Training – Hospice of North Ottawa Community’s volunteer training for May 12 & 19 has been canceled.
Do you sew? You can help us keep our healthcare workers safe by making face masks to wear when they are outside of the hospital, care center, hospice or urgent care.

Please drop off any homemade face masks at the hospital’s main entrance, Monday through Friday between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Thank you!

THANK YOU — Tropical Smoothie Grand Haven for the wonderful smoothies! Our staff appreciated the treat and the encouraging messages today!

Here is some important information about COVID-19 antibodies.
Q. What are antibodies and why does it matter if I have them?
A. An antibody is the body’s response to a disease. You develop antibodies when you are exposed to an illness. Your body will use those antibodies to fight off the disease if it attacks you again. This is why, for example, you only get chicken pox once. You develop antibodies after the first infection, and you can fight off any additional attacks by the virus. Antibodies help you avoid multiple infections by the same virus.
Q. Why is the significance of having COVID-19 antibodies?
A. You only produce antibodies if your body has fought the virus. You might have had symptoms during this fight; you might not. If you have COVID-19 antibodies, you have (or have had) the virus, even if you were not symptomatic. It also means that, theoretically, you will not get it again. Your body has developed some level of immunity.
Q. How long are COVID-19 antibodies effective at preventing a recurrence of the virus?
A. This is a really important question for which science doesn’t have an answer. We know, generally speaking, that antibodies may not be effective forever and may not be universally effective. Go back to the chicken pox example. Chicken pox and shingles are caused by related strains of the same virus. If you have chicken pox as a child, you will never get them again. Your antibodies protect you from the chicken pox strain of the virus. However, you can still get shingles as an adult. Those chicken pox antibodies don’t protect you from the shingles strain of the virus. COVID-19 is new. We don’t have the data to understand how long the antibodies will be effective, or if they will be effective against multiple strains of this virus.
Q. Why should people be tested for COVID-19 antibodies?
A. This testing is important for two reasons. First, it helps employers determine if it is safe to have people in the workplace. Someone who has COVID-19 antibodies has already had the virus. It is unlikely they will get it again. This means they will not infect other people, either. Second, the data collected through antibody testing is hugely important for science, especially when it comes to developing vaccines or other preventative measures.
Q. Does NOCHS offer antibody testing?

A. As with all things COVID-19, the primary challenge is that of supply and demand. This is affecting everyone, including us. We have placed an order for the testing supplies needed to screen for antibodies. We don’t know when that shipment will arrive. As soon as it does, we are ready to begin testing.

In regards to COVID antibody testing there are a few things to know:
  • NOCHS does not currently have the COVID antibody test
  • When we do obtain it, it will be not be done at the COVID test center
  • It is a blood test that will require a doctor’s order.
Please know we will keep you informed when we are able to perform the test.

Updated: April 27, 2020 – 4:55 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
Michigan — Recovered 8,342 (reported weekly); Confirmed Cases 38,210; Deaths 3,407
Kent County — Confirmed Cases 1,100; deaths 34
Ottawa County —  Confirmed Cases 191; nine deaths
Muskegon County — Confirmed Cases 234 cases; 13 deaths

STATE OF MICHIGAN UPDATE

Highlights from the Governor’s 4:00 PM news conference today:

  • announced MI Safe Start plan to re-open economy, which will incrementally assess sectors to determine if its safe to open and with what restrictions, based on geography, overall risk, public health capacity, e.g. outdoor enterprises and residential/commercial construction will be among the first. More details to be released this week.
  • COVID-19 trends continue to plateau statewide and recoveries are rising
  • continue to monitor and track increases in different parts of the state to avoid another hot spot developing
  • metrics being watched include — positive trends in cases and deaths going down over weeks; as well as increased testing with positives decreasing; and hospital capacity (ICU beds and PPE available)
  • cautioned the public to NOT DELAY in seeking urgent, necessary and certainly emergent medical care during this time

LOCAL SURGE UPDATE

The State will now publicly report skilled nursing facilities in Michigan with active COVID-19 cases. We continue to implement stringent protocols to ensure the safety or residents and staff. Visitor restrictions remain in place. We continue to support residents in connecting with loved ones through cordless phones, Zoom meetings, and window visits.

In addition to adults being more stressed during times of social isolation and financial uncertainty, children can also display signs and act out in ways that will exacerbate the situation. Parents and caregivers may be more likely to respond to their children’s anxious behaviors or demands in aggressive or abusive ways. Here are some positive parenting tips to help keep the family calm.
https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/family-dynamics/communication-discipline/Pages/Positive-Parenting-and-COVID-19_10-Tips.aspx

THANK YOU — to Spring Lake-based 40 Visuals for the donating social distancing decals now placed around the hospital campus and at Urgent Care

THANK YOU — to Dr. Frank Duncan and his lovely daughter, Avery, for recording a special dance video to thank and cheer up essential workers in our community. If you haven’t seen it, check out our Facebook page!


Updated: April 24, 2020 – 5:00 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
Michigan — Recovered 3,237 (reported weekly); Confirmed Cases 36,641; Deaths 3,085
Kent County — Confirmed Cases 906; deaths 29
Ottawa County —  Confirmed Cases 167; eight deaths
Muskegon County — Confirmed Cases 204 cases; 13 deaths

NATIONAL UPDATE
Cares Act Part II — The President signed the $450B supplemental relief bill today.

STATE OF MICHIGAN UPDATE

The Governor reported that Michigan now has several weeks of PPE in reserve (with more deliveries planned), fewer hospitalizations, and fewer positive cases being confirmed — this is being termed as a cautiously optimistic “plateau.” This indicates the stay-at-home order has worked. Therefore, she announced an extension to the stay-at-home order through May 15, while lifting restrictions to some businesses, which can reopen in a phased approach with social distancing requirements still in place. Here are the details:

  • People are now required (rather than encouraged), to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces, e.g. grocery stores. Employers must provide non-medical grade masks to their in-person employees.
  • In-person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life is prohibited, with exemptions for various critical jobs.
  • Any retail that can do curbside delivery may reopen, e.g. greenhouses, garden centers, landscapers.
  • Boating, golf (no carts), and travel between residences is now permitted.
  • Restaurants remain closed to dine-in customers under a separate measure, and bars, movie theaters, gyms and other sports facilities will remain closed.
  • Discussions continue with medical and business experts to assess different jobs and industries for risk, to promulgate safety protocols, and to determine “markers” that need to be reached before reopening additional sectors.
  • More information will be shared on Monday.

Updated: April 23, 2020 – 4:45 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
As of the time of this email, 3,237 patients have recovered statewide (number updated weekly); confirmed cases in Michigan increased to 35,291; and there have been 2,977 deaths.

Kent County has 815 cases, 27 deaths. Ottawa County has 161 cases, seven deaths. Muskegon has 186 cases, 12 deaths.

NATIONAL UPDATE
Eli Lilly & Co. will begin human testing next month for an experimental COVID-19 treatment using antibodies derived from the blood of people who have recovered. Testing could yield results by summer and, if successful, potential emergency FDA authorization by fall.

THANK YOU — to Little Caesar’s Pizza for yesterday’s delicious lunch.

THANK YOU — to our local Culver’s for the welcomed ice cream deliver today!

THANK YOU — to Grand Haven-based Klever Innovations for its ingenious donation of safety cutters that keep PPE safe from damage when opening boxes.


Updated: April 22, 2020 – 4:36 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE

As of the time of this post, 3,237 patients have recovered statewide (number updated weekly); confirmed cases in Michigan increased to 33,966; and there have been 2,813 deaths.

Kent County has 757 cases, 25 deaths. Ottawa County has 149 cases, seven deaths. Muskegon has 173 cases, 11 deaths.

NATIONAL UPDATE

Rapid Testing — Abbott Laboratories, maker of the Rapid Test that has been used in Detroit and among White House personnel, released a statement yesterday revealing that has been found to have a 15% failure rate of generating false negatives. The announcement, sent to the FDA and all customers, urged the test to be used ONLY when following revised guidelines at the point of care, which include taking the specimen and inserting it directly into the testing machine, as opposed to inserting the specimen into viral transport media to preserve for later testing.

Hydroxychloroquine — The Associated Press reports a VA study found no benefit to COVID-19 patients taking hydroxychloroquine; those taking the drug were no less likely to need a vent, and the death rate was higher.

Convergence of COVID-19 & Seasonal Flu — The CDC commented that it has concerns about winter 2020, when COVID-19 will combine with season flu; two outbreaks of similar respiratory illnesses could put enormous pressure on the U.S. health care system. Testing innovation/containment strategies, possible therapies in development, and ramped up production of PPE will help mitigate the impact, but strategic planning for that combination is critical.

STATE OF MICHIGAN UPDATE

Governor’s 3:00 PM news conference key points:

  • New criteria for increased testing (asymptomatic front line workers) will provide more data points in tracking disease spread; this data influences the models and helps tighten predictions so they are more accurate, and we can plan more strategically
  • More testing supplies are being sought/allocated throughout MI to keep capacity open
  • A Friday announcement is planned where the Governor will reveal next steps for re-opening economy
  • Numbers indicate that quarantine measures have been effective overall
  • Watching indications that the disease spread to different regions will happen in waves, e.g. Kent County may not peak until end of May/June
  • Stay-at-Home Executive Order will likely be extended in some form, possibly regional variance based on the data points made available through expanded testing

Antibody testing is another hot topic. Here is a good overview of where the industry is in developing this strategy (including a research initiative at Beaumont Hospital), and what questions remain.

https://www.mlive.com/public-interest/2020/04/coronavirus-antibody-tests-offer-big-promise-but-can-they-deliver.html

LOCAL SURGE UPDATE

The number one goal is and has always been, patients safety and the well-being of our community. During this unprecedented time, NOCHS will continue to serve the community as we have throughout our 100 year history. We are honored to do so and grateful to the community for its outpouring of support.

As an essential service, the hospital remains open (ER, emergency surgery, Imaging, Lab, Dunewood Pharmacy), with the exception of providing elective surgeries, as mandated by the Governor. We are now re-evaluating cancelled surgical cases that have become urgent to determine when/how we can provide service. We remain ready for what experts are calling a “surge” or an expected spike in medical patients needed hospitalization for COVID-19-related illnesses.


Updated: April 21, 2020 – 4:40 PM

CONFIRMED CASES UPDATE
At the of this post, 3,237 patients have recovered (number updated weekly). Confirmed cases in Michigan increased to 32,967, with 2,700 deaths.

Kent County has 626 cases, 25 deaths. Ottawa County has 129 cases, seven deaths. Muskegon has 160 cases, 10 deaths.

NATIONAL UPDATE
Home Testing — The FDA announced today it has approved the first authorized at-home coronavirus test. The test will be made available first to health care workers and first responders, and is expected to go on sale for consumers in most states within weeks. The test, called the Pixel, is a nasal swab kit developed and sold by LabCorp. Patients will collect their own samples using a special sterile swab provided in the kit and then send it in to one of the company’s labs for analysis. The FDA said it granted the company emergency approval to get the tests out sooner. Concerns about the efficacy of the test center on the collection process, which poses the biggest risk of false negative results.

LOCAL SURGE UPDATE 

West Michigan Predictions — While the number of new cases statewide has declined (largely due to flattening in southeast MI), numbers continue to rise in Kent County. Kent County public health officials cite the difficulty in predicting when the plateau will occur is due in part because there hasn’t been a surge in cases; social distancing efforts are working. Rather than a sudden spike, like in southeast Michigan, cases in Kent County/West Michigan are gradually climbing upward. We have flattened the curve shaping the experience to look more like a plateau than mountain. But May is likely when our region will feel the most demand.

THANK YOU — to Taco Bell and Jimmy Johns for providing dinner to our late night workers at the hospital.

THANK YOU — to Domino’s Pizza for providing lunch for our staff today.


Updated: April 20, 2020 – 4:35 PM

On Sunday, with expanded testing identified as a key factor needed to re-open the economy, the President announced plans to use the Defense Production Act to increase swab production in one U.S. facility by more than 20 million additional swabs per month.

NBC News/Wall Street Journal Confidence Poll — Nearly 60% of American voters say they are more concerned that relaxing stay-at-home restrictions would lead to more COVID-19 deaths than they are that the restrictions will hurt the U.S. economy.

In today’s news conference, the Governor highlighted some key information including:

  • Michigan lost its first child, a five-year-old girl from Detroit, to COVID-19 yesterday. Her parents are first responders and were asymptomatic. She had no underlying conditions.
  • Eight new test sites rolling out this week across the state in partnership with Rite Aid, CVS and Walmart pharmacies.
  • PPE and ventilator procurement continues to strengthen.
  • 2,200 people have volunteered to be trained to work with local health departments on contact tracing statewide.
  • In order to reach full testing capacity (11,300 a day statewide) we need more swabs and reagents; struggling with global shortages.

Google analytics rank Michigan #9 nationally in mobility reduction during the last month, and #4 overall in compliance of social distancing guidelines for the duration of the U.S. outbreak. This is a strong indication that this stay-at-home mitigation strategy is working.

Test Site Finder — a new search mechanism has been added to the State of Michigan homepage with a button that reads, “Find a Test Site Near You.” This allow the browser to type in an address to find a testing site nearby — NOCHS is listed.  https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/

THANK YOU – to the Rose family who raised money to buy the ER staff dinner (Arturo’s Tacos!) and snacks, as well as brought mini hand sanitizers.

THANK YOU — to Eric Van Horrsen of ReMax realty who brought in JW’s famous chili and snacks this past Saturday.

THANK YOU — to Panera Bread for this morning’s bagels for breakfast at the hospital.

THANK YOU — to Hillary Burns and Richard Kamischke for the beautiful signs of appreciation for health workers around the hospital campus.

THANK YOU — to Kendra Cribley and Sandi Gentry, who established the “Adopt A Frontlline Hero” volunteer program. They are working to help match community volunteers to an employee, who needs assistance in some way.. e.g. a homemade meal, delivery from a restaurant, cards/letters of support, or other things (as long as they are approved activities during the stay-at-home mandate). Thank you for the support!


Updated: April 17, 2020 – 4:15 PM

NATIONAL UPDATE
The White House announced its guidelines for states to use as they plan to re-open economies. It does not include a national testing strategy; states have been directed to develop their own. The guidelines include three phases but won’t begin until states have had 14 consecutive days of decreases in COVID-19 cases and have testing and hospital capacity to deal with potential coronavirus spikes. Details: https://www.scribd.com/document/456756096/White-House-guidelines-for-reopening-economy#from_embed

The World Health Organization released guidelines regarding the appropriate measures needed to safely re-open economies — chief among them TESTING. A good overview of those guidelines are included in this story: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/04/15/834021103/who-sets-6-conditions-for-ending-a-coronavirus-lockdown

STATE OF MICHIGAN UPDATE
Yesterday (Thursday) Governor Whitmer and her counterparts in a new multi-state coalition that includes Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky, announced they’d be working on measures to reopen the economy at a regional level. Decisions will be based on several factors, including sustained control of the rate of new infections and hospitalizations, enhanced testing and tracing capabilities, sufficient health care capacity in the event of a resurgence and best practices for social distancing in the workplace.

The Governor said during a virtual town hall this morning that she plans to re-open parts the Michigan economy on May 1 — details will be revealed in a series of news conferences next week.

Also yesterday, Michigan Senate Republicans a five-phased introduced its own plan to re-open the state economy based on number of COVID-19 cases and hospital capacity.

REMINDER: There is now a statewide survey to help health officials identify potential COVID-19 hot spots. it asks if residents are experiencing any symptoms and to provide birth year, gender, county and zip code. The data is confidential and secure. Residents are asked to provide the information daily.

Available at: www.keepmihealthy.org and hit “Get Started!”

THANK YOU — Local design company, 40 Visuals, for donating uplifting yard signs for our HWL residents and workers! Check out NOCHS’ Facebook page to see photos!

THANK YOU — Karen Reenders of Reenders Blueberries for the delicious homemade cookies today — what a way to end the week.


Updated: April 16, 2020 – 4:45 PM

The governors of Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana and Kentucky today announced that the states plan to coordinate efforts to reopen the Midwest economy.

NOCHS’ remote test is now testing patients with any of the following COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of smell
  • Severe fatigue
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea

Call to be screened at: (616) 935-7810

Kent County has begun a web-based survey to help health officials identify potential COVID-19 hot spots. The survey is available statewide. The web-based application asks residents if they are experiencing any symptoms and to provide their year of birth, gender, county and zip code. The data is confidential and kept in a secure database. Healthcare professionals, hospitals and health departments will be able to access the anonymous data. Residents are asked to provide the information daily. To take the survey, go to www.keepmihealthy.org and hit “Get Started!”

Police department warns public to not click links in scam COVID-19 text messages

A police department in Maine is alerting cell phone users of a text message scam involving COVID-19. Read more here. 


Updated: April 15, 2020 – 4:40 PM

The President has ordered Governors to develop plans for states to re-open their economies.

The World Health Organization released guidelines regarding the appropriate measures needed to safely re-open economies. A good overview of those guidelines are included in this story.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Resources released expanded COVID-19 test criteria allowing hospitals and test sites that have the appropriate amount of capacity to include Priority 3 patients with “mild symptoms.” This expansion is a strategy designed to better identify how widespread the disease is, and then more strategically contain it through isolation and contact tracing. (NOCHS embarked on this strategy on March 31).

The Red Cross is seeking patients who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma to aid in therapy research. You can learn more here.


Updated: April 14, 2020 – 5:08 PM

The number of new U.S. coronavirus deaths and confirmed cases are down slightly for a third consecutive day. Monday recorded 1,509 deaths, down 48 from Sunday. The toll peaked Friday at more than 2,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

A new coronavirus saliva test developed at Rutgers University could dramatically accelerate the rate of collections and limit exposure to health care workers. It may be rolled out as soon as Wednesday.

President Trump is expected to announce a new task force this evening that will develop plans for reopening the country.

NOCHS’ lab is now conducting in-house COVID-19 testing. At present, testing will be limited to hospitalized and ER patients only, due to a restricted supply of reagents.

careottawacounty.com

Community organizations and local partners in Ottawa County are actively collaborating to respond to the impact of COVID-19. Most vital human services organizations in Ottawa County remain open and accessible to those seeking assistance. Individuals may leave their homes to work or volunteer for businesses or operations that provide food, shelter, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, individuals who need assistance as a result of this emergency, and people with disabilities. To volunteer, donate, or locate local additional resources visit: www.careottawacounty.com. This website also directs people to 2-1-1 to locate local additional resources.

THANK YOU – to Little Caesars Grand Haven for delivering lunch at the hospital today!


Updated: April 13, 2020 – 4:16 PM

Seventy COVID-19 vaccines are currently in development worldwide, and three candidates have already started human trials, according to the World Health Organization.

Unemployment for the state of Michigan has now reached more than one million claims. The Governor’s office is bringing on more resources in the short term so that everyone that needs to apply will be able to do so.

Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services has launched a warmline to help Michiganders with persistent mental health issues amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The phone number is 888.733.7753. You can read more here.

THANK YOU

  • Spring Lake Country Club for donating an Easter dinner for our staff yesterday.
  • KFC for donating lunch to our employees yesterday.
  • Girl Scout Troop 4834 for donating cookies to those who are working ‘behind the scenes’ at NOCHS on Friday.
  • Schlatter Timberworks for 10 pairs of safety goggles today.
  • 3Dc19 for 150 more face shields. They have now donated 250 face shields to NOCHS!

Here is some important information about how NOCHS is able to diagnose residents of Ottawa County with COVID-19.

Q. How does someone receive a diagnosis of COVID-19?
A. It’s a two-part process. The first part is specimen collection, which is done with a long swab up into the nose. NOCHS has a drive-up center at the old Panera Bread location for this step (by appointment). The second part is the actual testing. Up to this point, any specimen that needed to be tested for COVID-19 has been sent either to the State lab in Lansing or to other commercial testing sites. We are planning to have some testing capability in-house in late April so that we can respond more quickly for critically ill patients.
Q. How do you know if someone has the flu vs. COVID-19?
A. The flu and COVID-19 are both viruses, and they have similar symptoms. However, their DNA structure is very different. We test each specimen we collect for the flu first. If we find flu DNA in the sample, then we know the person has the flu. If we don’t find flu DNA, then we send the sample to be tested for COVID-19.
Q. Is it possible to have both the flu and COVID-19?
A. Right now, we don’t know a lot about the possibility of having both diseases at the same time. Given the world shortage of collection and testing resources, it does not make sense to use our limited COVID-19 testing capacity on someone who is already known to have the flu, since most people would receive the same treatment for both diseases…rest, Tylenol and fluids.
Q. What should I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms?
A. If you have COVID symptoms and want to be tested, please call our COVID hotline at 616.935.7810. The clinical team will determine if you meet the criteria for testing. If you do, they will schedule an appointment at the drive-up testing center.
Q. Why shouldn’t I make an appointment at my primary care doctor’s office to diagnose COVID-19?
A. You can absolutely be in contact with your doctor by phone or via your portal. However, your doctor’s office does not have the ability to collect a specimen for COVID-19 testing. We set up an offsite specimen collection site specifically to help keep the virus out of primary care offices. This, in turn, allows physicians to see patients who have other health concerns. Although we are all consumed by COVID-19, there are still plenty of other immediate and important health concerns that require a provider’s attention! As much as possible, we need to keep the primary care offices free of COVID-19 so that these other conditions can be safely treated.
Q. How long does it take to get a COVID-19 diagnosis confirmed?
A. Right now, we have two options. First, we are now able to perform Covid tests in our own lab here at NOCHS, but this is limited to the most critically ill patients either in the hospital or ER. We use a 45-minute test, which is one of the quickest ones currently available.
For all other situations, such as less critically ill patients or those collected at our remote site, we send our specimens to a variety of different labs. This involves a multi-step process that can take 48-72 hours, depending on which type of testing protocol is used and where. We also send specimens to the State lab.
Q. How will I find out my test result?
A. Right now, the State lab or local health department is calling anyone who receives a positive result on a COVID-19 test. Our Urgent Care staff will follow up with anyone whose test result is negative. However, the situation is fluid and changes rapidly.
Q. Are we endangering other patients by bringing potential COVID-19 specimens into the hospital for testing?
A. In a word, no.The specimens we collect at our drive-up site are put into sealed biohazard bags and brought directly to the lab. Our Laboratory Manager has put strict guidelines around the number of people who can even touch these samples. In addition, the lab staff is well trained and experienced in working around communicable diseases. They work under a hood, wear gloves and coats, and wash their hands constantly. We are taking every precaution to ensure the safety of the lab staff. The lab is sealed off from the rest of the hospital to keep COVID-19 and other communicable diseases from spreading.

Updated: April 9, 2020 – 4:30 PM

  • Governor extended stay-at-home Executive Order to April 30.
  • Extension includes more stringent limitations to big box stores;  limit of four customer/1,000 square feet; restrict access to areas of store that sell more than food, e.g. clothing, housewares, hardware; Small stores must restrict shoppers to 25% total occupancy limits. Must demarcate any queues/lines with six feet apart stance recommendations.
  • Cautioned that we won’t be returning to “normal” in May, economy will need to re-open in phases, safely.
  • Rate of new cases is slowing; mitigation strategies are working.
  • Not enough testing happening across the state. Announcements about testing capacity expansion expected next week.
Here is some important information how the NOCHS Emergency Department is addressing COVID-19.
Q. Is the NOCHS Emergency Room open?
A. YES! We have not closed. We are not closing. We are permitted to be open under the governor’s order. We need to be open to serve our community. We are open 24/7 for your emergency care needs.
Q. Do you have enough staff?
A. Yes we do. We are fully staffed, which means we are ready and willing to care for people who need help.
Q. What do I do if I need to bring someone to the ER?
A. Please plan to drop them off and either wait in your car or await news at home. Due to the highly contagious nature of COVID-19, we are only taking patients into the treatment rooms. Although we cannot force non-patients to leave the waiting area, we are strongly recommending that they wait in their cars or at home after bringing someone to the Emergency Room. There are two exceptions to this guideline. The first is for minor children. One parent/guardian may stay with a minor child who is being evaluated in the ER. The second is for life-threatening situations. If a patient requires critical care, we obviously will need a family member there to advise. We are taking these extraordinary measures because COVID-19 is so highly contagious and can lurk undetected for up to two weeks. There is no way to know by looking at someone whether or not they are infected. Keeping people away from each other is the best way to prevent the spread of this virus.
Q. What is the staff of the ER doing to protect themselves and keep from spreading the virus to others?
A. We are taking extraordinary measures to ensure we do not spread the virus, either among the hospital staff or to other patients. Everyone working in the ER puts on full personal protective equipment when they arrive and wears it until they leave. This includes face masks, eye shields and gloves. We are all trained to put the equipment on in a way that does not contaminate us in the process. We are also washing our hands even more often than usual.
Q. What will happen in the ER if more COVID patients seek care?
A. If we see a surge in COVID-19 patients coming to the ER, we have designed a plan that provides for two entirely separate ER spaces: one designated for COVID-19 and one for other emergencies. So if you need emergency care, our ER is still the best place to obtain it

REMINDER: Urgent Care Virtual Visits — Encourage friends and family to use the Urgent Care virtual visits if they have COVID-19 symptoms, and also if they have routine issues, such as rash, sprain, etc. You can initiate care by calling the Urgent Care at 616 604 0096.

THANK YOU…

Hudsonville Ice Cream for the sweet treat for all of our employees this afternoon! You sure know how to put a smile on everyone’s face (even through a face mask!)
Food for the Fight for donating Jersey Mikes subs to all three shifts at North Ottawa Care Center.
Bob Scolnik for providing a Red Lobster dinner to our team in the yellow neighborhood at NOCC.
And Pam Phillips for all the cookies and candy for our care team in the green neighborhood at NOCC.
Your generosity and thoughtfulness is above and beyond, thank you all!

Updated: April 8, 2020 – 4:26 PM

THANK YOU to donor, Rich Lange, for his ingenious adaptation of a door handle designed to prevent the spread of germs. Check out the front-page story in today’s GH Tribune https://www.grandhaventribune.com/news/local/handles-for-the-hospital/article_31a78a53-54c0-5d6d-8a6b-1319f907d236.html

NOCC Update:

Hearts for Healthcare
We are displaying hearts for our Healthcare Heros at North Ottawa Care Center.  The start of our display is in the office windows, however the hearts will be making a transition around the building.  Several of our residents are writing thank you notes on hearts for display.

ZOOM security
Due to recent news reports of teleconference hijacking, or “zoom bombing”, we are taking additional measures to provide a further level of protection to the communication between residents and family members. These will include making sure that virtual visit meetings are set to private mode (require password), managing screensharing options, and making sure that the most recent version of the application is in use. We take the privacy of you and your loved ones very seriously and are grateful that you have entrusted us with caring for them. For more information on Zoom’s privacy policy please visit zoom.us/privacy

REMINDER: Urgent Care Virtual Visits — Encourage friends and family to use the Urgent Care virtual visits if they have COVID-19 symptoms, and also if they have routine issues, such as rash, sprain, etc. You can initiate care by calling the Urgent Care at 616 604 0096.


Updated: April 7, 2020 – 4:30 PM

Michigan’s Senate passed a resolution today extending the state’s emergency declaration through April 30. The Governor is still reviewing a stay home order extension; possible order coming this week.

Flattening the Curve:

Kent County Health Department’s Medical Director, Dr. Adam London, announced today that data show West Michigan may be flattening the curve more effectively than in other parts of the state. He attributes this to early adoption of and compliance with social distancing orders. Here is the comparative data: cases double every 5.7 days in the U.S., every 4.6 days in Michigan, and every 7.9 days for Kent County. He warned that social distancing should remain in place to ensure mitigation continues to work.

Spectrum Health released its latest model projections, which also indicate the 13-county West Michigan region is successfully flattening the curve. Data show a 65% reduction in the projected amount of COVID-19 patients, who will need hospitalization. They, too attribute this to social distancing compliance, but urge for it to continue, lest we risk a relapse. Its model projects WM will hit peak illness in June.

From the Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman Program: 

Family members of nursing home residents are invited to participate in the MTLCOP hosted Statewide Family Council Call

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM Eastern Time

To join the call, dial 1 -725-696-3020
When prompted, enter passcode PIN: 353 919 641#

This is an opportunity for family members to learn and discuss:
• Family Council Support Resources- COVID 19 Resources
• Q &A

Please join the Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman Program staff, local ombudsmen, and family members from across the state: Join by phone: 1 -725-696-3020 or Join Hangouts Meet: meet.google.com/dww-aqhy-xmf for this informative call.

Reminder: Urgent Care telehealth — Encourage friends and family to use the Urgent Care telehealth visits if they have COVID-19 symptoms, and also if they have routine issues, such as rash, sprain, etc. You can initiate care by calling the Urgent Care at 616 604 0096.

THANK YOU…

Randy and Therese Hansen for donating six boxes of disposable gloves today. We are so grateful!


Updated: April 6, 2020 – 5:15 PM

The CDC has changed its policy and is now advising everyone, whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19, to cover their face with a mask or cloth (homemade masks, bandanas, or scarf – NOT hospital PPE, which needs to be conserved) covering whenever social distancing is difficult to maintain. To be clear, the CDC is not saying you should wear a mask wherever you go, but rather in places where people congregate, including grocery stores and public transportation and ride-shares.

Click to learn how to wear a cloth face covering:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

New York Times reports that, based on cell phone data tracking, MI is complying with stay home order better than other states. This is consistent with other indicators, such as slowing cases in all active counties and increased discharges, in that the pace of illness may be slowing, but we have still not reached the peak. Please continue to stay home, stay safe.

Urgent Care Telehealth — Encourage friends and family to use the Urgent Care telehealth visits if they have COVID-19 symptoms, and also if they have routine issues, such as rash, sprain, etc. You can initiate care by calling the Urgent Care at 616 604 0096.

THANK YOU

  • Long-time supporter and local manufacturer, Shape Corp. sent all of our employees care packages today.
  • Jeff Robinson from Hybrid Machining for the 25 face shields for our employees. #3Dc19 ⠀
  • Heidi Naperala for donating 20 N95 masks.⠀
  • Melissa Meyers for donating 10 N95 masks.⠀
  • Jeff Krupinski for donating a box of disposable gloves.
  • Oakes Agency for providing pizza for our medical imaging, lab and EVS staff.

We are beyond grateful for all of your donations.


Updated: April 3, 2020 – 4:32 PM

COVID Testing for Ottawa County

More Ottawa County residents will qualify for COVID-19 testing as a result of a recent innovation in our NOCH lab. You can read more about

in the Grand Haven Tribune

or watch it here on Wood TV 8

North Ottawa Care Center

Family Update –
With the increasing number of cases in the community, we are looking at all options to reduce the risk of infection to our residents. As a result, we are suspending the family doing laundry practice at this time. NOCC will launder all of our resident’s clothing. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the neighborhood team leader who will work with laundry services to resolve those concerns.

We continue to work diligently, researching best practices that can be implemented in the center. As a result, we are limiting items being brought into the facility. Non-food and non-plant items will be cleaned and stored for a holding period before delivery.  We are able to clean and sanitize glass vases to deliver flowers to your resident’s room.

While there is not any data that suggests COVID will contaminate food, there is some concern it may travel on the containers food is delivered in.  Please let us know if we can attempt to procure these items on your behalf to mitigate contamination. Food containers will need to be sanitized before being stored in the pantry or the  kitchen, so having the opportunity to bring in manufactured sealed items is best.

We remain grateful for your ongoing support as we navigate changing factors in this unprecedented time. Please let us know if you have any questions that we can assist in answering.

Our Activities Team continues with creative programming. We will be baking bread next week, continuing with hallway exercises and candy bar BINGO continues to be a big hit.  To help celebrate everyone’s great work on keeping healthy – we are having a Spirit Week next week.  Residents will be creating hats to join our staff in Hat Day on Wednesday.

A big thank you for all of the cards and beautiful drawn pictures we are receiving from the local schools. We appreciate the wonderful thoughts and colorful pictures.

THANK YOU!

Many, many thanks to Coppercraft Distillery for delivering 500 GALLONS of hand sanitizer to us this morning. We are so so SO appreciative.

And we also received two bags of disposable gloves from Intricate Grinding. Thank you SO much!


Updated: April 2, 2020 – 5:41 PM

There seems to be lot of conflicting information about COVID-19, and a lot of concern about how to handle what would normally be routine health care decisions. The situation changes on an almost-daily basis.

We want to keep you safe and informed, so we’re sending brief emails a couple times each week to our e-news subscribers. You can sign up by visiting nochgetbetter.com and click on the purple box on the top right. Each message will answer specific questions that we know are out there, but we wanted to share with you the first one below…

TODAY’S TOPIC: ACCESSING HEALTH CARE

Q.  Is the hospital open?

A.  YES! We are here to serve you. Babies are being born. Emergency surgeries are being performed. Lab work and testing are available. Our pharmacy is staffed and stocked. We are taking safety precautions and complying with government guidelines, but we are still providing essential services to our community.

Q.  How do I know it’s safe to come to the hospital?

A.  Hospitals deal with communicable diseases all the time. We cope with TB, HIV, influenza and other diseases on a routine basis. We are taking every possible precaution while protecting and serving our patients.

Q.  How can I get into the building for care?

A.  We have consolidated our entrances so that everyone can be screened prior to entering the building. If you are coming for a non-emergency need, please use the covered entrance off Sheldon Rd. We will screen you and then help get you to the right place. If you need emergency services, please proceed directly to the ER.  We are screening patients there as well.

Q.  Am I able to visit a patient at the hospital?

A.  We are complying with the governor’s orders to limit visitors. You are welcome to call us or check our website to find out the specific guidelines for visiting. In most cases, it is better for everyone if you are able to avoid an in-person visit.

Q.  What should I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms?

A.  Call our COVID-19 hotline at (616) 935-7810 for advice and direction. It is available seven days a week from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Q. Is the ER safe?

A.  We are screening everyone who comes to the ER, and taking every precaution with patients who may have COVID-19. All of the treatment rooms in our new ER are walled and private, which is better for patient privacy as well as for preventing the spread of germs. If we see a surge in COVID-19 patients coming to the ER, we have designed a plan that provides for two entirely separate ER spaces: one designated for COVID-19 and one for other emergencies. So if you need emergency care, our ER is still the best place to obtain it.

Q.  Should I just wait for care until COVID-19 is gone?

A.  Routine health care (such as an annual physical) can probably be delayed without a significant impact. But illness and injury should absolutely be addressed right away so that they do not become worse. You have three options:

  • Call your doctor’s office to seek medical advice and direction. Some offices are open, while others are closed, so it is best to call first.
  • Call our Urgent Care to access our telemedicine service at (616) 604-0096 for advice and direction about COVID-19 symptoms or other, more typical issues like rashes, sore throat, etc.
  • Come to the ER for emergencies (like broken bones or chest pain).

Remote COVID Test Site

We have changed the criteria and are currently testing any Ottawa County resident with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath). The goal is to test more widely allowing the health department to enforce contact isolation for those who test positive, whereby giving us a better chance of flattening the curve in our community.

Volunteer Site Launched for Medical Professionals, Residents

The Governor and MDHHS launched a new volunteer website where trained medical professionals can register to assist hospitals. Other residents can find out how they help in their local communities, give blood, donate money, needed supplies or assist public health officials in tracking infections. Read more here.

Telehealth

Many of NOCHS’ services are utilizing telehealth to continue providing care, including Urgent Care, The Bariatric Clinic, NOCHS’ Pediatric Office and now Hospice and Palliative Care. Please call the respective department to initiate a telehealth appointment.

THANK YOU…

Thank you Action Industrial Supply for the 100 pairs of safety glasses! ⠀

Thank you Frank and Karen Miller for the box of N95 masks!

Also thanks to Tropical Smoothie Café of Grand Haven and Grand Finale Desserts for the afternoon pick me up for our employees!


Updated: April 1, 2020 – 5:06 PM

National Update

During yesterday’s press briefing, the President and COVID-19 Task Force officials shared data that showed, even with the economy closed and most Americans staying at home, the U.S. could still have between 100,000 to 240,000 deaths occur due to COVID-19. Without these measures in place, the projections jump to more than one million deaths. Officials urged the public to comply with the stay-at-home and social distancing guidelines.

State Update

Volunteer Site Launched for Medical Professionals, Residents

The Governor and MDHHS launched a new volunteer website where trained medical professionals can register to assist hospitals. Other residents can find out how they help in their local communities, give blood, donate money, needed supplies or assist public health officials in tracking infections. Read more here.

NOCHS Updates

North Ottawa’s Pediatric Office Launches Telehealth

NOCHS’ Pediatric Office home to Drs Fernandez, Tallon and Warmoth with Nurse Practitioner, Kimberly Fenbert is now scheduling telehealth appointment for well-child and follow-up visits. For questions, please call our office at 616.844.4523.

NOCC Resident Laundry

To mitigate exposure to our residents via items brought into the facility, NOCC will be suspending family laundry services. NOCC will complete the laundry services during this time.

North Ottawa Care Center’s Resident Council

Kudos to the North Ottawa Care Center staff that received high marks of praise from the NOCC resident council for keeping residents engaged and safe during this unprecedented time — “I think the staff are handling COVID-19 very well” — “Hats off to the aides!” — “Gold stars to everyone!” — “Activities have been going well!”​

Remote Test Site

We have changed the criteria and are currently testing any Ottawa County resident with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath). The goal is to test more widely allowing the health department to enforce contact isolation for those who test positive, whereby giving us a better chance of flattening the curve in our community. Read more here.

Reminder: Let There Be Light

The public is encouraged to place luminaries out in support of the health care work force TONIGHT, at 7:00 PM.


Updated: March 31, 2020 – 5:07 PM

NOCHS Outpatient Rehab

We are temporarily consolidating our Outpatient Rehab services with our partner, Generation Care, at their location at 16760 Lincoln Street. Please call 616-935-3300 with any questions or to schedule your appointment.

NOCHS Bariatric Clinic Now Scheduling Telehealth Appointments

NOCHS’ Bariatric Clinic is now scheduling telehealth appointments for both surgical and non surgical patients. Please call us at 847-5489 to learn more.

NOCHS Urgent Care Telehealth Appointments

NOCHS’ Urgent Care now offers telehealth appointments.

Telehealth appointments are available for patients experiencing the following:

  • COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough) – if you are having shortness of breath, please go to the Emergency Department
  • COVID-19 exposure with questions
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose/sinus congestion
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Pink eye
  • Ear pain
  • Vomiting/diarrhea
  • Urinary Tract Infection
  • Rash/skin concerns
  • Insect bites
  • Tooth pain

To initiate a telehealth appointment, please call NOCHS’ Urgent Care at (616) 604-0096.

COVID-19 Testing Hotline

Screening for COVID-19 has been expanded to all of Ottawa County. Please call NOCHS’ COVID-19 hotline at (616) 935-7810 between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM seven days a week if you are experiencing symptoms and think you need to be tested.

Thank you SO SO SO much to our community and your donations today! Every donation, big or small helps!

Thank you…⠀⠀

  • Home Depot for donating 21 face shields, four respirators, 12 R95 Masks, 10 pairs of shoe covers and 500 Nitrile gloves⠀⠀
  • Doreen Sharp for two N95 masks  ⠀⠀
  • Dawn Michmerhurzen donated face masks ⠀⠀
  • Susan Voskuhl donated a box of 35 N95 masks⠀⠀
  • Laura Fritz donated a gallon of hand sanitizer
  • Brian Miller of Superior Environmental Corp. for eight boxes of gloves⠀⠀
  • Sandy Nails & Spa for 30 boxes of gloves!

Reminder: National social distancing guidelines have been extended to April 30, 2020. Please stay home, stay safe.


Updated: March 30, 2020 – 5:00 PM

Social Distancing

The President has extended social distancing guidelines to April 30, 2020.

NOCHS Urgent Care Begins Telehealth Appointments
Beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, March 31 NOCHS’ Urgent Care will be offering telehealth appointments.
Telehealth appointments are available for patients experiencing the following:
  • COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough) – if you are having shortness of breath, please go to the Emergency Department
  • COVID-19 exposure with questions
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose/sinus congestion
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Pink eye
  • Ear pain
  • Vomiting/diarrhea
  • Urinary Tract Infection
  • Rash/skin concerns
  • Insect bites
  • Tooth pain
To initiate a telehealth appointment, please call NOCHS’ Urgent Care at (616) 604-0096.
COVID-19 Testing Hotline
Reminder: You can also call NOCHS’ COVID-19 hotline at (616) 935-7810 between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM seven days a week if you think you are experiencing symptoms and need to be tested.
Happy Doctors’ Day! 
Today is Doctors’ Day, where we celebrate all of the physicians that help keep our community healthy and vibrant. Now more than ever, we are grateful for all the doctors on our medical staff and their commitment to us in times of need.
You can honor a doctor today by making a donation to our From the Heart fund that will help support our hospital and front line staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thank You!

Thank you to Orchard Market for the 5,000 paper bags that may be used to dole out PPE masks to clinical staff as we move into the surge. This is a CDC emergency preparedness strategy that can help stretch the use of PPE in the event that inventory becomes low. Paper bags can store masks overnight allowing them to dry out and be reused again the next day as long as they are not soiled. Thank you for this generous donation to help us be ready for any scenario.

Thank you Tom Sabo for donating masks for our employees!

And thank you, Polyply Composites for donating N95 filters.

COVID-19 GIVING OPPORTUNITIES
We are truly in this together. With a national shortage of protective gear and supplies and other needed items, we are turning to you, our community, for your support.

WHAT WE NEED
Protective Gear
N95 masks
Isolation masks – all ages
Masks with face shields
Face shields
Gloves – Nitrile Latex Free
Protective Gowns
Digital Thermometers
Digital Thermometer Probe Covers

Additional Supplies

Bleach Wipes
Pocket Size Sanitizers

*We are not currently asking for donations of hand-sewn masks. If donated, we will accept them to have on hand in the extenuating circumstance that we have exhausted our supply of standard masks.

Unable to Accept:
• We are not accepting painters masks.
• We are not able to accept swabs that are made with a wooden tube or stick.
• 3D printed items including ventilator parts
• Perishable food, blankets, medical equipment, medication or other supplies

WHERE TO DROP OFF
You may drop-off your donations at NOCHS’ front entrance (1309 Sheldon Road, Grand Haven) Monday-Friday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.


Updated: March 26, 2020 – 5:40 PM

North Ottawa Care Center

The visitor restrictions that have been implemented to protect your loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic are understandably difficult on everyone. We want to provide some ideas that can help you still feel connected. Please call the Activities Department to learn more.

·         Calling a loved one. We have cordless phones available on each neighborhood that we can bring to your loved one if they do not have a personal phone.

·         ZOOM is a  free app that can provide you with face-to-face screen time with your loved one.  We have ZOOM set up on our iPads in the building and will be happy to work with you in scheduling a time to connect.

·         Window visits. There has been a lot of promotion on window visits on social media.  We, too, have seen the benefit of this. However, with the Governor’s Executive Order to Stay Home, Stay Safe; window visiting should be limited to extenuating circumstances.  Please call us and we will bring the cordless phone to the resident’s room to help with window visiting.  We ask for your help to limit visiting between the hours of 10:00 am and 5:00 pm, as this can be confusing for some of our residents to see people walking outside the windows in the morning or evening hours.

·         Window Décor. Share messages of love, encouragement and entertainment, with Yard Signs and Bird Feeders.

Online shopping can allow us to still follow the Stay Home, Stay Healthy guidelines while get-ting the appropriate supplies.

Yard Signs. You may purchase a yard sign and decorate it with loving, inspirational, and encouraging messages. NOCC would be happy to place the sign outside of the resident’s window.

Bird Feeders. Additionally, with spring just around the corner, we are seeing more birds coming back into the area. If you would like to purchase a shepherds hook, bird feeder and bird food, we would be happy to place it outside of your loved one’s window. Please notify us that there is a delivery coming for your loved one. Once we move through the COVID response, the bird feeder could easily be maintained by your family for continued enjoyment.

We remain grateful for your support and encouragement as we work together to help our residents.

THANK YOU

Thank you to Dr. Sid  Disbrow for donating 10 boxes of disposable gloves.

Thank you, Pam Phillips, for donating lunch to our entire staff at North Ottawa Care Center today! We are so grateful for your kindness and generosity!

We are also appreciative of the 2 boxes of surgical masks, 4 pocket hand sanitizers, 21 boxes of gloves, box of sterile pads and miscellaneous head coverings made by anonymous donors!

Urgent Care

Starting Monday, March 30 Urgent Care will no longer take in-person visits to patients with COVID-19 symptoms. Instead, we will offer telehealth visits to those with fever/upper respiratory infection, who are not seriously ill. We will direct more serious patients to the ER for further evaluation. Stay tuned for more information.

Rehab

There are now a few options for outpatient rehab care. Please call to discuss your care options.

1) In the clinic – For patients that can visit the clinic, may do so. We are following all cleanliness guidelines from CDC. Therapists are screened several times a day.

2). Therapy at Home: This includes our HomeSTEP program. Please speak to your therapist to see if this is an option for you.

3). Telehealth – Face to face “live” session using technology – all from an app on your phone, IPAD or your computer.  Live streamed education and exercise intervention.

4) E-visit  – A check-in visit via phone or live streaming, in the safety of your home. Telehealth is available for our pediatric clients as well.

Dunewood Pharmacy

Dunewood Pharmacy is open for curbside pick-up for vitamins, OTC products and bariatric food, as well as prescriptions. Call (616) 842-5193 to place orders.

COVID-19 Giving Opportunities

In response to these unprecedented times, NOCHS has been overwhelmed with requests from generous community members who have pledged their support to our hospital and front line staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. We cannot express our gratitude enough.

We greatly appreciate your inquiries and want to share a couple of ways you can provide support.

We are accepting donations of unused Personal Protective Equipment Monday-Friday from 10am-2pm at NOCHS Front Lobby (1309 Sheldon Road, Grand Haven).

We are also accepting monetary donations to help fund our greatest needs for our facilities and staff.

For more, including a full list of acceptable items, click here.

Remote Testing Site

REMINDER: The site is operational seven days a week. Screening phone line (616) 935-7810 is answered from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and appointments are scheduled if patients meet criteria.

Donate Blood

REMINDER: There is a nationwide shortage of blood. Please consider donating. Visit redcrossblood.org to find a blood drive near you.

NOCHS

NOCHS’ number one goal is and has always been, patient safety and the well-being of our community. During this unprecedented time, NOCHS will continue to serve the community as we have throughout our 100 year history. We are honored to do so and grateful to the community for its outpouring of support.

As an essential service, the hospital remains open and fully operational (ER, emergency surgery, Imaging, Lab), with the exception of providing elective surgeries, as mandated by the Governor. We are actively planning for what experts are calling a “surge” or an expected spike in medical patients needed hospitalization for COVID-19-related illnesses. We will be ready should that situation arise.


Updated: March 25, 2020 – 6:00 PM

GIVING OPPORTUNITIES

We are truly in this together. With a national shortage of protective gear and supplies and other needed items, we are turning to you, our community, for your support.

WHAT WE NEED

Protective Gear

N95 masks

Isolation masks – all ages

Masks with face shields

Face shields

Gloves – Nitrile Latex Free

Protective Gowns

Digital Thermometers

Digital Thermometer Probe Covers

Additional Supplies

Bleach Wipes

Pocket Size Sanitizers

*We are not currently asking for donations of hand-sewn masks. If donated, we will accept them to have on hand in the extenuating circumstance that we have exhausted our supply of standard masks.

Unable to Accept:

  • We are not accepting painters masks.
  • We are not able to accept swabs that are made with a wooden tube or stick.
  • 3D printed items including ventilator parts
  • Perishable food, blankets, medical equipment, medication or other supplies

WHERE TO DROP OFF

You may drop-off your donations at NOCHS’ front entrance (1309 Sheldon Road, Grand Haven) Monday-Friday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Learn more here: http://www.noch.org/main.aspx?id=6174

THANK YOU to Consumer’s Energy JH Campbell plan in West Olive for the N95 masks. THANKS also to Hortech for even more N95 masks and boxes of gloves – so grateful!

Dunewood Pharmacy

Dunewood Pharmacy is open for curbside pick-up for vitamins, OTC products and bariatric food, as well as prescriptions. Call (616) 842-5193 to place orders.

Remote Testing Site

Screening phone line (616) 935-7810 is answered from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily, and appointments are scheduled if patients meet criteria.

Care Ottawa County created a new Facebook page today  to provide county wide human service response updates. You can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/Careottawacountycom-105186904463713/


Updated: March 24, 2020 – 4:20 PM

COVID-19 Giving Opportunities

In response to these unprecedented time, NOCHS has been overwhelmed with requests from generous community members who have pledged their support to our hospital and front line staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. We cannot express our gratitude enough.

We greatly appreciate your inquiries and want to share a couple of ways you can provide support.

We are accepting donations of unused Personal Protective Equipment Monday-Friday from 10am-2pm at NOCHS Front Lobby (1309 Sheldon Road, Grand Haven).

We are also accepting monetary donations to help fund our greatest needs for our facilities and staff.

For more, including a full list of acceptable items, click here.

Dunewood Pharmacy

Dunewood Pharmacy is open for curbside pick-up for vitamins, OTC products and bariatric food, as well as prescriptions. Call (616) 842-5193 to place orders.

Remote Testing Site

REMINDER: The site is now operational seven days a week. Screening phone line (616) 935-7810 is answered from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and appointments are scheduled if patients meet criteria.

Donate Blood

REMINDER: There is a nationwide shortage of blood. Please consider donating. Visit redcrossblood.org to find a blood drive near you.

Free Audible Books for Kids

For as long as schools are closed, audible is open. Kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids.

All stories are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet, here.

NOCHS

NOCHS’ number one goal is and has always been, patient safety and the well-being of our community. During this unprecedented time, NOCHS will continue to serve the community as we have throughout our 100 year history. We are honored to do so and grateful to the community for its outpouring of support.

As an essential service, the hospital remains open and fully operational (ER, emergency surgery, Imaging, Lab), with the exception of providing elective surgeries, as mandated by the Governor. We are actively planning for what experts are calling a “surge” or an expected spike in medical patients needed hospitalization for COVID-19-related illnesses. We will be ready should that situation arise.


Updated: March 23, 2020 – 4:30 PM

STAY HOME, STAY SAFE

The Governor has issued an Executive Order requiring citizens to “stay home, stay safe.” The order goes into effect Tuesday, March 24 at 12 AM and will be reevaluated in three weeks. You can learn more here.

North Ottawa Care Center

Due to COVID-19, local Long Term Care Ombudsman are not making in-person visits to nursing homes.

They will be available to answer your questions, provide resources about the COVID-19 containment efforts, and address significant care concerns by calling Cindy Everston at (231) 733-3595.

COVID-19 Testing

The NOCHS site is now operational seven days a week. Screening phone line (616) 935-7810 is answered from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and appointments are scheduled from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

State of Michigan’s COVID-19 hotline for general public (888) 535-6136 can be accessed seven days a week from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Donate Blood

There is a nationwide shortage of blood. Please consider donating. Visit redcrossblood.org to find a blood drive near you.

NOCHS

The number one goal is and has always been, patient safety and the well-being of our community. During this unprecedented time, NOCHS will continue to serve the community as we have throughout our 100-year history. We are honored to do so and grateful to the community for its outpouring of support.

As an essential service, the hospital remains open and fully operational (ER, emergency surgery, Imaging, Lab), with the exception of providing elective surgeries, as mandated by the Governor. We are actively planning for what experts are calling a “surge” or an expected spike in medical patients needed hospitalization for COVID-19-related illnesses. We will be ready should that situation arise.


Updated: March 21, 2020 -12:35 PM

In response to these unprecedented times… NOCHS has been inundated with requests from generous community members who have pledged their support to our hospital and front line staff by offering to put their talents to work crafting homemade personal protection equipment like gowns and surgical masks. We cannot express our gratitude enough.

We are presently working on a plan to determine how/if we can accept such generous donations from the community. Once we have such a plan in place, we will reach back out to the community to share it.

In the meantime, know this… we are thoroughly evaluating our current inventory, we are in constant contact with officials regarding accessing the strategic national stockpile of additional personal protective equipment, as well as collaborating with other hospitals across the state, and with physicians offices that have closed, which may be able to shift their inventory to us. And, we are carefully rationing the use of our inventory to ensure we make it last as long as possible.

So, please stay tuned.

Again, on behalf of every employee in our health system, we are grateful to you for your kindness and talents. Please keep us in your thoughts. And promise us you will remain safely in your homes, practicing social distancing, as best you can.

With love and gratitude,

NOCHS Administration


Updated: March 20, 2020 – 4:17 PM

NOCHS COVID-19 SCREENING/TESTING WEEKEND HOURS

Weekend hours have been added. Appointments are being scheduled seven days-a-week between 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the former Panera Bread location, adjacent to Urgent Care on South Beacon Blvd. Patients must be pre-screened first, by calling (616) 935-7810 between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM, also seven days a week.

STATE OF MICHIGAN CORONAVIRUS HOTLINE

REMINDER – State of Michigan hotline for general public (888-535-6136) can be accessed seven days a week from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Community Mental Health of Ottawa County (CMHOC)

COVID-19 Emergency Operations Guidance

The CMHOC offices in Holland and Grand Haven will remain open for emergent needs and critical care.  CMHOC is the safety net provider and will continue to provide behavioral health services to our consumers and people who are experiencing a mental health crisis.

We are encouraging individuals to call our offices prior to coming in.  Our Access Center phone number is 877-588-4357 or TTY 711.  Callers and walk-ins will be asked screening questions to assess current health status.

Ongoing CMHOC services will be provided mainly by telephone or email.  Our staff will be providing frequent monitoring checks to our consumers and will assist with problem solving and care needs.

Increased stress and anxiety related to the current COVID-19 outbreak is normal and expected.  It is important that you take care of your mental health during this time.  Simple things like taking a walk, deep breathing, and taking an occasional time out from the news and media are good ways to give yourself a break and relax.  The Centers for Disease Control has lots of helpful information including managing stress and anxiety, the information can be found here.

If you or someone you know is in a mental health crisis, there is help available.  You are never alone, reach out by calling 866-512-4357 or test HOME to 741741 to speak with a mental health professional.  We are hear for you 24/7/365.  If it is an emergency call 911.

Please visit our website at miottawa.org/CMH for up to date information on services and tips and tips and guidance for caring for your mental health during this outbreak.

THANK YOU

…to Spectrum Health for donating 30 bottles of its hand sanitizer to help us in the short-term that will be delivered yet today. And a HUGE thanks to Amway for donating 150 bottles of hand sanitizer to arrive next week. Thanks also to hometown hero, Biosolutions (a Shape Company), for donating 200 gallons of disinfectant cleaner.

AND AS A REMINDER – NOCH IS OPEN

• The number one goal for us is, and has always been, patient safety and the well-being of our community.

• With regard to safety, the cleaning and infection control practices at NOCHS are highly regulated and exceed requirements.
o NOCHS is strictly following the Governor’s executive order visitation is restricted with minimal exceptions.
o NOCHS is also carefully screening every person (staff, patients and visitors) entering our facility.  Those who do not pass the screening are turned away.

• With regard to the community’s well-being we have set up a remote test site to draw symptomatic people away from the hospital for testing.
o This protects patients who need to access our hospital-based services for routine or emergent care. Our services are open — ER, inpatient care and ICU, FBU, imaging, lab, sleep lab, Dunewood Pharmacy, and Breast Evaluation Center.

We also updated http://www.noch.org/ to make it easier to find all of the local COVID-19 information you may need including including Covid-19 screening/testing by appointment, visitor hours, service suspensions and more.


Updated: March 19, 2020, 4;51 PM

COVID-19 UPDATES

• State and private labs are now required to report all cases to the CDC for more accurate numbers.

• There is a nationwide blood shortage. Please consider donating today. You can schedule an appointment here: https://www.redcross.org/

COVID RESOURCES

STATE OF MICHIGAN CORONAVIRUS HOTLINE

Operational seven days a week from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM at 1-888-535-6136 – fielding questions from the public and providers.

NOCHS COVID-19 DRIVE-UP TEST SITE

The COVID-19 screening phone line (616) 935-7810 and is available Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Appointments for testing are now being scheduled Monday to Friday between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM, at the former Panera Bread location, adjacent to Urgent Care on South Beacon Blvd. Again, this is by appointment only. If a person believes they should be screened, call the hotline to be screened.

• If they meet the criteria, an appointment will be scheduled.
• Drive up with ID and insurance card, stay in car and NOCHS will come out to collect the nasal swab.
• Patients will be directed to go home and self-isolate until results come back.
• Specimen is sent to the NOCHS lab to test first for flu.
• If negative for flu, specimen is then be sent to a State-approved lab to test for Coronavirus.
• This is a testing site only, not a clinic. Patients need to communicate with their PCP to let them know they’ve been tested, share results and determine follow up care.

NOCHS REMAINS OPEN

The number one goal for us is, and has always been, patient safety and the well-being of our community.

With regard to safety, the cleaning and infection control practices at NOCHS are highly regulated and exceed requirements.

• NOCHS is strictly following the Governor’s executive order initiated today at 9:00 AM that drastically restricts visitation with minimal exceptions.
• NOCHS is also carefully screening every person (staff, patients and visitors) entering our facility.  Those who do not pass the screening are turned away.

With regard to the community’s well-being we set up a remote test site to draw symptomatic people away from the hospital for testing.

• This protects patients who need to access our hospital-based services for routine or emergent care.
• Our services are open — ER, surgery*, endoscopy, inpatient care and ICU, FBU, imaging, lab, sleep lab Dunewood Pharmacy, and Breast Evaluation Center.

*CMS announced that it is encouraging the public to delay elective surgery, but leaves ultimate prioritization decision to physician/patient. We are working closely with physicians on a case-by-case to accommodate the wishes of their patient.

Some adjustments to schedules for educational classes and support groups, however, have been cancelled in order to adhere to the CDC’s “social distancing” guidelines. Continually check our blog for updates, nochgetbetter.com/news/covid-19

RESOURCES

GROCERY

Meijer

Meijer announced Thursday it is adjusting its store hours for the foreseeable future both to allow more time for team members to deep clean and restock stores, as well as, dedicated hours for senior citizens, customers with chronic health conditions, essential service workers and its team members.

New store hours are as follows:

• Meijer stores will close overnight at 10 p.m. local time, beginning Friday, March 20, and will open each morning at 8 a.m. local time.
• Meijer Express convenience store locations will close overnight at 10 p.m. and open each morning at 8 a.m.; pay-at-the-pump fuel sales will remain available 24 hours a day.
• Meijer stores and pharmacies will provide dedicated shopping times for senior citizens and customers with chronic health conditions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-8 a.m. local time.
• Meijer stores and pharmacies will provide dedicated shopping times for essential service workers and Meijer team members on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7-8 a.m. local time.
More info can be found here: https://www.wzzm13.com/amp/article/news/health/coronavirus/meijer-adjusts-store-hours/69-bbbf0bba-3942-4eda-831a-26512264abb3

D & W

Effective immediately, SpartanNash (D & W) stores are setting aside time twice per week for store guests most at risk of contracting coronavirus (COVID-19), including older adults, pregnant women and immunocompromised individuals.

Reserved hours will be every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Learn more: http://bit.ly/sn-reserved-hours

OTTAWA FOOD

The link below has information about food distributions from all local school districts. You will also find links to information about emergency food resources and mobile food trucks. https://bit.ly/2vvPx9k

MOMENTUM CENTER

A micropantry is located near their building on Columbus. People can get food anytime and others can drop donations.

PARENTS AND CHILDREN

A great resource powered by Pediatricians for parents to talk to children about coronavirus:

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/chest-lungs/Pages/2019-Novel-Coronavirus.aspx

Talk to your kids about Coronavirus with this free coloring book: https://bit.ly/3957R6N

EDUCATIONAL

Here is a list of educational companies offering free subscriptions to learning materials. https://bit.ly/2TZruJc

The Momentum Center is Facebook live streaming education classes (topics vary): https://www.facebook.com/MomentumCenter

WORK FROM HOME TIPS

For many working for home will for an extended period of time will be a new experience. Here are a few good tips to help you adjust. https://time.com/5801725/work-from-home-remote-tips/

MENTAL HEALTH

Without a doubt, many are feeling anxious about the COVID-19 pandemic. The kind folks at Calm wanted to share some of the tools they’re using to take care of their minds and stay grounded. https://bit.ly/3daqr0U

EXERCISE

Tri-cities Family Y Fitness group is live streaming their exercise classes – free to anyone, no Y membership needed. https://bit.ly/2U0hqjn

Ottawa County parks remain open! Play areas and handrails are not being disinfected so the county is recommending their use with responsibility such as avoiding crowded parks, keeping appropriate distance from others on the trail and hand washing before and after entry.

Western University’s Student Rec Department is also livestreaming a new workout everyday here: https://www.facebook.com/wmusrc/

REMINDERS

To volunteer, donate, or locate local additional resources visit: www.careottawacounty.com. This website directs people to 2-1-1 to locate local additional resources.

The Love In Action (LIA) Health Clinic remains open with an on-call nurse to answer questions and provide referrals weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Calling encouraged: 616-846-2701.


Updated: March 18, 2020, 4:05 PM

White House Warns Youth to Stay Home

Dr. Deborah Birx said during Wednesday’s briefing at the White House that the coronavirus task force is concerned about reports indicating that more young people are becoming seriously ill from the coronavirus. Read more here: https://cnn.it/38ZFN54

STATE OF MICHIGAN CORONAVIRUS HOTLINE

Operational seven days a week from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM at 1-888-535-6136 – fielding questions from the public and providers.

Ottawa County Health Department DAILY BRIEFING

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) hosts a press conference at 4:15 PM daily. Livestream at https://www.facebook.com/OttawaCounty

NOCHS COVID-19 DRIVE-UP TEST SITE

REMINDER: The drive-up, remote testing site is open Monday through Friday from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM by appointment only, at the former Panera Bread location, adjacent to Urgent Care on South Beacon Blvd. The screening phone line (616) 935-7810 is manned from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

  • If a person believes they should be screened, call the hotline to be screened.
  • If they meet the criteria, an appointment will be scheduled.
  • Drive up with ID and insurance card, stay in car and NOCHS will come out to collect the nasal swab.
  • Patients will be directed to go home and self-isolate until results come back.
  • Specimen is sent to the NOCHS lab to test first for flu.
  • If negative for flu, specimen is then be sent to a State-approved lab to test for Coronavirus.
  • This is a testing site only, not a clinic. Patients need to communicate with their PCP to let them know they’ve been tested, share results and determine follow up care.

NOCHS REMAINS OPEN

The number one goal for us is, and has always been, patient safety and the wellbeing of our community.

With regard to safety, the cleaning and infection control practices at NOCHS are highly regulated and exceed requirements.

  • NOCHS is strictly following the Governor’s executive order initiated today at 9:00 AM that drastically restricts visitation with minimal exceptions.
  • NOCHS is also carefully screening every person (staff, patients and visitors) entering our facility.  Those who do not pass the screening are turned away.

With regard to the community’s well-being we set up a remote test site to draw symptomatic people away from the hospital for testing.

  • This protects patients who need to access our hospital-based services for routine or emergent care.
  • Our services are open — ER, surgery*, endoscopy, inpatient care and ICU, FBU, imaging, lab, sleep lab Dunewood Pharmacy, and Breast Evaluation Center.

*CMS announced today that it is encouraging the public to delay elective surgery, but leaves ultimate prioritization decision to physician/patient. We are working closely with physicians on a case-by-case to accommodate the wishes of their patient.

Some adjustments to schedules for educational classes and support groups, however, have been cancelled in order to adhere to the CDC’s “social distancing” guidelines. Continually check our blog for updates, nochgetbetter.com/news/covid-19

RESOURCES:

Mental Health

Without a doubt, many are feeling anxious about the COVID-19 pandemic. The kind folks at Calm wanted to share some of the tools they’re using to take care of their minds and stay grounded. https://bit.ly/3daqr0U

Educational

Here is a list of educational companies offering free subscriptions to learning materials. https://bit.ly/2TZruJc

Exercise

Tri-cities Family Y Fitness group is live streaming their exercise classes – free to anyone, no Y membership needed. https://bit.ly/2U0hqjn

Ottawa Food

The link below has information about food distributions from all local school districts. You will also find links to information about emergency food resources and mobile food trucks. https://bit.ly/2vvPx9k

Talk to your kids about Coronavirus with this free coloring book: https://bit.ly/3957R6N

 


Updated: March 17, 2020, 4:00 PM

NOCHS REMAINS OPEN

The number one goal for us is, and has always been, patient safety and the well-being of our community.

With regard to safety, the cleaning and infection control practices at NOCHS are highly regulated and exceed requirements.

NOCHS is strictly following the Governor’s executive order that drastically restricts visitation with minimal exceptions.

NOCHS is also carefully screening every person (staff, patients and visitors) entering our facility. Those who do not pass the screening are turned away.

With regard to the community’s well-being we set up a remote test site to draw symptomatic people away from the hospital for testing.

This will help protect patients who need to access our hospital-based services for routine or emergent care. Our services are open — ER, surgery, endoscopy, inpatient care and ICU, FBU, imaging, lab, sleep lab Dunewood Pharmacy, and Breast Evaluation Center.

That said, we have made some temporary adjustments to schedules (see below) for educational classes and support groups, as well as adjusted a few patient services in order to adhere to the CDC’s “social distancing” guidelines.

COVID-19 Drive-Up Testing Site

North Ottawa Community Health System has opened a drive-up COVID-19 (Coronavirus) testing center. Because the number of test kits and testing capacity is extremely limited, testing will be by appointment only.⠀⠀

If you have symptoms and believe you need to be tested for COVID-19, please call 616-935-7810 between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM to determine if you meet screening criteria for testing.

DRIVE-UP TESTING CENTER REQUIREMENTS

  • Must have an appointment.
  • Have your photo ID and insurance card ready.
  • Stay in your vehicle at all times.

Millpoint Health Center – NOCHS Lab, X-Ray, Rehab

NOCHS Millpoint Lab, X-Ray and Rehab closed at 12 noon today, and will remain closed until further notice. Those services can still be received at North Ottawa Community Hospital.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call:

  • North Ottawa Laboratory, 616-847-5382
  • North Ottawa Imaging, 616-847-5238
  • North Ottawa Rehab, 616-847-5293

15 Days to Slow the Spread

The new recommendations are simple to follow but will have a resounding impact on public health. Every American can help slow the virus’ spread and keep our most high-risk populations safe:

1.       Listen to and follow the directions of your state and local authorities.

2.       If you feel sick, stay home. Do not go to work. Contact your medical provider.

3.       If your children are sick, keep them at home. Contact your medical provider.

4.       If someone in your household has tested positive for the Coronavirus, keep the entire household at home.

5.       If you are an older American, stay home and away from other people.

6.       If you are a person with a serious underlying health condition—such as a significant heart or lung problem—stay home and away from other people.


Updated: March 16, 2020, 2:40 PM

The following NOCHS departments have suspended or canceled the following services:

Bereavement Services
All support groups (including “Understanding Grief”) and in-person visits are canceled.

Breastfeeding Support & Community Education

All education classes are postponed through April. For questions or concerns regarding Childbirth and Breastfeeding preparation classes and Postpartum Depression support please call 616-847-5337. For questions regarding Babysitting and Basic Life Support, please call 616-847-5671.

The weekly breastfeeding support group (Wednesdays from 10:00 AM – 12 noon) will not meet again until further notice. If you are in need of lactation support please call (616) 847-5337 to schedule a call with a lactation specialist. We are dedicated to supporting the breastfeeding moms in our community, and will do the best we can to continue our support in your breastfeeding journey.

Cashier’s Office
The Cashier’s office is closed. You may make payments online by visiting noch.org and clicking “Hospital Online Bill Pay,” via your Patient Portal or at Emergency Room Registration. If you have any questions please call (616) 847-5272.

Dunewood Pharmacy
If you need a prescription filled, please utilize our curbside service and we will bring it to you. Just pull up to the green sign along the main entrance of the hospital off of Sheldon Road under the covered portico and give us a call at (616) 842-5193.

Harbor Dune Health Center
For the safety of our staff and patients, the entrance to Harbor Dune Health Center is now closed. All visitors are asked to go to the hospital’s main lobby entrance to be screened and then you may proceed to Harbor Dunes.

Medical Weight Loss Classes
All classes have been canceled until further notice. Please call the Bariatric Clinic at (616) 847-5489 with any questions.

North Ottawa Pediatric Office
Sick Care Express is suspended starting tomorrow, March 17.


Updated: March 16, 2020, 9:00 AM

TEMPORARY VISITOR RESTRICTIONS

In response to Governor Whitmer’s executive order, starting Monday, March 16, visitors will be limited/restricted at all North Ottawa Community Health System locations (hospital, outpatient locations and North Ottawa Care Center and Hospice Residence at Heartwood Lodge) except in special circumstances. Special circumstances allow for one approved visitor for pediatric, maternity, end-of-life or critically ill patients, and patients undergoing surgery.

We appreciate your adherence and understanding.


Updated: March 13, 2020, 3:56 pm

With the Restrictions on the visitors to the hospital, the Health Information Management (Medical Records) department will not be open to walk-in patients starting Monday 3/16/20. We will be available via phone to answer any questions. Please call us at 616-847-5292 if you have any questions about obtaining your medical records.

Out of an abundance of caution and in the best interest of the health of our community we are cancelling all NOCHS seminars now through the end of April. This includes our get better series and surgical seminars.

As a reminder, please review our visitor restrictions for the entire health system.


FACTS & FIGURES (as of 3/11/20)
Two coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Michigan, on the southeast side of the state. Both patients are hospitalized. No cases have been confirmed in West Michigan.

What is the Coronavirus (COVID 19)?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), COVID-19 is the name of the illness caused by the coronavirus. The coronavirus mentioned in the recent world outbreak also has a specific name: severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (abbreviated as SARS-CoV-2).

A new strain of a virus that has never been seen before is also referred to as “novel.” That’s why you might see references to the “novel coronavirus” as well. In general terms, coronaviruses are relatively common and are responsible for the common cold.

How is it transmitted?
Person-to-person spread
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
·         Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
·         Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
·         People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
·         Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily does the virus spread?
The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”). Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

What are the symptoms?
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure*:
·         Fever
·         Cough
·         Shortness of breath

Can you prevent it?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
·         Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
·         Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
·         Stay home when you are sick.
·         Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
·         Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
·         Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.

CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.

Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Is there a treatment?

There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.

 

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