March 27, 2020
Memorial Healthcare has implemented new, in-house COVID-19 testing procedures that will deliver accelerated test results for patients.
Until today, Memorial Healthcare’s COVID-19 test results have been conducted by independent organizations and the State of Michigan. Swab tests conducted at Memorial facilities required transport to an offsite location for processing, which resulted in delayed test results for residents.
“Effective today, patients who are determined to be at risk of COVID-19 will now have access to on-site testing through our own laboratory, which allows for test results within 48 hours,” said Brian Long, FACHE, President/CEO of Memorial Healthcare.
For those experiencing mild to moderate flu-like symptoms, such a cough and fever, patients can be seen in Memorial Healthcare’s Alternate Care Site, located in the South Auditorium on Memorial’s main campus, 826 W. King Street Owosso. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm, 7 days a week. During off-hours, (7 pm to 7 am) individuals should proceed to Memorial’s Emergency Department for any flu-like symptom. Anyone experiencing more severe symptoms, such as extreme shortness of breath is asked to call 9-1-1 or proceed directly to the Emergency Department. If possible, individuals are asked to contact the Emergency Department at (989) 723-5211, prior to their arrival.
“It’s important to note that Michigan is dangerously short on COVID-19 tests, as is the rest of the country,” says Dr. J. Bustamante, Memorial Healthcare’s Chief Medical Officer. “Memorial Healthcare follows the recommended CDC screening process, in which individuals are first tested for other causes like influenza. If those are negative and the individual is considered to be at a higher risk for COVID-19 by our medical staff, individuals will be tested for COVID-19.”
The new in-house testing services are part of Memorial Healthcare’s ongoing commitment to increasing hospital capacity and capabilities while limiting risk of exposure to staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. The hospital is closely following the latest information and recommendations by federal and statewide authorities regarding COVID-19, as well as the ongoing influenza season.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends the following preventative actions to mitigate the spread of respiratory diseases:
- 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.
- 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.
For more information, visit the Shiawassee County Health Department at www.health.shiawassee.net/Emergency-Preparedness/Coronavirus-COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at www.cdc.gov/COVID19 and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services at www.michigan.gov/Coronavirus.