Arbor Health Coronavirus News
How to request COVID-19 vaccinations
Community members ages 12 and over are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. (Note: Only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for those under 18, which Arbor Health does not have access to.)
We are administering the vaccines through our primary care clinics. Our preferred method of communication to set up your vaccine appointment is by email. If possible, email us your name, age, address and telephone number to CovidVaccine@MyArborHealth.org
If you are unable to email, call your primary care provider with the same information.
Arbor Health Clinics:
ED Director discusses the COVID-19 vaccination issues
Dr. Jeff Ford, director of the Arbor Health, Morton Hospital Emergency Department, held an online meeting with Arbor Health staff to discuss the option of getting the COVID-19 vaccination. He shared some very good information, especially noteworthy is his description on how and why the vaccination was created in such a short time. This discussion includes good information for us all. If you have concerns on whether you should take the vaccination or not, we encourage you to watch this video as well as the video released last week by Dr. Kevin McCurry, also from Arbor Health.
Dr. McCurry discusses COVID-19 vaccine
Arbor Health Chief Medical Office Kevin McCurry, M.D., held a virtual meeting with the Arbor Health staff on Wednesday, December 30th to discuss COVID-19 vaccination. A lot of good information was shared. We encourage the public to view the video as well.
There are currently two types of COVID-19 diagnostic tests:
- Rapid Antigen: This is a quick, on-the-spot test. Results are achieved in 15-20 minutes but have lower accuracy rates than PCR Molecular Test. This test performs best when the person is having symptoms and is tested in the early stages of infection. It can identify people who are most likely to infect others. It is not appropriate for those who have no symptoms.
- PCR Molecular: This test detects the virus’ genetic material and is highly accurate. However, it takes up to 72 for us to receive the results. This test is appropriate for use in all stages of the virus, even when symptoms are not present.
What this means to you:
All of the Arbor Health clinics administer COVID-19 tests. If you would like to be tested, call one of the clinics:
- If you DO NOT currently have symptoms or have not had a known exposure (see below for “exposure” definition), we will administer the PCR Molecular test. Plan on receiving the results in three to five days. You will receive a $60 charge from Arbor Health for administering the test and you will receive a $180 charge from NW Labs for their services.
- If you DO have symptoms or have had a known exposure, (see below for “exposure” definition), we will take two nasal swabs.
- The first swab will be used for the Rapid Antigen test. If it proves positive for COVID-19, we will notify you of the results and dispose of the second swab. (Charge is $60.)
- If the first Rapid Antigen test returns negative for COVID-19, the second swab will be sent to the NW Labs for the PCR Molecular test (Charge is $180) and we will notify you of the results.
• Being in the presence of someone who has confirmed COVID-19 for 15 or more minutes—or less than six feet apart—without facial masks.
Patient and visitors restrictions
The health and safety of Arbor Health patients and staff is our primary concern. We are working diligently to provide protection to those in our facilities from COVID-19 exposure as well as prepare for future patients’ needs.
In an effort to protect our patients and staff from unnecessary exposure, we have implemented the following restrictions.
- All patients, visitors and staff are required to wear protective face masks. Patients who are unable to wear masks for medical reasons should call ahead to make other arrangements.
- Regardless of location, access to all of our facilities is limited to persons over the age of 16 unless they are seeking treatment.
- Acute Care patients are limited to one visitor per day. (Exceptions are made for patients under 18-years old.)
- Visiting hours are reduced to 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
- All patients and visitors will be screened for virus symptoms on entering the building.
- Patients that meet the criteria in the screening may be denied elective services.
- The cafeteria is closed to the public until further notice.
Local doctor encourages community to seek medical care
Dr. Kevin McCurry, Emergency Department Physician and Chief Medical Officer, talks to our community about the importance of seeking medical care when needed.
Surgeon/ER doctor talks about COVID-19
Dr. Tom Anderson of Arbor Health, Morton Hospital has some important information to share about COVID-19, including what to do if you think you have the virus.
Arbor Health takes patient privacy seriously
We recently had a situation arise that made it appear as if an Arbor Health staff member had revealed a patient’s personal health information (PHI). If true, this would have been a HIPAA violation. This is a good opportunity for us to remind our community that we take our patients’ privacy extremely seriously. We go to great lengths and expense to ensure patient information is kept private. However, if you ever suspect there has been a privacy violation at any Arbor Health facility, we encourage you to contact us. You are welcome to leave a message on our website, call our compliance officer at 360-496-3585, stop by the hospital and speak with him or speak with the clinic manager who will provide the information to the compliance officer. It is our vow to you that we take your privacy seriously.
Local doctor advises on how to avoid catching and spreading Coronavirus.
Free self-symptom check available online
The Atlanta, GA-based Emory University launched a free self-triage tool for patients concerned about COVID-19, C19check.com. The tool utilizes the latest Center for Disease Control (CDC) data and the Emory-validated algorithm to help the public understand their symptoms and provide educational information about how to seek care. The online tool allows people everywhere to assess how likely it is that they have contracted the novel coronavirus.
The site, of course, is for educational purposes and not a replacement for a healthcare provider evaluation. Arbor Health, Morton Hospital advises our community members to call our Coronavirus Hotline if they are concerned about symptoms as seen below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do if I feel sick?
Everyone should think an illness with fever, cough, or shortness of breath could be COVID-19 and take steps to protect others in the community and household from the disease. Call your healthcare provider. People who are sick need to stay home. If they must be around other people, they should wear a mask.
What should I do if I have symptoms or been exposed?
Coronavirus Hotline for community members
The Washington State Department of Health offers a hotline which is open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. That number is: 1-800-525-0127.