County Seat Newspaper
of Clare County

Effective Dec. 8, Visitor Restrictions Reintroduced at Medical Centers


ALMA, Mich. – As cases of COVID-19 continue to increase, Wednesday, Dec. 8, visitor restrictions will be implemented at MyMichigan Medical Center Gratiot and MyMichigan Medical Center Mt. Pleasant. The revised arrangements will then be in place until further notice to protect patients, employees and health care providers.

“We are indeed in the thick of yet another surge. With the increased number of COVID positive patients hospitalized here, and the positivity rate rising in our area and across the state, our staff need to attend very specifically to both COVID and non-COVID patient needs,” said Marita Hattem-Schiffman, president, MyMichigan Medical Centers in Alma, Clare and Mt. Pleasant. “We appreciate the cooperation of our patients and their families during this challenging time and we will monitor and review our visiting guidance on a regular basis.”

Visitor limitations vary by Medical Center department:

  • Surgical patients are allowed one healthy support person to accompany them to MyMichigan Medical Center Gratiot on the day of surgery. The support person must remain the same person throughout the visit. The support person must remain masked and will be asked to remain in the Day Surgery Unit and the Surgical Waiting Room for the duration of the stay.
  • Inpatient units, including the Emergency Departments, Critical Care, Medical/Surgical, Rehabilitation and Behavioral Health are not allowing visitors at this time.
  • In the Maternity Unit, if the mother-to-be is COVID-19 negative, two healthy, masked support people can accompany her. If the mother-to-be has signs and symptoms of COVID-19 but is negative for COVID-19 or she is waiting for the results of her COVID-19 test, two healthy, masked support people can accompany her. If the mother-to-be is COVID-19 positive one healthy, masked support person will be allowed to accompany her. The healthy support person must screen negative to all symptoms of COVID-19.  The support person chosen must remain the same person throughout the patient’s stay and must always remain in the patient room. 

“MyMichigan acknowledges the importance of supporting our friends and loved ones to the healing process,” said Hattem-Schiffman. “Our staff is glad to assist with this by arranging phone calls or video visits.” 

MyMichigan offers several free electronic communication services that can help family and friends keep in touch while these visiting limitations are in effect:

  • E-Cards ( – Send electronic greetings to inpatients.
  • Guest Wireless Internet Access ( – Free wireless Internet access is available at all MyMichigan facilities. Healthy adult visitors at these sites may wish to bring a laptop or wireless device to communicate with family and friends via e-mail.
  • Telephone – All inpatient rooms have phones with free local calls. Visitors may also use their cell phones in designated areas.

As a service to the community, MyMichigan Health hosts a COVID-19 informational hotline with a reminder of CDC guidelines and recommendations. Staff is also available to help answer community questions Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hotline can be reached toll-free at (800) 445-7356 or (989) 794-7600. In addition, inquiries can be sent to MyMichigan Health via Facebook messenger at More information can also be found at

Those interested in a current list of COVID-19 testing site locations may visit

MyMichigan Health, a non-profit health system headquartered in Midland, Michigan, is a leader in providing award-winning, high-quality care to the 23-county region it serves. With Medical Centers in Alpena, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Midland, Mt. Pleasant and West Branch, MyMichigan Health provides a full continuum of care across a wide array of settings, including urgent care centers, home health, virtual care, as well as medical offices in more than 30 specialties and subspecialties including cardiology, hematology/oncology, orthopedics, vascular surgery, family medicine and more. MyMichigan Health demonstrates its commitment to the future of medicine by partnering with leading institutions to offer medical education programs that train medical students, physicians, nurse practitioner and physician assistant students, nursing students and other clinical experts for our region. Its more than 8,800 employees, volunteers, health care providers and other personnel work together to create healthy communities through solutions designed to meet the ever-changing needs of the 938,000 residents in the health system’s 23-county service area. In fiscal year 2020, MyMichigan Health provided more than $91 million in community benefits, as well as supported its patients and families with new equipment, services and programs with funds raised by the MyMichigan Health Foundation.


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