Health Alert – Coronavirus Update


Client Safety. Staff Safety. Updates to Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and OSHA Requirements.

With the growth of the Delta variant of COVID-19 across the country we want to reassure you that we continue to monitor any and all developments pertaining to COVID.  The safety of our clients and staff remains our highest priority.

We would like to reaffirm our current system:

  1. Daily employee screenings are required. A QR code is posted in each building upon entry and a screening form is filled out.
  2. Symptomatic employees will call their supervisor prior to coming to work to discuss options.
  3. In the residential houses, all staff are required to wear masks when in the presence of patients.
  4. Outpatient therapists are required to wear masks when in group or individual sessions with patients. Clients are required to wear masks when in group or session.

When making decisions, we continue to monitor recommendations from MIOSHA, MDHHS and the CDC, as well as feedback from our medical team and information from local hospitals.

Updated 8/13/20 21

At Sanford Addiction Treatment Centers, the safety of our clients and staff has always been our number one priority. With the advent of Coronavirus (COVID-19), we have increased our stringent policies and response protocols to keep COVID-19 out of all of our facilities, while continuing to provide evidence-based practices in treatment and recovery. Much of the state of Michigan is fully opened as of July, 2020, but as a healthcare provider Sanford is still adhering to some restrictions.

Our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Policy and Response Plan was published in March of 2020, together with mandatory training for staff members at every level. And we have established procedures to stay informed, disseminate information, and instruct staff and clients on coronavirus updates/procedures/regulations on a minute-by-minute basis. Some programs are still being conducted via telehealth or Sanford Virtual Programs, but most of our programs are now back to in-person.

At Sanford, we have always adhered to OSHA’s General Duty Clause, providing employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm. OSHA’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Standards, requiring the use of gloves, eye and face protection, and respiratory protection are in effect in all our facilities. The Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP) health standards are also in effect.

Updates July 2021The following is in place to keep staff/clients safe (updated July, 2021)

  • Secured ongoing COVID-19 testing for staff and clients.
  • Pfizer vaccines for COVID-19 are provided for all staff.
  •  All clients who admit to the residential level of care are tested for COVID-19.
  • Flu vaccines were provided for all Sanford staff.
  • Many programs are available via telehealth.
  • Masks and face shields have been provided for all staff members and clients.
  • Ample disinfectant spray and wipes have been provided to each facility – staff are asked to disinfect their workstations regularly.
  • Visitors and non-essential personnel may enter public spaces with appointments and physical distancing.
  • Plexiglas desk dividers for workstations have been provide.
  • All Sanford locations have increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Sanford has a full-time team member to run Sanford’s taskforce and lead our response to the pandemic.
  • The COVID-19 Taskforce at Sanford continues to monitor federal, state, and local health department recommendations.
  • Face shields are worn anytime a staff member is within 6ft of a client – in the med rooms and during individual therapy sessions.  Staff members must wear facemasks.


Residential Screening Process

Pre-Admission Phone Screening

Clients are screened with a series of questions by phone, during initial pre-admission conversations and again 24 hours prior to admissions time. If a client passes pre-screening, the Sanford Admissions team will schedule an in-person pre-admission screen at a designated Sanford checkpoint.

In-Person Screening and COVID-19 Testing

Once a client’s admission is scheduled and confirmed, their admissions process and testing will begin. Only client and medical staff are present at testing and the COVID-19 test we use is a nasopharyngeal swab that detects active infection. As some people with COVID-19 have no visible symptoms but are still contagious to others, the test helps identify and direct those clients to virtual programs until they are virus-free. If a prospective client screens positive, they will receive their COVID-19 test and will be sent home to self-isolate.

Residential Treatment Process

Inside the residential facilities at John Street for Men and Cherry Street for Women, physical distancing is practiced, with clients and staff sitting at least six feet from one another while in group and individual sessions. Other precautions are:

Masks will be worn by staff (except when alone in room or when eating – special dining and kitchen procedures are established).

Acupuncture is temporarily suspended.

Groups will not exceed 10 individuals including facilitator.

There is outside space available at the facilities for exercise or fresh air.

Special protocols are in place for transporting clients to necessary and pre-approved medical appointments and excursions.

Disinfection frequency protocols are in place, thorough cleaning procedures of tables, counters and other frequently touched surfaces are specifically defined in the Disinfection and Cleaning Protocols..

Availability of alcohol-based hand rubs (ABHR) with supervision, tissues, no-touch receptacles for disposal and non-reusable and reusable masks at the entrance and throughout the facilities.

Special procedures for laundry, and proper handling of reusable masks with labeling and storage are in place.

Sanford posts educational information from trusted health sources throughout the facilities, including signage on hygiene, symptoms of coronavirus and outdoor signage to halt visitors or inform of other access restrictions.

At all Sanford Residential facilities continue to be vigilant as we monitor potential symptoms of respiratory infection. Temperatures are taken daily. And an individual exhibiting symptoms will immediately enter isolation in their private room, with Isolation Procedures implemented until they can be safely sent home.

For Clients and staff, the CDC has added additional symptoms of COVID-19 for us to be aware of:



Loss of smell

Loss of taste


Sore throat

Congestion/ runny nose

Trouble breathing/ shortness of breath

Nausea or vomiting



Body/muscle aches

Anyone experiencing any of the symptoms listed above (that are not related to a previous medical condition) must contact a supervisor as soon as possible and prior to reporting to your shift.

Spacing in the residential houses remains 6 feet from others. Also, those unable to physically distance (e.g., passing medications to client, performing a medical evaluation, taking vitals, screening staff) will wear a face shield in addition to a mask.




Sanford Virtual Addiction Treatment – Telehealth

Virtual Addiction Treatment utilizes “video chat” technology to offer the same evidence-based practices that our in-person programs provide, but in the comfort and safety of home. This is especially significant during the COVID-19 pandemic. The telehealth programs offered in our virtual treatment model are: Medication-Assisted Treatment; Day Treatment; Intensive Outpatient Programs; Outpatient Programs; women’s and family support groups; alumni groups; and one-on-one and family counseling. We are continuing to add new programs as demand and our research dictates