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BRH and CCFR expand who gets to test for COVID-19

March 27, 2020 – News

Criteria for testing COVID-19 in Juneau has greatly expanded to include lower and medium risk individuals. Tests are collected at the Capital City Fire/Rescue drive-thru testing center at the Hagevig Fire Training Center and processed at Bartlett Regional Hospital. Testing is by appointment only.

Expanded criteria for testing now includes fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Asymptomatic individuals are still not being tested unless directed to do so by the state’s Division of Public Health. Previously, in order to be tested, criteria included hospitalization, living in a long-term care facility, or travel.

Individuals with a primary care provider are strongly encouraged to call them first. Your provider may arrange for testing and evaluation or refer you to the CCFR testing center. If you do not have a primary health care provider, are unable to contact them, or your provider is unable to perform the testing, call the CCFR COVID-19 screening hotline, 586-6000, daily from noon to 6 p.m. Testing will be arranged if appropriate.

The BRH Laboratory helped streamline the testing process and medium by which samples are collected and sent to State of Alaska Epidemiology labs or private labs out of state. Patients can now be routed to one central location for testing, reducing turnaround time for results. “This is a great resource for our community to potentially identify people and really emphasize quarantining,” Lab Director John Fortin said.

Fortin’s goal is to get test kits in-house at Bartlett: “We are planning on having a test available, but that release will be very limited until manufacturing can catch up. Currently no time frame is established, but we are updated weekly. We are in a supply and demand situation with the rest of the nation.”

For more information, contact Fire Chief Rich Etheridge at (907) 586-0251 or Rich.Etheridge@juneau.org.

For more local news, information, and resources to help keep Juneau safe and healthy, go to juneau.org/covid-19 and BRH’s COVID-19 page.