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Public can pick up free at-home COVID-19 tests from select locations starting Wednesday

November 30, 2021 – News

An at-home COVID-19 test is a convenient option for anyone who needs to get tested for COVID-19. The test can be self-administered at home or anywhere, returns results in 15 minutes, and is a useful tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Starting Wednesday, December 1, the City and Borough of Juneau will be distributing free at-home tests to the public from the following locations:

  • City Hall Cash Office
  • All Juneau Public Libraries – Downtown, Mendenhall Valley, and Douglas
  • Dimond Park Aquatic Center

At this time, the public can pick up two tests per family until supply increases. The goal of the distribution is for families to have at-home tests on reserve for when one might be needed; for instance, if you’re experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or if you have recently been in close contact with someone who tested positive. Do not go into one of these CBJ facilities to pick up at-home tests if you’re feeling sick.

Currently, CBJ is distributing the QuickVue At-Home OTC COVID-19 Test. Here’s an instructional video on how to use this particular test. These at-home tests are rapid antigen tests, which – while not as sensitive as PCR tests – can detect COVID-19 when it becomes transmissible.

While positive results are not counted in Alaska Department of Health & Social Services COVID-19 numbers, CBJ asks Juneau residents to report positive at-home test results to Public Health (907-465-3353) to learn about possible treatment options or any other appropriate medical follow-up.

Please note: In light of the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, if you’ve recently traveled, please take the free COVID-19 molecular test that’s offered at the Juneau International Airport upon arrival. Similarly, if you’ve recently traveled and test positive on an at-home antigen test, please take a follow-up molecular test at a local health provider or CBJ’s drive-thru testing site (register online or call 907-586-6000). Positive molecular test results from the airport or other facilities are sent to the State Public Health Lab for potential sequencing.

CBJ currently has about 5,400 tests to distribute and is expecting an additional 10,000 tests in the next 5-7 weeks. CBJ has already distributed close to 5,000 free tests to local organizations that serve community members who may otherwise struggle to obtain a COVID-19 test.

The Juneau School District also has a supply of at-home COVID-19 tests. The district uses them as an option for students and staff who choose to follow a testing protocol rather than quarantine when they are exposed in a classroom or identified as a close contact. Read about the Test to Stay Program protocols here.

Public Health has more guidance for rapid antigen at-home COVID-19 tests here that will be handed out with the tests, or go to CBJ’s webpage.

For more information, contact CBJ Emergency Operations Center Incident Commander and Deputy City Manager Robert Barr at 907-586-5240 or Robert.Barr@juneau.org, or email COVIDquestions@juneau.org.