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Voluntary COVID-19 testing of Juneau’s homeless population starts Tuesday

May 18, 2020 – News

The City and Borough of Juneau’s Emergency Operations Center – a unified command structure with Bartlett Regional Hospital (BRH), the State’s Division of Public Health, and other partners – will be conducting voluntary COVID-19 testing for individuals experiencing homelessness Tuesday and Wednesday, May 19-20, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The EOC has identified Juneau’s homeless population as an at risk population for experiencing the spread of COVID-19. This voluntary testing effort will allow for early identification of people who may be infected but aren’t showing obvious signs or symptoms.

Seven mobile tents for testing will be set up along the parking lot wall of the Juneau Arts and Culture Center, which has been used as a shelter since March 20. Staff from BRH and Capital City Fire/Rescue will be taking the test samples. Results from a commercial lab are expected back Friday and Saturday evening. Between 50-60 people have been staying at the JACC shelter; up to roughly 150 people in Juneau overall experience homelessness.

Individuals being tested in this effort who show any symptoms of COVID-19 will be referred to the quarantine-isolation facility at Centennial Hall, which officially opens Tuesday night. How long they stay there will depend on test results. Following this testing effort, Centennial Hall will remain set up as a quarantine-isolation facility and used on an as-needed basis.

Any person in Juneau feeling even mildly ill with new symptoms like fatigue, cough, fever, or a decreased sense of taste or smell should contact their health care provider or call Juneau’s COVID-19 Screening Hotline at 586-6000, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Testing may be arranged at the local Drive-Thru Testing Center if appropriate. See a longer list of COVID-19 symptoms here.

For more information, contact CBJ Chief Housing Officer Scott Ciambor at 586-0220 or scott.ciambor@juneau.org.