ANGOON – The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) and the Jessie Norma Jim Health Center (JNJHC) have been proactively planning a response ahead of the coronavirus (COVID-19) reaching the community of Angoon. JNJHC remains in continuous contact with the City of Angoon and the Angoon Village Public Safety Officer as part of the local Incident Command System. Changes in service have been implemented at JNJHC to limit patient contact and plans are in place should a COVID-19 case be confirmed in the community. Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Angoon.
The majority of clinic appointments are now hosted virtually, by phone or video, or completed as a home visit. On-site JNJHC visits are scheduled only for those utilizing services that cannot be completed virtually or in-home. COVID-19 tests are available at the clinic to those who meet the symptomatic guidelines – currently fever and cough, or shortness of breath – regardless of travel or exposure criteria.
JNJHC has one negative pressure isolation room available, should a confirmed case need to be seen at the clinic. A confirmed case in the community in Angoon would trigger a suspension in all on-site clinic services. Normal channels of care remain in place across the Consortium, but should you require levels of care beyond what can be provided at JNJHC, SEARHC will arrange transport to Mt. Edgecumbe Medical Center in Sitka or another healthcare facility to provide the necessary level of care.
Clinic Manager Sara Lang urges patients to, “call the clinic prior to presenting, and use the Nurse Advice Line (1.800.613.0560) for after-hours care. Angoon residents must to continue with hunker down and obey travel quarantines and health mandates issued by the City of Angoon and the Governor of Alaska.”
SEARHC recommends that patients remain home if sick. Patients with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, or those who are immune compromised, should contact their provider immediately if they become ill. Please adhere to the CDC preventive methods to deter respiratory disease, including washing your hands thoroughly and often, covering coughs and sneezes, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects, and getting a flu shot.
For more information on the novel coronavirus, visit covid19.searhc.org or call the SEARHC COVID-19 Hotline at 907.966.8799 to speak to a representative during normal business hours.