SITKA – The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) will introduce COVID19 testing for asymptomatic patients on Saturday, July 18, in the communities of Haines and Klawock. All Haines residents will have access to free testing every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Haines Health Center alternative testing tent. Residents of Klawock can access free tests on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Alicia Roberts Medical Center parking lot.
“SEARHC is excited to expand free COVID-19 testing to additional service areas,” said SEARHC Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Elliot Bruhl. “The asymptomatic testing program will provide an opportunity to locate cases in our communities that would otherwise go undetected and allow our organization to better understand how COVID has impacted Southeast.”
Expanded community testing is being made possible by a grant from Indian Health Services (IHS). SEARHC will offer free testing on weekends through December 2020 and is utilizing alternate testing sites in each service community. The Consortium is also working to hire temporary employees to staff the weekend testing locations.
Free, asymptomatic COVID-19 testing was introduced on July 11 in the communities of Juneau, Sitka, and Wrangell. Testing clinics in additional SEARHC communities will be announced during July.
Testing remains available during the week to all patients who exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms – including fever, cough, shortness of breath, headaches, body aches, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, reduced sense of taste or smell – regardless of travel or exposure criteria.
For more information on SEARHC’s pandemic response, including testing guidelines, visit covid19.searhc.org or contact the COVID-19 Hotline at 907.966.8799.