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SEARHC Patient is Second Prince of Wales COVID-19 Positive

KLAWOCK – The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (ADHSS) announced a laboratory confirmed COVID-19 case in the Prince of Wales (POW) area on Monday, April 13. The positive test is the second for POW island and the first positive test conducted at SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium’s (SEARHC) Alicia Roberts Medical Center (ARMC) in Klawock.

“The patient was initially screened over the phone,” said ARMC Administrator Joyce Moore. “It was then determined that the patient should be tested, due to the criteria given. Testing was conducted outside of the Clinic, in our parking lot, and the patient was instructed to quarantine, along with their family, until we received the results back.”

No patient demographics will be released by ARMC, but investigation performed by the Alaska Division of Public Health determined the case to be travel related, according to Moore.

“I am pleased to hear that our processes for testing and treatment were adhered to and staff exposure was limited,” said SEARHC Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Elliot Bruhl. “The patient was seen virtually, testing was performed off-site, and clear instructions were given to self-isolate. This pattern of care is endorsed by the SEARHC Incident Command System to ensure high levels of safety for patients and staff.”

COVID-19 tests are currently available by appointment at ARMC to patients who meet the symptomatic guidelines of fever and cough, or shortness of breath. Due to known community spread in Southeast, travel and exposure criteria are no longer qualifiers for receiving a test. ARMC recently received an Abbott rapid testing machine, which will provide results in minutes for the highest priority patients.

The POW confirmed case brings the SEARHC-wide total to three positives. As of April 14, SEARHC has performed 419 COVID-19 tests across the Consortium with 381 negatives and 35 tests pending. For up-to-date testing data, view the COVID-19 Case Updates counter on covid19.searhc.org.

Weekend express care services at the Craig Health Clinic were recently suspended to limit patient contact, while behavioral health, physical therapy, and optometry services have moved to virtual visits. Craig patients should call 907.755.4800 to schedule a primary care appointment at ARMC.