COVID-19 Protocol and Safety at SEARHC

Free Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing


Quickly identifying and responding to positive cases in our communities is the most effective way to combat COVID-19.  SEARHC is encouraging Southeast Alaskans to stay safe and get tested.  Free, community COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic patients is now available in select communities across the region, no appointment necessary.   Learn more in the FAQs below or contact the SEARHC COVID-19 Hotline at 907.966.8799.

SEARHC COVID-19 Case Update

Updated October 28, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. AKDT
  • 62,367
    Tests Performed
  • 60,450
    Negative Cases
  • 1,612
    Pending Results
  • 279
    Confirmed Positive Cases
    Community Case Updates

About COVID-19

YOUR SAFETY IS OUR PRIORITY

“SEARHC’s top priority is the safety of our patients and staff,” said SEARHC Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Elliot Bruhl.  “We will continue to communicate and coordinate with various healthcare agencies to ensure we have the most up-to-date, comprehensive response plan.  With hundreds of experienced providers and dozens of exceptional facilities across Southeast, SEARHC has the capacity to provide high-quality care simultaneous to crisis response.”

Read Dr. Bruhl’s March 6th, March 20th and May 29th letters to the editor in the Sitka Sentinel.

SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19

COVID-19 has a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. Symptoms can include – fever, aching, cough and shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell. The CDC believes that symptoms of the novel coronavirus may appear within two to 14 days after exposure.

HOW COVID-19 SPREADS

The CDC states that the virus is spread mainly from person-to-person, between individuals in close contact, through an infected cough or sneeze.  It may be possible that a person can acquire COVID-19 by touching an infected surface, or object, and transferring to one’s own mouth, nose, or eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (ADHSS) is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus. For state health updates, click below.

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Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

The Center for Disease Control is responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

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SEARHC Going Virtual and Expanding Test Criteria

SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) is rolling out virtual appointments with providers to further reduce patient contact and facility contamination during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Wrangell COVID-19 Stakeholders Discuss Mandates, Surge Plans, Virtual Care

On Wednesday, March 25, Wrangell COVID-19 responders participated in their weekly joint meeting to discuss the latest actions made in preparation the coronavirus reaching the island. City and Borough of Wrangell (CBW) leadership…

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SEARHC PATIENT HEALTH BENEFITS OFFERS ASSISTANCE DURING COVID-19 CRISIS

SEARHC Patient Health Benefits (PHB) team is available to answer patient health coverage questions that arise from the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

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INCIDENT COMMAND ENSURES STAFFING IN ALL COMMUNITIES

SEARHC Incident Command System (ICS) met again on Tuesday, March 17, to discuss the latest coronavirus (COVID-19) developments and direct unit leaders in appropriate responses to relay to staff.

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SEARHC Introduces Alternative Testing Sites in Five Communities

To expedite the coronavirus (COVID-19) testing process and eliminate unnecessary contamination of primary care clinics, SEARHC recently opened alternative testing sites in five communities.

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COVID-19 in the U.S.

The CDC is monitoring COVID-19 in the U.S. Click here as news is updated regularly at noon Mondays through Fridays.

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COVID-19 Visual Representation by Johns Hopkins

See a visual representation of COVID-19 impact globally, as reported by Johns Hopkins.

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Wrangell Sentinel News: SEARHC Taking Proactive Approach with Novel Coronavirus

While Alaska has yet to see any confirmed cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, the SEARHC is working to monitor, contain, and mitigate the impact of the virus.

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SEARHC Taking Proactive Approach with Novel Coronavirus

SEARHC’s top priority is the safety of our patients and staff,” said SEARHC Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Elliot Bruh

Learn More

What to know about Coronavirus

Since early January, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has been actively engaged in the international response to the rapidly escalating outbreak of respiratory infections linked to the 2019 novel coronavirus.

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Confirmed Positive Cases at SEARHC Facilities:
Updated October 28, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. AKDT

131 in Juneau

71 in Sitka 

21 in Wrangell

9 in Haines

4 in Klawock

5 in Gustavus

1 in Hydaburg

21 in Kake

16 Angoon

State Case Update:
For the most up-to-date information, please visit the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (AHDSS).

SEARHC is now providing free, COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic patients.

Tests will take place at the following locations and times. Please check back frequently for updates:

  • Angoon – Jessie Norma Health Clinic | 725 Relay Road, Angoon, Alaska 99820 | Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Gustavus– Gustavus Clinic | 42 Dolley Varden Road, Gustavus, AK 99826 | Saturday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Haines – Haines Health Center Testing Tent | 131 1st Avenue, Haines, AK 99827 | Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. & Sunday 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Hoonah– Hoonah Health Center | 490 Gartina Hwy, Hoonah, AK 99829 | Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Hydaburg Alma Cook Health Center | Eighth Street Extension, Hydaburg, AK, 99922 | Friday, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. 
  • Juneau – Ethel Lund Medical Center | 1200 Salmon Creek Lane, Juneau, AK 99801 | Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. & Sunday 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Kake – Kake Health Center | 105 Totem Way, Kake, AK 99830 | Saturday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Klawock Alicia Roberts Medical Center | 7300 Klawock Hollis Highway, Klawock, AK 99925 | Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Klukwan – Klukwan Health Clinic Parking Lot | 11 Chilkat Avenue, Klukwan, AK 99827 | Tuesday 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Pelican –Pelican Health Center | 101 Salmon Way, Pelican, AK 99832 | Next date: 11.15.20 | Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Petersburg – SEARHC Parking Lot | 202 Gjoa Street, Petersburg, AK 99833 | Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Sitka – Mt. Edgecumbe Medical Center Testing Site | 222 Tongass Drive, Sitka, AK 99835 | Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Skagway – Skagway Traditional Council Center | 11th and Broadway, Skagway, AK 99840 | Saturday 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Wrangell – AICS Clinic Alternative Test Site | 232 Wood Street, Wrangell, AK 99929 | Saturday & Sunday 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Testing will be administered via self-swab at each community’s respective alternate testing sites.  Test results will be available approximately seven (7) days after the test has been administered.  For more information, contact the SEARHC COVID-19 Hotline at 907.966.8799.

SEARHC set up established areas for COVID-19 testing in Sitka, Wrangell, Juneau, Klawock, and Haines. All other clinic locations are screening for COVID-19 in clinic parking lots. Screening sites keep patients with COVID-19 symptoms separated from the general emergency department patients.

Weekday tests at these locations are by referral only, and will only be conducted for individuals who meet COVID-19 testing criteria. Please call your clinic for a referral.

Testing for asymptomatic individuals is launching across the Consortium. For more information on asymptomatic testing, open the “Free Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing” FAQ above or contact the SEARHC COVID-19 Hotline at 907.966.8799.

IMPORTANT UPDATE:  SEARHC is committed to providing high-quality healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. To reduce patient exposure to COVID-19 and to adhere to State health mandates, many visits will now be conducted virtually over your computer or smart phone.

SEARHC Telehealth Clinics

Telehealth Services

Your waiting room is ready. Your choice to use Telehealth Services will increase your access to quality healthcare and make for a healthier you. It’s simple to connect and see your healthcare provider from anywhere. All you need is a computer with a webcam (most computers already come with one installed) or a smart phone, and a connection to the Internet.

  1. Contact your local clinic or provider to see how this effects your appointment.
  2. Read the Informed Consent form for Telehealth Services. You may be requested to submit a signed copy before your first appointment.
  3. Follow these easy steps to check in for your appointment at Doxy.me, a secure and private telehealth website.

If you don’t have health insurance, SEARHC’s Patient Health Benefits team is available to answer patient coverage questions. For assistance, please reach out to Susan Briles at susanb@searhc.org or call 907.966.8662.

The SEARHC Patient Health Benefits (PHB) team is available at 907.966.8684 to answer patient health coverage questions that arise from the coronavirus crisis. PHB staff can assist patients in applying for immediate coverage, as well as provide guidance to apply for Medicaid or navigate the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplace.

SEARHC Facilities are open to serve you. Services available include primary care, specialty care, dental and optometry, behavioral health and more. Contact your local clinic to schedule an appointment in person, online, or by phone. Emergency services are open for any who need immediate care.  COVID-19 screening measures are in place at all locations to ensure your safety. By following the CDC screening protocol and strict decontamination procedures, we are ensuring a safe clinical environment for patients.

Patient travel is postponed except in emergency situations.

SEARHC is prepared to care for and assist prenatal patients amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. For a list of patient questions and answers, please click here.

There are many confirmed cases in Alaska, including within the Southeast. For the most up-to-date information, please visit the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (AHDSS)

SEARHC has experienced providers and exceptional facilities across Southeast that are ready to provide high-quality care to your families now and throughout the coronavirus pandemic. 
 
We are taking a number of active steps to ensure the safety of you and your family as we increase facility access across Southeast. Steps include pre-screening patients by phone or at the door for signs of COVID-19, making waiting areas social distance friendly, enhancing on-site disinfection, requiring face masking of patients and staff, and testing SEARHC employees. 

SEARHC leadership continues to communicate and coordinate with various healthcare agencies and community leaders to ensure it has the most up-to-date, comprehensive response plan.  

SEARHC is closely monitoring information being provided by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services  (ADHSS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other state, federal and global health organizations as they work to monitor, contain and mitigate the impact of the virus.  The CDC’s page on COVID-19 includes information for communities, schools, businesses, and information on travel.

  • Practice social distancing, at least six feet away from people who are not in your household (in both indoor and outdoor settings)
  • Wear a mask in public, around people who do not live in your household or when social distance measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water. Spend 20 seconds scrubbing with soap before rinsing your hands. If you don’t have soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your face, mouth, nose and eyes.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces. This can include phones, keyboards, doorknobs and toys.
  • Get your annual influenza vaccination.

  • If you begin to feel ill, and you don’t have any underlying conditions, stay home. Stay home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
  • If you begin to feel ill and you do have underlying health conditions (heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, pregnancy, cancer, immune suppression), call your healthcare provider. Calling ahead to make an appointment before seeing a clinician will help the health care provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed. When you call, make sure you tell the provider if you think you may have been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19, either through travel or with a case of the disease.

If you have an emergency medical condition, please call 911 or your local emergency medical services number.

If you are having a health issue you do not know how to handle outside of normal clinic hours, simply call your SEARHC clinic or dial the free After-Hours Nurse Advice Line at 1.800.613.0560.

Nurse Advice Line calls will be answered by nonlocal,registered triage nurses who will:

  • Provide a timely response to your questions.
  • Determine whether your health issue requires a call to your provider and if so, will contact your SEARHC provider. 
  • Share advice on how to care for the problem yourself if home care is appropriate.
  • Connect you with emergency services if necessary.
  • Answer general health questions.
  • Forward a message to your local clinic after hours.

SEARHC’s free After-Hours Nurse Advice Line is not a substitute for medical attention. The registered nurses cannot provide diagnoses or treatment but can provide advice for something as simple as what over-the-counter remedy is appropriate for a cold symptom to something as complex as explaining a new medication.

Mangyaring tingnan ang mga kasagutan sa mga madadalas na tanong sa nakalakip na dokumento.

Abra el documento para leer las preguntas y respuestas de la comunidad sobre el COVID-19 aqui.

Make an Appointment

If you are concerned you might have contracted COVID-19, don’t panic, as the flu or another respiratory virus is still the most likely cause of your symptoms. Contact your healthcare provider for advice. If you choose to visit an emergency department, call ahead to alert staff of your COVID-19 concerns and request a mask be brought out to you prior to entering to reduce the risk of exposure.

SEARHC implemented COVID-19 screening protocols in early February at all locations, and recently established the Incident Command System (ICS) roles throughout the organization to ensure our ability to rapidly respond to changes that affect our communities.