COVID-19 Protocol and Safety at SEARHC

SEARHC is committed to keeping everyone healthy and safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and annual flu season.

COVID-19 tests are available to all who meet the symptomatic guidelines – including fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.  

If you are asymptomatic and seeking a COVID-19 test, asymptomatic testing protocol varies by community. Learn more in the FAQs below or contact the COVID Hotline at 907.966.8799.

SEARHC COVID-19 Case Update

Updated November 24, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. AKDT
  • 75,064
    Tests Performed
  • 73,769
    Negative Cases
  • 811
    Pending Results
  • 448
    Confirmed Positive Cases
    Community Case Updates

About COVID-19

COVID-19 AND INFLUENZA

The arrival of flu season has compounded the challenges our providers are facing in combatting the pandemic. Since the flu and COVID-19 share symptoms, receiving your annual flu vaccination is more important than ever.  Schedule a flu shot at your local clinic.

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 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.

Questions? Contact the SEARHC clinic in your community, or call the COVID Hotline at 907.966.8799 seven days a week from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

REDUCE THE SPREAD OF COVID-19

The CDC states that the virus is spread mainly from person-to-person, between individuals in close contact, through an infected cough or sneeze.  Be sure to wear a mask, socially distance and wash your hands thoroughly and often.

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

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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 November 24, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. AKDT

199 in Juneau

165 in Sitka 

23 in Wrangell

11 in Haines

4 in Klawock

6 in Gustavus

2 in Hydaburg

21 in Kake

17 Angoon

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

SEARHC is committed to keeping everyone healthy and safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and annual flu season. To ensure the availability of tests and reduce turnaround time for results, SEARHC has begun to prioritize testing for those showing symptoms of COVID-19 or those who have been in close contact with a positive case. In conjunction, the communities of Sitka and Juneau have discontinued free, asymptomatic testing programs. Free, asymptomatic testing programs in all other SEARHC communities will end on December 19. Asymptomatic tests will remain available by appointment, with patients responsible for covering a fee of $145 at the time of testing. 

COVID-19 tests are available to all who meet the symptomatic guidelines – including fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, or diarrhea. Please provide Medicare or Medicaid information at the time of scheduling to have your insurance billed. There will be no out-of-pocket charges for symptomatic or close contact testing. Symptomatic COVID-19 tests are by referral only for community members who meet testing criteria. Schedule your COVID-19 test through your local SEARHC clinic. If you’re located in Sitka, schedule a test by calling the COVID Hotline at 907.966.8799. 

Asymptomatic testing will take place at the following locations and times, unless otherwise noted. 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.
  • 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 All tests must be scheduled in advance. For patients seeking asymptomatic testing for travel or work, testing fees must be covered by private health insurance plans or paid for out-of-pocket at the time of testing.
  • 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. – 12 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: TBD
  • Petersburg – SEARHC Parking Lot | 202 Gjoa Street, Petersburg, AK 99833 | Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Sitka – All tests must be scheduled in advance. For patients seeking asymptomatic testing for travel or work, testing fees must be covered by private health insurance plans or paid for out-of-pocket at the time of testing.
  • 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 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 your local SEARHC clinic, or call 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 or contact the SEARHC COVID-19 Hotline at 907.966.8799.

Telehealth Services

It is simple to connect and see your healthcare provider from anywhere. To see your provider virtually, all you need is a smartphone or a computer with a webcam and internet connection. Virtual appointments are available with SEARHC providers in Primary Care, Specialty Care, Behavioral Health, and Rehabilitation service lines.

  1. Contact your local clinic or provider to schedule appointments.
  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 COVID-19 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, 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 protocols and strict decontamination procedures, we are ensuring the safest possible 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.

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. 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 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 do not 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, contact your local SEARHC clinic, or call the COVID Hotline at 907.966.8799.

  • 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 healthcare 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 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, call the free After-Hours Nurse Advice Line at 1.800.613.0560. Nurse Advice Line calls will be answered by non-local, 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.