Since beginning to test for COVID-19 in March, YKHC has continued to expand testing capacity. As of noon on April 8, we have tested over 150 individuals. Of those tests, 103 tests are still pending, 49 tests are negative and one test is the postive that was announced April 6.
Our testing criteria, available on our website at www.ykhc.org/covid-19-testing/, includes testing for individuals who are close contacts of known positive COVID-19 patients. As a reminder, “close contacts” are persons who were within 6 feet of someone who tests positive for COVID-19 for more than 5-10 minutes. After YKHC confirmed the first COVID-19 case in Bethel on April 6, we offered testing to all individuals identified as close contacts. Many agreed to be tested and several have already been tested.
Individuals who are tested by YKHC are instructed to self-quarantine while they await results. As YKHC receives results back, we immediately notify individuals of their result.
The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) provided YKHC with four Abbott ID NOW testing systems, which allows YKHC to receive rapid, same-day results of COVID-19 tests. YKHC’s supply of the test reagent for the rapid testing machines is extremely limited. We will use these rapid tests in very specific situations; so YKHC will continue to send samples to the State and private labs. Our current turnaround time for those tests is 4-7 days.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever and a cough, sometimes causing shortness of breath. If you have these symptoms, do not go to your village clinic or to the emergency room in Bethel. Instead, call your village clinic or in Bethel call 543-6949 so a healthcare provider can assist you.
Get the latest information on COVID-19 from YKHC at www.ykhc.org/covid-19.