In early April, YKHC voluntarily began providing symptom and exposure-risk screening for passengers arriving from Anchorage at the Bethel airport. On April 23, due to the lack of resources for local public health agencies, YKHC expanded this public health outreach to offer on-site COVID-19 testing for arriving passengers. On-site airport testing continues today.
Due to recent impacts the global pandemic has had on local flight schedules, and after speaking with local airport personnel, YKHC believed there was no flight scheduled to arrive in Bethel on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25. Had YKHC received confirmation of a scheduled flight on May 25, on-site testing at the airport would have been provided. Thank you for your understanding during this unprecedented time.
Passengers who arrived in Bethel on Monday, May 25 and would like to be tested, can call YKHC at 543-6949. Passengers who continued travel to an outlying community can call their local village clinic to schedule testing. As a friendly reminder, the YKHC hotline in Bethel is staffed Monday-Friday, from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
YKHC is working hard to protect the region from further spread of COVID-19, but we cannot do it alone and we need your help. While testing is a core public health strategy to detect, isolate and trace new cases, current airport testing remains at 20-50% of arriving passengers who opt for free, voluntary testing. Testing is a single tool we have for COVID-19 response. Until there is widespread immunity to the novel coronavirus, everyone can help protect themselves and one another by practicing known protective measures, including: physical distancing from anyone not residing in your same household, regular handwashing, wearing a face covering in public, and regularly disinfecting high-touch surfaces in your home.
As State health mandates relax, likely increasing the number of incoming flights and passengers, YKHC will evaluate our ability to continue on-site testing at the airport.
Get the latest information on COVID-19 and local response from YKHC at www.ykhc.org/covid-19.