Since beginning to test for COVID-19 in March, YKHC has continued to expand our 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 we 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. After YKHC confirmed the first positive COVID-19 case in Bethel on April 6, we offered testing to all persons identified as close contacts of the individual who tested positive. Many close contacts agreed to and 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.