SEARHC announces variety of restrictions across region

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - SEARHC has suspended certain non-emergent services in response to the latest coronavirus (COVID-19) developments.

    Restrictions have been applied to dental, optometry, patient travel, and elective surgery effective immediately, allowing staff to focus on core healthcare services and reduce traffic in the clinical environment.

    Primary care, acute care, swing-bed care, and emergency services remain available for all patients, as do support services including radiology, laboratory, and therapy services.

    To expedite the coronavirus (COVID-19) testing process, SEARHC recently opened alternative testing sites in five communities.  Patients in Juneau, Sitka, Wrangell, Haines, and Klawock can now receive an appointment for drive-by testing, which allows patients to remain in their vehicle while being seen by a SEARHC clinician.

    CDC guidelines state that patients must be exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 (fever and cough, or shortness of breath) and meet the current clinical criteria, including close contact with a confirmed case; travel outside of Alaska within 14 days; or determined to be a high-risk patient, to qualify for testing.

    SEARHC leadership continues to work with local, state and federal organizations to consolidate information and align response efforts in each community.

    Staff responsible for direct patient care are in possession of the most-recent information to best identify and treat patients with COVID-19.  SEARHC remains in constant contact with the Centers for Disease Control, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, and other healthcare organizations to update protocols as new information is made available.  

    For the safety of residents and staff, visitors are currently allowed at Mt. Edgecumbe Medical Center from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. They are not permitted in other SEARHC facilities at this time.  Each SEARHC facility has reduced entry points to ensure all staff and patients comply with a health screening prior to entry.


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