Wrangell is almost out of at-home COVID test kits. The Emergency Operations Center says it anticipates the kits will have been exhausted by Wednesday. This comes amid Wrangell’s largest COVID case spike of the pandemic.
The EOC’s Jamie Roberts says the community only has about 75 test kits left, after distributing more than 500 in recent weeks. She says the borough placed an order for another 2,000 kits.
“We submitted an order to the state resource request for additional tests,” Roberts explains, “And we were denied that order because they had no stock available.”
Roberts added that state officials haven’t said when more at-home test kits might be available.
At-home tests are in short supply across the country and throughout the state. Anchorage, Fairbanks, Ketchikan and other communities in Southeast Alaska are reporting running low.
With the number of at-home tests in Wrangell dwindling, Roberts recommended community members take advantage of walk-up testing at Wrangell’s hospital. Test turn-arounds are longer, she says, but there’s a solid supply of PCR testing materials in town.
Walk-up COVID testing is available at the SEARHC Wrangell Medical Center from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
The walk-up testing program will end at the end of the month, when the state plans to end its travel testing contracts. But tests will continue to be available by appointment at Wrangell’s hospital. The number to call is 907-874-7000.
And while Wrangell won’t have at-home test kits to distribute, at-home tests are available through some online retailers.
President Joe Biden also recently announced that health insurance providers will reimburse four at-home COVID tests per person every month, beginning this Saturday (January 15).
Wrangell’s EOC encourages anyone with COVID symptoms (fever, sore throat, cough, runny nose, or shortness of breath) to stay home, consider getting tested at the hospital, and contact a medical professional if symptoms change or get worse.
This article has been updated to delete a repeated phrase and update a link.
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