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Reopen Alaska Responsibly Plan, Phase 2
Beginning Friday, May 8, phase two of the Reopen Alaska Responsibly Plan will take effect, allowing most non-essential businesses to reopen with safeguards.
This means 50% capacity for retail, restaurants, and other non-essential businesses, with walk-ins permitted. Additionally, personal care services can operate at 50% capacity, or up to 20 patrons, for reservations only. A 50-person capacity for social and religious gatherings will also go into effect.
The state will allow 25% capacity for fitness centers, with walk-ins permitted, 50% capacity for swimming pools, with walk-ins permitted, and 25% capacity for bars, libraries, and museums, with walk-ins permitted.
The Laboratory at Bartlett Regional Hospital has expanded same day testing of COVID-19 to 24 hours per day. Due to limitations in supply, same day testing is currently only offered to in-patients.
“This is really good news for Bartlett and for Juneau because we’ll know within an hour or two the result,” said Infection Preventionist Charlee Gribbon, RN. She notes that the test only reflects a moment in time. “It tells at that point the amount of viral particles in the nose. It doesn’t tell us if you have an undetectable tiny amount or if you have been exposed and you’re going to get COVID-19 in the future.”
Public testing is available through the Capital City Fire and Rescue collection center, with test results available in 48-72 hours. To see about getting tested, contact your health care provider or call the Screening Hotline at 586-6000, now open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
This week Bartlett is resuming some elective surgeries and essential services in compliance with state Health Mandate 15. Patients are tested for COVID-19 at the CCFR site 48 hours prior to surgery and then given special instructions to avoid possible exposure to the virus. If test results do not arrive before the scheduled surgery, patients will receive a test at Bartlett.
In any case, Gribbon emphasizes the importance of getting tested, even if you have mild symptoms, which can include cough, chills, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, diminished sense of taste or smell, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, headache, muscle/joint aches, nausea, rash, chills with shivering, runny nose, sore throat, or increased sputum (phlegm) production.
“The symptoms that signify you have respiratory illness are much more specific to this disease. Those are -shortness of breath, feeling fatigued like you don’t have enough oxygen, cough and fever. If you have these symptoms, get tested,” Gribbon emphasized. If you have any symptoms related to COVID-19, please contact your health care provider or call the Screening Hotline at 586-6000, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
If you are concerned that you may have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) or have developed a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, contact your primary healthcare provider. Your provider will review your symptoms and determine if you should be tested at their office.
If you do not have a primary healthcare provider, Juneau residents can call the new Capital City Fire/Rescue COVID-19 screening hotline, 586-6000, daily from noon to 6 p.m. A healthcare worker will help you to complete the screening survey. If you qualify for testing, you will be contacted to arrange an appointment at the new CCFR drive-thru testing center at the Hagevig Fire Training Center.
Due to limited supplies, testing is currently only available for individuals meeting strict criteria. At this time, we are not able to accommodate patients who arrive at the testing center without referrals from their primary care providers or the screening hotline. To reiterate, testing is by appointment only.
For more local news, information, and resources to help keep Juneau safe and healthy, go to juneau.org/covid-19.
As of Wednesday, April 29, SEARHC has performed 841 COVID-19 tests across the Consortium, with 767 negatives and 74 tests pending. SEARHC currently has 2,473 COVID-19 test kits and 2,528 influenza test kits available across all communities, along with 985 COVID-19 rapid test kits.
Below are numbers for completed and pending COVID-19 tests in five SEARHC communities:
The Centers for Disease Control tips it believes will help prevent the spread of the disease.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Wash your hands for as long as it takes to sing happy birthday. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
o CDC updated the guidance regarding Water Transmission and COVID-19 to add guidance for boil advisories and add information on spread of COVID-19 in spas and water playgrounds.
The World Health Organization recommends staying home if you develop mild symptoms.
"Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover," the WHO said. "Why? Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses."
Because not every person carrying the disease will show significant symptoms it could mean someone could spread the disease without being aware of it.
Surgeon General demonstrates how to make a no-sew mask
Glacier Valley Rotary VP, Michelle Strickler
speaking about their team making masks for medical and emergency personnel
State now requiring travelers entering/returning to Alaska take safety measures
To prevent or slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), the State of Alaska issued a health mandate Tuesday ordering travelers entering or returning to Alaska to take certain actions depending on their level of risk.
Higher Risk: If you have traveled from an area with widespread, ongoing community spread such as Europe, China, and other countries (i.e., a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice Area) and are entering Alaska within the past 14 days you must:
Stay home and avoid contact with other household members.
Contact your employer and do not go to work or school for this 14-day period after you return.
CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice Area
China, Iran, South Korea, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City.
Medium Risk: If you have traveled anywhere outside of Alaska, (including the rest of the United States) within the past 14 days you must:
Keep your distance from others (about six feet or two meters)
This may mean not going to work or school if you cannot safely be distanced from others – especially if you traveled in a location where community transmission is occurring – contact your employer.
You must avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
Health Guidance for Returning Travelers in the Higher and Medium Risk Groups
Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
If you get sick with fever (>100.3°F), cough, or shortness of breath, please call your health care provider.
Do not take mass transportation during the time you are practicing social distancing.
Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).
If you seek medical care for other reasons, such as dialysis, call ahead to your doctor and tell them about your recent travel.
Coronavirus: What’s that cough?
If you're sick with a cough, fever or shortness of breath, stay home and limit contact with others to prevent the spread of illness to all Alaskans, especially our most vulnerable populations. If you think that you've been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19, please call your health care provider for advice on what to do next. Learn more at coronavirus.alaska.gov
Coronavirus: Rumors and Misinformation
How much do you know about the coronavirus that’s causing the COVID-19 pandemic? Often when new diseases emerge, fear, misinformation and stigma can spread even more quickly than the virus. Follow credible sources of information like cdc.gov for national updates and coronavirus.alaska.gov for the most current Alaska information.Check in too with your local authorities and health experts. When it comes to protecting the public’s health, we are all in this together!
Coronavirus: Is travel safe?
If you have travel planned or have recently returned from a trip, you may have questions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CDC.gov is a good place to go for traveler’s health information. Search by country name to read health notices and other important updates for travelers. Because this is a rapidly-evolving situation, check for updates often. Find current information specific to Alaska at coronavirus.alaska.gov
Here are some quick tips from Dr. Oz on how to keep yourself and those around you safe through the coronavirus outbreak.
Lifestyle. Get at least seven hours of sleep a night . . . aim to exercise 30 minutes every other day . . . meditate . . . and improve air quality by using a humidifier and HEPA filter to reduce virus particles in the air.
Hygiene. Don't shake hands . . . don't touch your face . . . triple your hand-washing time to at least 20 seconds . . . use hand sanitizer that's at least 60% alcohol . . . use disinfectant sprays instead of wipes on surfaces around the house . . . and let them sit for three minutes before drying.
Prepare. Have a two-week supply of household items like toilet paper, soap, and detergent . . . food like canned goods and freezer items . . . and both prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
Boost your immune system. Eat your fruits and vegetables . . . take Vitamin D3 . . . and get your flu shot.
If you're sick. Take 80 milligrams of zinc daily . . . 250 milligrams of Vitamin C twice a day . . . 250 milligrams of beta-glucan daily . . . and elderberry syrup or lozenges four times a day for five days.