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Carlson Center to remain as an alternative care site until September

 The inside of the Carlson Center was converted into a temporary care center in the event of FMH being over crowded due to COVID-19 patients. (Sara Tewksbury/KTVF)
The inside of the Carlson Center was converted into a temporary care center in the event of FMH being over crowded due to COVID-19 patients. (Sara Tewksbury/KTVF) (KTVF)
Published: Jun. 19, 2020 at 5:00 PM AKDT
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In a press conference from the Interior Alaska Unified Command on Friday, officials said that due to the rising COVID-19 case numbers in Fairbanks, the alternative care site at the Carlson Center would remain until the end of September. The Carlson Center Contract was set to expire at the end of the month.

“We do have a trigger point for activating the Carlson Center. That’s Fairbanks Memorial Hospitals' census in two designated areas that we plan on treating COVID patients, and our normal patients that we have at the hospital -- and that number is 50 between those two areas. Currently we are at 28 so we are not near activating it,” Brooks said.

According to officials, in the last couple of weeks the number of cases in the interior has risen significantly after over a month of no cases. They are warning the number could continue to rise, as there are over 600 tests that are waiting to be returned.

The command team is also warning that summer activities could cause in increase in cases. Events like the Midnight Sun Baseball Game, Independence Day activities and Golden Days draw large crowds that could further spread the virus in Fairbanks.

"We just want to remind everybody to be COVID conscious. We want everybody to remember to social distance as much as possible, hand washing and wear a mask. Enjoy your summer but you need to make sure that we are doing our best to try to keep these numbers from getting out of hand,” Brooks said.

Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Bryce Ward also joined the conference and said that Fairbanks has been fortunate in that we haven’t seen a large number of cases or many severe cases, but they want to be prepared just in case.

Copyright 2020 KTVF. All rights reserved.

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