Free COVID-19 testing in Fairbanks starts Tuesday

 Volunteers set up tents for free COVID-19 testing at the Carlson Center. (Sara Tewksbury/KTVF)
Volunteers set up tents for free COVID-19 testing at the Carlson Center. (Sara Tewksbury/KTVF) (KTVF)
Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 3:26 PM AKDT
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Starting Tuesday, Fairbanks North Star Borough residents can be tested for COVID-19 for free. Currently, the testing at the Carlson Center parking lot is scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays by appointment from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Regional Nurse Manager Elizabeth Burton says she worked on setting this testing site up after finding out the other free testing site would be closing down.

Burton worked with Fred Meyer, Volunteers in Policing, and the Fairbanks North Star Borough to start this testing site.

Burton says that as cases rise in the state it is important to provide access to testing. “We don’t want insurance or income challenges to be a barrier for services,” said Burton.

She says the testing guidelines for COVID-19 have expanded. Someone can be tested if they have symptoms even if they are mild such as a fever, a cough, a runny nose, muscle aches, nausea, diarrhea, a headache or fatigue. “If it turns out that you have COVID, our nurses will work with you to make sure you understand what you need to do to protect your loved ones and the community from spreading COVID around. So that's why I think it's time to reopen something here in Fairbanks for everyone to have access," said Burton.

Residents who think they have symptoms and might need to be tested should call the Fairbanks Public Health Center at 452-1776 to make an appointment.

She said they are not testing people who need to go for surgery, dental work or travelers.

Burton says they are hoping to provide testing through the middle or end of August depending on their supplies. “Fred Meyer donated quite a bit of testing materials to us along with gloves and other important products to help us stay safe, and I would like to use every single item up that we’ve received from the State of Alaska and Fred Meyer,” said Burton.

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