Free rapid COVID-19 testing available in Homer through Friday

A free rapid COVID-19 testing clinic will continue through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Homer Public Health Center on East Bunnell Avenue.

As of Tuesday, 57 people had been tested at the rapid clinic, with 12 people testing positive.

Lorne Carroll, Alaska Public Health Nurse III, said the pop-up clinic was needed at this time because of the recent increase in COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant.

“Increased testing is a key public health intervention. This is true in almost any case, but it is particularly impactful when average daily test positivity is over 5%. Currently, that average for Alaska is over 18% which is the highest we’ve experienced during the pandemic,” Carroll wrote in an email to Homer News. “It also means more demand and stress on an already stressed healthcare system, so timing this popup testing at what might be near the peak of this 4th wave is key for managing limited resources.”

The clinic is hosted by Capstone Clinic, a certified contractor of Alaska DHSS, which will use Cue COVID-19 molecular tests to provide rapid results within 30 minutes to an hour of testing. Results will be available at Participants must register with COVID Secure App before arriving.

No appointments are necessary for the drive-up testing event. Upon arrival, everyone is asked to stay in their vehicle and a test administrator will come to the car.

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“It has been a great turnout,” Carroll wrote. “It’s taking part of the load off the hospital’s Swab Site, and I think Capstone will test even more daily as the week unfolds.”

Carroll stressed how important it is to get tested not only for yourself but for others around you. If you do receive a positive result, Carroll says to “take care of your health, call your provider to discuss treatment options, call your contacts, isolate for 5 days, and hope you feel better soon!”

The Homer Public Health Center is located at 195 East Bunnell Ave., across from Two Sisters Bakery.

— Homer News

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