COVID-19 test kit shortages cause Skagway’s clinic to halt travel-based testing | KHNS Radio


Dahl Memorial Clinic in Skagway. Photo by Mike Swasey.

Test kit provide points have induced Skagway’s clinic to cease providing COVID-19 screening for vacationers planning to cross the border into Canada. The clinic is prioritizing assessments for individuals at greater threat of catching the coronavirus. 


Borough officers introduced late on Thursday that due to a nationwide test provide scarcity, the clinic will start prioritizing assessments for under these at excessive threat of an infection, particularly these people who present signs or are shut contacts of contaminated people. 

Canada requires a latest damaging test in addition to proof of vaccination for U.S. residents coming into the nation for non-essential journey. Skagway clinic officers weren’t answering questions on Friday.

But Dr. Lisa Rabinowitz, employees doctor with the state public well being COVID-19 vaccine Task Force, was ready to focus on the worldwide testing shortages at the moment affecting Skagway. She says state public well being is making inroads to tackle the issue.

“They were able to source a few more resources over the last week. So I think it’s starting to slowly turn around. I think there’s just such a surge right now in the, you know, internationally, and then definitely in the United States that we’re just completely stretched for resources,” mentioned Rabinowitz.

Skagway’s clinic is switching the kind of test they sometimes provide to one other sort of molecular test due to the scarcity. Rabinowitz says the brand new NAAT test would fulfill Canadian journey necessities, as soon as the provision difficulty is addressed.

The Skagway Traditional Council has additionally restricted its testing. With excessive climate rolling via the area and the processing facility positioned in Sitka, Skagway’s tribal authorities was apprehensive that the assessments wouldn’t get processed in time.

That led administration on the STC to make the decision to cancel testing on Thursday. If the assessments don’t get processed inside 72 hours they turn into out of date, however the tribal authorities continues to be on the hook for the total value of every $175 test. 

STC says it’ll as soon as once more make the assessments obtainable to the general public beginning Tuesday, September 28. Their typical testing nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays will resume, nonetheless, appointments can be restricted due to a brief staffing scarcity.

Both the Dahl Memorial Clinic and the STC are asking Skagway residents to get examined at one of many two services, however not each. STC administration says the double testing turns into a significant pressure on native assets.

STC has additionally signified that although they’ve ample testing provides for the short-term, they might have to cut back testing sooner or later if their provide chain diminishes.

Skagway officers introduced one extra COVID-19 case on Thursday bringing the present energetic case depend to 4.

Haines introduced two extra instances on Thursday bringing their energetic case depend to 16. Haines officers additionally introduced they won’t have newly up to date numbers till late subsequent week. 

Haines Borough interim supervisor Alekka Fullerton wrote in her supervisor’s report on Thursday that there are a number of unvaccinated individuals on the town which are very sick with COVID, however no official numbers have been launched in help of that declare. She additionally implored the group to put on masks the place social distancing isn’t potential and to make the most of vaccines as one of the best protection towards the virus.

Klukwan continues to don’t have any energetic instances as of Friday afternoon.

Testing is accessible for high-risk people on the Dahl Memorial Clinic in Skagway by appointment. Testing is accessible for everybody on the Skagway Traditional Council from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, appointments can be found however restricted. Testing in Haines is accessible at SEARHC by appointment, and the following testing day in Klukwan is Tuesday, September 28.