Anyone in Anchorage with symptoms of COVID-19 can now get tested – without going through a health care provider.
The policy goes into effect on June 23, as the Municipality of Anchorage Health Department assumes more responsibility for the drive-up testing site at Lake Otis Parkway.
Health Department Director Natasha Pineda said the city is trying to organize mobile testing, too, to reach people who can’t access the drive-thru.
“But if you do not have insurance, or a health care provider, you should still be able to get tested if you are symptomatic at the drive-thru,” she said.
The site has been operating since mid-March as a partnership among Anchorage-area hospitals. It was due to close in mid-June but the city decided to keep it open.
Pineda says certain people without symptoms will be referred to the site, too, including travelers who get testing vouchers at the airport, and people identified through contact tracing of known COVID patients.
Allowing self-referrals, regardless of ability to pay, may draw more traffic. The State of Alaska and the hospitals are helping provide supplies, Pineda said.
“At this time, we don’t have any concern” about meeting demand for the test, she said.
People can register online to use the drive-thru, or sign up in person at 4115 Lake Otis Parkway
The Alaska Native Medical Center operates a separate drive-thru testing site that’s open to anyone eligible to receive care there, and members of their household.