New Drive-up Testing Starts Next Week

Jun 26, 2020

Credit Fairbanks North Star Borough

The Public Health Nurses in Fairbanks are partnering with the regional Fred Meyer pharmacist and the Fairbanks North Star Borough … to set up a new parking-lot COVID-19 testing facility in Fairbanks. Elizabeth Burton, the Regional Public Health Nurse says the drive-through testing will start next week, for people who are referred from the Fairbanks Health Center.

“We are planning to operate two days a week in the parking lot of the Carlson Center. Folks would need to call the Public Health Center at 452-1776 to register. The event is by appointment only.”

People getting a nasal swab test won’t even have to get out of their cars. This spring, Fairbanks medical providers have been getting limited coronavirus tests kits from the state.

Burton says this expanded COVID-19 testing came out of a relationship she developed with Mark Bohrer (BOR-er), the District Pharmacy Practice Coordinator for Fred Meyer in Alaska. He acquired some testing kits from Kroger, the parent company of the Fred Meyer stores, and arranged to ship them to Fairbanks.

“I’d heard about him through a state connection, then partly just educationg him about the need in Alaska, I don’t think he was really aware – kinda surprised – but then he took on a new interest in something he hasn’t done before.”

Bohrer is driving up to Fairbanks this weekend and will be ready to assist with the drive through testing next week. Burton says Volunteers in Policing will help people move through the facility safely. At the end of each day of testing, the kits will be taken to the State Virology Lab on the UAF campus for analysis.

She says the expanded testing should continue two days a week through the summer or until the extra supplies run out.