[Covid-19] CBJ begins distributing at-home, rapid COVID-19 tests

Lisa Phu Lisa.Phu at juneau.org
Wed Nov 10 14:09:59 AKST 2021


155 S. Seward Street  ▪  Juneau, Alaska  99801  ▪  907-586-5240

November 10, 2021

CBJ begins distributing at-home, rapid COVID-19 tests
The City and Borough of Juneau has started distributing rapid, over-the-counter, at-home COVID-19 tests<https://juneau.org/covid-19/rapid-tests> to local organizations that serve community members who may otherwise struggle to obtain a COVID-19 test. So far, CBJ has received 5,000 tests from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) through a federal allocation. CBJ expects to receive an additional 5,000 in the next 4-6 weeks. Here’s information and guidance from the CDC on self-testing<https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/testing/self-testing.html>.
These rapid, over-the-counter tests are antigen tests, which – while not as sensitive as PCR tests – are effective at detecting COVID-19 when it becomes transmissible. In addition to being significantly less expensive than processing PCR tests, antigen tests can be performed by individuals at home and results are given, similar to a pregnancy test. Here’s a resource from the CDC<https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/resources/antigen-tests-guidelines.html> for all of the technical details of antigen testing.
Rapid antigen tests return results in about 15 minutes and are effective for use for individuals who are at all symptomatic – even with mild symptoms – or for individuals who have recently been in close contact with someone else who tested positive or was suspected to have COVID-19. Rapid antigen tests generally cannot be used to clear individuals for travel when destinations require travel-based testing; however, they can be used to prevent students from having to quarantine when they are an asymptomatic close contact to someone else who was positive for COVID-19. DHSS has more guidance for rapid antigen at-home COVID-19 tests here<https://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Epi/id/siteassets/pages/humanCOV/AKCOVIDAtHomeTestingGuidance.pdf>, or go to CBJ’s webpage<https://juneau.org/covid-19/rapid-tests>.
Eventually, pending sufficient supply, CBJ intends to make rapid antigen test kits available for free to the community at large. During this initial period of lower supply, CBJ is limiting distribution to organizations that serve people who are less able or less likely to acquire a test through a local health provider, Capstone Clinic at the Juneau airport, or CBJ’s drive-thru testing site. These organizations initially include daycares, senior living facilities, low-income housing facilities, organizations that serve people experiencing disabilities or homelessness, food banks, some employers including restaurant/bar operators, and others. If your organization would like to request a supply of rapid antigen tests during this initial phase of distribution, please email CovidQuestions at juneau.org<mailto:covidquestions at juneau.org>.
Currently, CBJ is distributing the QuickVue At-Home OTC COVID-19 Test. Here's an instructional video<https://vimeo.com/533752018> of how to use that particular test. Other test types/manufacturers may replace this type in the future.
The Juneau School District also has a supply of rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests. The district uses them as an option for students and staff who choose to follow a testing protocol rather than quarantine when they are exposed in a classroom or identified as a close contact.
For more information, contact CBJ Emergency Operations Center Incident Commander and Deputy City Manager Robert Barr at 907-586-5240 or Robert.Barr at juneau.org<mailto:Robert.Barr at juneau.org>, or email COVIDquestions at juneau.org<mailto:COVIDquestions at juneau.org>.

Lisa Phu
Public Information Officer
City & Borough of Juneau
(907) 586-5374
Follow CBJ on Facebook<https://www.facebook.com/cbjuneau>, Twitter<https://twitter.com/cbjuneau> & Instagram<http://instagram.com/cbjuneau>

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