Anchorage emergency officials are encouraging residents to get a COVID-19 test — whether they’re experiencing symptoms or not.
“Do you know if you do not have COVID-19? Why not find out? JUST GET TESTED,” Anchorage’s Office of Emergency Management said in an alert Friday.
The call to action came as both the city and state deal with an increasing number of COVID-19 cases. The test positivity rate, or the percentage of tests that come back positive, is used to gauge whether a community is conducting enough testing. In Anchorage, that number was up to 11.4% by Monday — far above the city’s target of below 3%, according to Janet Johnston, epidemiologist with the Anchorage Health Department.
As of Saturday, state data showed Anchorage’s seven-day test positivity rate had reached 12.4%.
“This is an indication both that we have a high level of virus in the community and that we need more testing,” she said Friday.
The city, which had already set up several free community COVID-19 testing centers across Anchorage, announced expanded hours — 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. — at its testing locations. And with help from a contractor, there will now be pop-up testing sites around the city through the rest of the month, including at Clark Middle School on Monday and East High School on Friday.
Alaska reported a record 745 new coronavirus cases on Saturday. Municipality of Anchorage residents accounted for 489 of those new cases, or nearly two-thirds.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chills, decreased appetite, diminished sense of taste or smell, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, muscle/joint aches, nausea, rash, runny nose and sore throat.
More information about Anchorage’s testing sites, including hours and locations, can be found at anchoragecovidtest.org.
• • •