Anchorage expands COVID-19 testing sites to ease lines

A spike in demand for COVID-19 testing in Anchorage has prompted city health officials to open a new testing site.

The Alaska Airlines Center is now another option for people in Anchorage to get a test after long lines were forming at sites like the Loussac Library.

Municipal data this week showed that the number of tests administered in Anchorage was significantly up in August compared with earlier in the summer. On some days in June, there were as few as 58 tests administered, compared with over 1,200 tests done on Monday, which is more on par with testing numbers from earlier in the year.

“We have seen a substantial increase in testing over the last several weeks, which has led to longer wait times at some of the testing sites,” Chelsea Ward-Waller, a spokesperson for the city health department, said in an email.

Wait times stretched past an hour at the Loussac Library, she said.

The new Alaska Airlines Center testing site is open seven days a week, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Health officials are encouraging anyone — regardless of vaccination status — who experiences symptoms of COVID-19 to get a test.

Anchorage residents can visit to find a free testing site near them.