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Norton Sound Health Corporation Requiring Appointments for Rapid COVID-19 Tests

Anyone wanting COVID-19 testing in Nome can get a rapid test but they must book an appointment first.

That testing is available at the walk-in tent in Nome. Patients do not need to be sick or have a reason for wanting a rapid test. The only requirement is that they set up an appointment. Anyone flying in from Anchorage should schedule an appointment at the testing tent in Nome for the seventh day of their quarantine.

Visitors who come to the walk-in tent without an appointment may try to schedule one or opt for a send-out test that is processed in Anchorage or Fairbanks.

Norton Sound Health Corporation (NSHC) announced these new policies on Wednesday.

According to NSHC, the rapid test machine processes tests most accurately when the swab is done within the hour. At that rate, NSHC can process ten rapid tests an hour in Nome. But the number of rapid tests available locally will be limited.

The walk-in tent outside the hospital is only for individuals that feel healthy. Anyone displaying any symptoms of illness should make an appointment at the Cough and Cold Clinic inside the Norton Sound Regional Hospital.

School children sent home by Nome Public Schools should be seen at the Cough and Cold clinic as well.

These are testing updates that apply only to Nome. Village residents should contact their local health clinic directly for the most up to date options for COVID-19 testing.

Appointments can be made at https://www.picktime.com/NSHC.

Image at Top: The COVID-19 testing drive-thru tent outside the Norton Sound Regional Hospital. Photo from Reba Lean, NSHC (2020).

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