Multiple Copper Valley Residents Medevaced, Hospitalized With COVID-19

CRNA Tests Around 40 to 100 People In A Single Day: Two "Testing Teams" Handle The Heavy Workload  Medevac Helicopters. (Photo...

CRNA Tests Around 40 to 100 People In A Single Day: Two "Testing Teams" Handle The Heavy Workload 

Medevac Helicopters. (Photo, LifeMed Website)
AUGUST 3RD, 2020: 

The Copper River Valley is conducting a massive number of COVID-19 tests as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps through the valley. A number of local people have been medevaced out of the region, and some have been hospitalized. 

In spite of the Copper Valley's small population base of only an estimated 3,000 people, the region's clinics and medical services are working flat out addressing the needs of Copper River residents as the urgency of the epidemic becomes more localized.  As of last Friday, there were 39 people in the region who had been found to have the virus. 
 
CRNA in Tazlina is one of three organizations in the valley that is testing for COVID-19. The other two are Cross Road Medical Center in Glennallen and Mount Sanford Tribal Consortium in Chistochina. The Copper River Native Association has been coordinating regional data.

COUNTRY JOURNAL INTERVIEW

On Monday, August 3rd Paul Rude,  the Chief Executive Officer at the Copper River Native Association, answered the Copper River Country Journal's questions about the situation in the region. The level of urgency is probably much higher than many local people realize.

QUESTION: How many Medevacs have we had? 
We cannot share specific information. However, yes there have been multiple emergency medevacs and hospitalizations for COVID-19 from our region.

QUESTION: How many tests have we had in our region?
More than 2,000 tests have been conducted in our region.

QUESTION: How many people are now testing a day? I heard that some days you have dozens and dozens of tests and have to work into the night. Can you expand on this.
CRNA Robert Marshall Clinic. (Photo, CRNA)
CRNA conducts as many as 100 tests in a single day. Most days we conduct between 40 and 60 tests. With the recent increase in cases, testing numbers have increased significantly over the past two weeks.

At the same time, many patients from our region are transferring their “regular” primary care from other clinics to CRNA. The level of quality care provided by CRNA’s medical team is exceptional. As a result, growing numbers of people from the region are coming to CRNA for non-coronavirus medical needs.


QUESTION: What's the length of time to get a test back in the Copper Valley?
Depends on backlog of tests. But it is getting much faster right now.
 

CRNA this week launched an entire COVID-19 Testing Team that conducts tests full time. We’ve also set up an entire new medical lab location that only conducts COVID-19 tests. We have multiple rapid test analyzers in this lab. Previously, our Primary Care lab was conducting all COVID testing in addition to all “normal” healthcare lab tests. They were swamped. Now we have two labs and two teams running in parallel. We are making the test essentially a “drive-through” test, with a permanent testing center located in the front patient parking lot of CRNA. The test is now simple and fast. We will call you with your results.



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