What Happens When You Call CRNA & Think Your Child Has Covid?

If Your Child Has Covid, What Can CRNA Do To Help?  Interview With Melanie McGinnis, CRNA   You wake up in the morning, and your child seems...

If Your Child Has Covid, What Can CRNA Do To Help? 

Interview With Melanie McGinnis, CRNA  

You wake up in the morning, and your child seems sick. Or – your child comes home and says the boy in the next seat over at school has Covid. Or, your child had Covid, you've already been to CRNA, and you don't know when he or she can go back to school. What now? 

The school district urges you to contact a “health provider.” So what does that mean?  

The Copper River Native Association Serves Anybody Who Lives In The Community 

The Copper River School District doesn’t want to tell parents who to use as a “provider.” But urges you to go to "your" provider. So who is that? Who (and what) is a "provider?" 

If you are in the Copper Valley, you can basically choose from either Cross Road or CRNA to find a provider. (There are "providers" elsewhere – for example in Anchorage – too. But this informational piece is for people who do not have doctors for their children available to them elsewhere.) 

CRNA’s phone number is 822-5241. This story is from an interview with CRNA, about what the services are that are available to your family from the Robert Marshall facility in Tazlina. Cross Road’s phone number is 822-3203.


There are health providers at CRNA
Your health provider can be a nurse, a physician’s assistant, a doctor, a Covid technician…

A health provider can be anyone providing you with services in a clinic. It doesn’t have to be a doctor.

How do you know your child might be sick? 
According to CRNA: 
“The Covid symptoms are very similar to cold and flu. They could have fever, diarrhea, cough, vomiting… The list of symptoms is pretty long actually." 

Symptoms also include fatigue, fever, chills shortness of breath, muscle aches and pains, sore throat, headaches, and loss of taste or smell. Covid symptoms can appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus, according to the CDC.

What do you do then?
If symptoms seem serious, call 911. See CDC serious symptoms list at the bottom of this page. 

If the symptoms are more general, “You can call the CRNA front desk. They’ll talk to our primary care reception team.”

(Note: CRNA is only open on weekdays. See hours below.) 

What’s a good time to call?
"Patients can call any time." 

Give as much information as possible.
“Our team works with parents to ensure sick children are seen in a timely manner. Our staff can triage patients experiencing symptoms while we work to have them seen by a provider. It is important to remember that if a person becomes unresponsive to call 911."

Looking for severity
CRNA's medical team's goal is to respond to urgent situations before they turn bad. “We’re never going to turn someone away in the event of an emergency.”

When you arrive at CRNA’s clinic
You’ll be asked in advance if there’s a possibility of Covid exposure. You’ll be given a time to show up over the phone. Mask the child. Practice social distancing in waiting rooms. 

If you suspect Covid, go to the Primary Care Center  
Inside CRNA’s building through the front door, there’s a Primary Care Clinic. If you think it’s Covid, go to the Primary Care Clinic. This is where the nurses and providers are located. You go there if you want more than a Covid test, and think your child is really sick. 

There’s a front desk inside the building, and a nearby nurse’s station. 

If you want Covid testing go to the Covid Clinic  
The Covid Clinic is in a small trailer-type modular building in the CRNA parking lot. Around a year ago, you could go and get tested at this clinic at will. It’s not like that now. Testing is being used “for those who really need it.” It’s not for people who are going to travel or have precautions. You can get those tests at the Anchorage Airport or Walgreens. “We try to reserve (testing) for true exposures or symptomatic people,” said CRNA.

If your child doesn't have symptoms but was “seriously” exposed
Schedule a test in advance with the Covid team in the little building.

How to schedule a test
You can call CRNA at 822-5241 or use the CRNA website, filling out CRNA’s basic Covid intake form.

How long does it take for test results to come back?
“It’s typically same day results,” said Melanie McGinnis of CRNA. “Within 24 hours if not faster.”

Getting back to school
“If you’re tested and came up positive, we’re going to instruct you to come back in 5 to 7 days to get tested again. If that test is negative, that would be your clear window to return to school.” 

CDC Covid Emergency Warning Signs 
There are also "emergency warning signs" that require immediate care, says CDC. These include pale skin, trouble breathing, pain in the chest, extreme confusion, and being unable to wake up and stay awake. Call 911 immediately if you see this type of symptom. 

After Hours Contact Numbers 
What if something happens after hours? CRNA says:
"The phone numbers below are posted on the top left hand corner of the CRNA home page. If a person calls after hours they have the option to speak to our after-hours nurse."

"Also, we encourage people to make appointments to see providers. However, we understand you can’t plan for emergencies. CRNA works with local EMS to respond to emergencies, meaning often times our team can be found working well beyond regular business hours when daytime emergencies occur. However, if a person is experiencing an emergency after CRNA business hours they should call 911 for help."


Parents can contact CRNA during regular business hours, Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8 am – 4:30 pm and Tuesday and Thursday 8 am – 5:30 pm.

If a student is showing symptoms or believes they have been directly exposed to COVID-19, we encourage them to call and schedule an appointment with a provider. 

Our Covid team can walk parents through the process to determine if a child should be tested.

If a child is Covid positive, CRNA provides guidance on what steps need to be taken and when testing should occur again.


Schools 7327893544359492213

Click Here For Front Page

Too Far North

Too Far North

Hit The Road, Jack!

Feds & DOT Working On Planning Study For McCarthy Road

Check Road Conditions Here

Check Road Conditions Here
Click On 511 Site


Read The Bearfoot Guide To Roadside Alaska

Today's Top Journal Stories

Search For Somebody Below

See Every Single Story

The Journal Is Copyrighted Material

The Journal Is Copyrighted Material
All rights reserved. Contact us at 907-320-1145 or write: Linda.ncountry@gci.net