COVID-19 testing open for all ANMC patients

Even if a person has mild or no symptoms, COVID-19 can be spread in simple interactions. Now is the time to know your status. Get a COVID-19 test today! All Alaska Native and American Indian people eligible to receive care at the Alaska Native Medical Center and members of their household can get a COVID-19 test on the Alaska Native Health Campus in Anchorage.

*Please note: COVID-19 antibody testing is now only available at the ANMC Walk-in Clinic and the Anchorage Native Primary Care Center.

Alert: Location change as of Nov. 2

COVID-19 Testing at ANMC drive-thru location relocated: As of Monday, Nov. 2, the drive-thru entrance for COVID-19 nasal swab testing is at 4141 Ambassador Drive (the original location). Please look for directional signage to the new location.

The drive-thru site now allows patients to stay comfortably in their vehicles and collect their own test sample using a nasal self-swab. This means you can keep your windows rolled up from the winter weather!

Walk-up COVID-19 Testing at ANMC remains in the Consortium Office Building at 4000 Ambassador Drive. This location is for patients without vehicles, with special needs, pediatric patients, or those who do not want to self-swab. This testing site is indoors, but patients may have to wait outside. Face coverings and physical distancing is required.

The COVID-19 Test site is open:

  • 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday
  • 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sundays and ANTHC holidays

Testing information

Patients must have an ANMC chart before going to the testing site.

If you or a family member need to have one created, or if you are unsure if you have an ANMC chart, contact ANMC Admitting at (907) 729-1395. They are available 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday-Friday and 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

  1. Visit the Alaska Native Health Campus COVID-19 testing site. Both the drive-thru at 4141 Ambassador Drive and walk-up location at 4000 Ambassador Drive are open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sundays.
  2. Remember to bring your ID and wear a mask.
  3. If you have ANY COVID-19 symptoms, please alert testing staff.
  4. Drive-thru process: All patients will self-swab to collect their own test sample. Patients will stay in their vehicles and be given a testing kit. Follow the instructions and return test sample to testing site staff.
  5. Walk-up process: Patients will park their vehicles and walk into the Consortium Office Building’s north entrance (to the far left when you pull into the parking lot) to get a COVID-19 nasal swab test.
  6. You can check your results online through the myHealth app or you will be called within a few days with results.

Helpful resources:

Phone line available for COVID-19 testing results: Patients may contact the COVID-19 testing results phone line at (907) 729-2999. This line is available for anyone who has not registered for MyHealth, missed an original phone call with results, or who does not hear back within the expected time frame. This line cannot answer any questions you have about COVID. If you have a positive result, you will be contacted by a provider to discuss the next steps. If you received a referral for a test from somewhere other than ANMC, contact your original referral provider. Test results can also be found in your myHealth account.

How COVID lab results are reported and what they mean:

If you test positive for COVID-19:

  • Reports that indicate a positive result are either reported as Positive or Detected (Abnormal).
  • Please isolate immediately and you will be contacted by a health care provider.

If you test negative for COVID-19:

  • Reports that indicate a negative result are either reported as Negative or Not detected.
  • You probably were not infected at the time your sample was collected. However, that does not mean you will not get sick.
  • It is possible that you were very early in your infection when your sample was collected and that you could test positive later.

If your test results are indeterminate:

  • An indeterminate result means it’s not possible to say if you had coronavirus when the test was done.
  • Return to the collection site for retesting.

About COVID-19 active testing

The nasopharyngeal PCR testing detects active cases of the SARS-CoV2 virus causing COVID-19. This test is a nasal swab. The COVID-19 test is intended to provide information about current COVID-19 infection.

A test is neither a treatment nor a cure, but a tool to protect your health and the health of others.

Test results will be reported in the MyHealth app and also reported to the patient by phone.

Things to keep in mind about testing:

  • While you are waiting for your test result, you should stay home if you have symptoms that could be passed on to others.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, you should self-isolate at home and follow any advice from health providers.
  • If you test negative for COVID-19, that likely means you are not infected. The tests are highly accurate but you do need to have enough of the virus present for a positive result. If your symptoms worsen, your provider may advise you to get tested again, or it’s possible you might get exposed again and need testing at a later date. In other words, a negative test result does not prevent you from getting sick later. Continue to monitor your health and retest again later if needed.

About COVID-19 antibody testing

*New: COVID-19 antibody testing is now available at the ANMC Walk-in Clinic and the Anchorage Native Primary Care Center. This test is not available at the drive-thru or walk-up testing sites.

The serologic IgG antibody test detects the SARS-CoV2 virus causing COVID-19, otherwise known as the COVID-19 antibody test. This test is a venipuncture blood draw. The COVID-19 antibody test is intended to provide information on previous COVID-19 infection. The COVID-19 antibody test is not expected to be positive until at least 2 weeks following infection.

Please note, if you have any COVID-19 symptoms (which can include cough, runny nose, headache, sore throat, fever, body aches, difficulty breathing, diarrhea and loss of appetite), you will not be able to get the antibody test and should be referred for a COVID-19 test.

In addition to result reporting in myHealth, test results are also reported to the patient by phone.

Frequently asked questions

What is an antibody?

An antibody is only one component of the way your immune system responds to an infection. Testing for an antibody to an organism is one way to tell if you have been exposed to that organism. The presence of an antibody to an organism can sometimes mean you are immune to being infected again, but not always. Interpreting the results of antibody tests depends on what specific organism it is testing for.

How do I interpret the test results – what do the results mean?

The COVID-19 antibody test at ANMC tests for IgG antibodies, showing either positive or negative for its presence. There are two antibodies related to COVID-19: IgG and IgM. IgM antibodies usually turn positive early after infection, but will often disappear weeks to months after the infection. IgG antibodies will take longer to turn positive than IgM antibodies, and will stay positive longer. If an IgG antibody test is positive, that means you may have been exposed to COVID-19 in the past, but we are unable to easily tell if someone’s infection happened recently with the COVID-19 antibody test.

What limitations are there to the testing? Is it always accurate? 

We are still learning about COVID-19 and immune system response to infection. At this time, there is not enough evidence to know if a person can get COVID-19 multiple times. We also do not know the extent of immunity to COVID-19 a person has if their antibody test is positive.

If your COVID-19 test results are positive, we recommend you discuss this with your provider. It is possible you may have been exposed to COVID-19. It is also possible your test is a “false positive” and you were not exposed to COVID-19. A false positive antibody test is when the test result is positive but you actually weren’t exposed to the organism. How we interpret your result depends on the risk you may have had to being exposed. Your provider can help you to determine this.

If my results are positive, am I immune to COVID-19 and don’t have to worry about getting it?

The COVID-19 antibody test is a qualitative test. This means it can tell us that you have the antibody but cannot tell us how much of the antibody is present. Typically, we need to know how much of the antibody is present to determine immunity. For COVID-19, this question has not yet been answered. At this point in time the COVID-19 antibody tests cannot be used to diagnose an active infection with COVID-19.

Should I retake the test? When can retest?

If tested too soon after an active infection, antibody tests might be negative. Talk with your provider and you may be able to retest every 30 days

COVID-19 Testing Pricing Information

COVID Diagnostic Test – $198
Sometimes referred to as a PCR test, this test requires a deep swab to the back of your nose to determine if you have an active coronavirus infection. 
CPT Code: U0003 or 87635

COVID Antibody Test – $93
This is a simple blood test that detects specific proteins on the surface of the COVID virus, and usually determines if an individual has had a previous COVID infection. You will need your provider to order the test; UR Medicine’s guidelines call for only testing patients who:

  • Are being diagnosed or treated for Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome of Children (MIS-C)
  • Have fully recovered from COVID-19 and would like to donate convalescent plasma
  • Previously had symptoms of COVID-19 but did not receive a test to learn if they were infected

We recommend that you wait at least 30 days past a COVID illness to ensure your body has built up enough antigens for the test to detect them.
CPT Code: 86769

Symptoms related to COVID-19

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

Symptoms can be similar to the common cold or flu

  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite.

Tips for people with symptoms or caring for those who are sick

If you are sick with COVID-19, or have symptoms similar to the disease, it is important to take precautions to avoid spreading the illness with others in your community or home.

If you are the person sick with COVID-19:

  • Stay at home except when getting medical treatment. Call ahead to the clinic or hospital.
  • Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
  • If possible, stay in one bedroom and use a separate bathroom from the rest of the household. Isolating yourself from the rest of your family will help protect others from getting sick.

If you are the caregiver for the person sick with COVID-19:

  • You should not be the caregiver if you are over 65, pregnant, a child, or have preexisting health conditions such as: heart disease, diabetes or lung disease.
  • Don’t share items like plates, utensils, towels, or bedding. After being used, these items should all be cleaned thoroughly.
  • Clean all frequently-touched surfaces, such as counters, phones, toilets and doorknobs daily.

See this document for a full list of tips for caring for yourself and others at home with COVID-19 symptoms.

Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 testing

How does COVID-19 spread?

Like the flu, it spreads from person-to-person. This can happen by:

  • Being in close contact with a sick person (within about 6 feet).
  • Being close to people carrying the virus. Some people carrying the virus don’t even know they are sick and may not have any symptoms, but they can still spread the virus from person-to-person. 
  • Breathing in the droplets in the air when a sick person sneezes, coughs, or talks (or allowing these droplets to touch your mouth or nose).
  • Touching a surface that has the virus on it and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. 

What can I expect from test results?

Testing can identify if you have the virus that causes COVID-19.

  • No treatment is specifically approved for COVID-19. But test results can help you and your health care provider decide what to do next.
  • If you test positive and have mild symptoms, your provider may advise you to care for yourself at home.
  • If you test positive and have severe symptoms, your health care provider will tell you what to do.
  • A negative test means you were probably not infected at the time of testing. However, it is possible that you were tested early into your infection and that you could test positive later. You could also be exposed at any time and develop the illness.

What can I do while waiting for results?

The turnaround time for results varies based on the amount of tests we are processing, but in most cases results are within a few days. 

  • While waiting for test results, seek emergency care right away if you develop emergency warning signs, which include: persistent chest pain or pressure; extreme difficulty breathing; severe, constant dizziness or lightheadedness; slurred speech; and difficulty waking up.
  • Have your medical provider’s contact information on hand.
  • If your symptoms worsen, call your doctor and tell them your symptoms. They will tell you what to do next.