Elder's Home Residents Test Negative For COVID-19

Oct 12, 2020

An employee at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation Elder's Home in Bethel, Alaska tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 9, 2020.
Credit Elyssa Loughlin / KYUK

Coronavirus testing continues at the Bethel Elder’s Home after an employee tested positive for the virus last week.

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation operates the home, which is also referred to as the Long Term Care Facility.

On Oct. 9, YKHC tested all residents and staff for COVID-19. It tested everyone again on Oct. 12. All the tests returned negative, according to YKHC Vice President of Communications Tiffany Zulkosky. YKHC is waiting on one test result from Oct. 12 from a resident. 

YKHC is retesting residents and staff on Oct. 15. If all tests return negative, Zulkosky wrote in an email, YKHC will switch to testing residents weekly. The facility has been testing residents monthly since June, and has been testing staff weekly since May. YKHC suspended visits to the facility in March.

Other protective measures against the virus include requiring staff to wear masks at all times in the Elder’s Home, screening employees at the start of their shifts for symptoms and temperature checks, screening residents for COVID-19 symptoms twice daily, and ending all group activities, including communal dining.

The COVID-19 tests being used at the Elder’s Home are processed in the Bethel lab and return results in two to eight hours.

Currently, 15 residents live at the Elder’s Home.