WASILLA— Capstone Clinic has been at the forefront of Alaskan COVID-19 efforts since the outbreak, providing screenings in communities across the state, developing a widely used application for tracking and reporting cases, and building relationships well beyond the Mat-Su Valley.

Capstone Clinic founder Dr. Wade Erickson recently participated in a question and answer interview to discuss general operations and its latest partnership with the State of Hawaii as a trusted partner for its domestic transpacific and inter-county pre-travel testing programs.

Q: So, how have things been in general with COVID-19 screenings?“The Valley site is working just fantastically… So our turnaround times are doing really well, just in general for the testing. We’ve had basically an 18 to 33 hour turnaround at this point… We’re able to maintain. Our employees are safe. They’re really healthy and our patients have been doing very well coming through. People are getting used to the whole concept… The COVID testing is going well around the state… We’re already in Kenai. We’re already in Anchorage. We’re already in the Valley. We’re working on setting up a site for COVID testing in Fairbanks.”

Q: How many tests a day are you performing a day in the Valley?“We’re at about 500 a day.”

Q: What’s the rate of positive cases?“The rate of positivity to Capstone tests is 2.8%. That’s for all Capstone testing… Mat-Su right now is 5% positivity… about 20 to 50 a day.”

Q: Do you think these Valley numbers reflect the statewide trends?“Yeah, I think so. I think it reflects that. They’re skewed a little bit right now by the prison population. That has run rampant through the prisons. That large number there at Goose Creek is skewing our Mat-Su numbers somewhat.”

Q: Is there anything else important going on at Capstone that you want to get out there?“No. I think we’ve got more things coming in after the New Year. But, right now I think it’s just standing up the whole Hawaii testing that we’re trying to help out with.”

Q: So what will that partnership with Hawaii look like?“Just making sure the sites and systems work well for all Hawaii travellers, Kenai, Anchorage, Fairbanks, and the Valley… We’re happy to provide the service. We’re happy that Hawaii chose to have another partner in the state aside from, I believe it’s Walgreens.”

Q: Is it a specific test to travel there?“Exactly; and they need to use the COVID Secure app for that.”

Q: Any other COVID related matters you wanted to address?“Probably the thing we’re doing the most right now is helping people manage their COVID; helping businesses mitigate their COVID risks; and we’re available to meet with people, talk with people, do telemedicine visits with patients if need be. We still have the respiratory illness treatment facility in Wasilla that will allow us to evaluate and treat COVID positive patients who are not sick enough to require hospitalization. So, we have capabilities to take care of people who have COVID, and the capability for folks who are trying to stay away from COVID.”

Erickson noted that there is no insurance billing for the Hawaii travel testing, so those looking to fly to Hawaii will need to pay for the specific test out of pocket.

For more information, visit capstoneclinic.com.

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at jacob.mann@frontiersman.com

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