Ambulance pic

In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Juneau, emergency responders are implementing a temporary “quarantine at home” protocol for certain 911 calls.

The first coronavirus case was confirmed in Juneau over the weekend – an adult patient who was not hospitalized but is remaining isolated at home.

According to a March 23 notice from the city, when 911 is called requesting an ambulance, one will be dispatched with a trained medical provider. The provider will evaluate the patient, treat any needs and care for immediate threats to life.

The new protocol kicks in when determining whether to transport the patient via ambulance to Bartlett Regional Hospital or to recommend the patient remain quarantined at home if they have COVID-19 related issues such as a fever or other illnesses.

“This will be in an effort to provide hospital beds to immunocompromised and high-risk individuals, and is in following with current CDC guidelines for pre-hospital medical care,” the notice states. “Should you meet criteria for quarantining at home, do know that follow-up care will be available. A home health care provider or a CARES community paramedic can visit you to ensure that you and your family’s health care needs are met.”

The new protocol is being implemented by the Capital City Fire/Rescue in conjunction with Bartlett Regional Hospital.

The Juneau Police Department is also modifying the way it serves the community to limit exposure to COVID-19. According to the city website, the police department lobby will be closed to the public. Staff, however, can still be reached by phone or email. Appointments will be needed for non-emergency services including property and vehicle releases. The main business line is (907) 586-0600.

During this time, police officers will continue to provide patrols throughout the community and will remain visible to deter crime, the website states.

“These adjustments are intended to limit unnecessary risk to staff, as well as the public JPD serves,” the city website says. “During this time, you will see no difference in JPD’s professionalism or the high standards of the organization.”

Residents are encouraged to continue calling 911 if they have “a serious life-threatening emergency, or are reporting a serious in-progress crime.” Crimes that are not in progress should be reported via phone at (907) 586-0600. Calls for police services that do not require a police officer to physically respond will be handled online or over the telephone.

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Juneau 911 responders evaluating all COVID-19 cases for home quarantine

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.