Co-owner Kathy Gardner told the Clarion Thursday that the employee who tested positive is not a therapist and did not have direct contact with any clients, but she and her business partner Lisa Reischach opted to close the clinic starting on July 13 out of an abundance of caution.
“We’re taking a financial hit, and some people have been upset, but in the long run we’re doing what’s best for the community,” Gardner said.
The employee left work July 9 after feeling sick and received a rapid test at the Ninilchik Community Clinic, which came back positive for COVID-19, according to Gardner.
Gardner said that in her discussions with state Public Health officials, including the state’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink, they determined that four other employees were in “close contact” with the person who tested positive. Those four employees were immediately quarantined and are self-monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19.
The occupational, speech and physical therapists at the clinic are still taking appointments via telehealth. Parents can call 907-260-7444 to set up an appointment.
Gardner noted that the clinic was operating exclusively through telehealth when the pandemic first Alaska, so the transition back to this method was an easy one.
When the clinic is open to in-person appointments, all employees wear masks and all surfaces are sanitized every hour, Gardner said.