Alaska to stop offering COVID-19 tests at state’s airports

December 23, 2021 GMT

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — COVID-19 tests will no longer be offered at Alaska’s airports as of Jan. 31 because the state is not renewing its contracts for the tests, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services said.

Airports across Alaska offer the service. Earlier in the coronavirus pandemic, people arriving in Alaska from out of state were required to be tested. The state made testing optional in April.

The department estimates the tests have detected more than 6,000 cases of COVID-19 since June 2020, KTOO reported.

A spokesperson said officials were out of the office and not immediately available for questions about why the contracts won’t be renewed.

Some airports have distributed home test kits. Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport starting giving home test kits to travelers on Nov. 30.

The health department said it plans to continue offering free COVID-19 vaccines at airports through contractors. As of Tuesday, the department said 9,761 people have been vaccinated at Alaska airports.