Fairbanks Pioneer Home reports 8 COVID-19 cases over past month

Fairbanks Pioneer Home (Photo from Department of Health and Social Services)

The Fairbanks Pioneer Home has had four staff and four residents test positive for COVID-19 over the last month, according to the state health department.

“Currently one staff member and three residents are off of quarantine precautions,” Department of Health and Social Services spokesman Clinton Bennett said on Thursday. “The Fairbanks Pioneer Home still has three staff members and one resident who are in quarantine.”

Bennet said unvaccinated residents and staff are being tested weekly.

“Additionally, the Fairbanks Pioneer Home recently tested all employees, regardless of vaccination, on Aug. 26 of this year,” he said. “And everyone will be tested again this week.”

Carolyn Hall said her 78-year-old father is one of the Fairbanks Pioneer Home residents who recently tested positive for COVID-19.

“I feel like the communication hasn’t been great,” she said. “Reaching out and leaving messages and not necessarily getting speedy replies was very frustrating and discouraging.”

Hall said her dad, who has Parkinson’s disease and received the COVID-19 vaccine back in January, ended up in the hospital with cold-like symptoms, and a doctor called her asking about his care.

“And I said, ‘Are you basically asking me if you should bother even treating him?’ And he said, ‘Yes.’ And I said, ‘Please don’t give up on my dad,’” she said.

Hall said the experience illustrates how bad the pandemic has gotten again.

“This isn’t just a story about my dad, my loved one, my family,” she said. “It’s about our entire community because you never know when it might be your loved one.”

Hall said her dad has returned to the Pioneer Home. She thanks facility staff for arranging a time for her to visit this week despite an ongoing quarantine.

Editor’s note: Carolyn Hall is director of television programming at KUAC in Fairbanks.  

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