Medical support limitations

At the beginning of our trip we were warned by our tour director that there were limitations to any sort of medical support in the areas we were visiting should anyone develop a medical problem during the trip. I contracted covid 2 days before the end of the trip when we were in Girdwood which was a couple of miles from our hotel. I am a senior and a candidate for the anti-viral medication Paxlovid. In Girdwood there is no availability of taxis, urber/lyft and no rental car facilities. In Girdwood, there is a pharmacy and an urgent care center. The pharmacy had a defective phone system, I received a call back 6 days after the end of our trip. I later learned that they did not have Paxlovid. The urgent care facility intake person told me they were completely booked, would not allow me to connect with a nurse or physician and I never received a call back.

The concern I have is that the warnings we received after the tour started should have been made known by Tauck on their website and in the various information literature that was sent out at different times before the start of the trip. Had the magnitude of the concerns the tour director alerted us to after the start of the trip had been made available in the pre-trip information sources I probably would have elected not to go on this trip. Any senior citizen who is a candidate for anit-viral Rx if they contract Covid should consider obtaining this before the trip and to take it with them. And they should be aware that would be significant delay for medical support should a serious problem arise.


  • @Barry: You make a good point. My physician has prescribed a number of travel meds. I would contact him and describe the situation and he would advise me what to take. Paxlovid and TamiFlu are two of them plus a variety of antibiotics. What did the TD do to help you?

  • Hotel concierge actually had more information. TD pointed out more than once that if we left hotel/tour early we were on our own. Physicians are trained not to prescribe Paxlovid on a prn basis. I feel it was a big mistake to have not taken the med along with me. My physicians here told me re prn Rx that there were doctors in Alaska that can help, if something was needed. I am a physician, so felt even more frustrated in the obstructions to even speaking to the one pharmacist/physician in town. My wife and grandson got sick and turned positive a few days after end of trip.

  • edited July 2022

    Even pre Covid, Tauck always made it clear to speak to your family dr before any tour. You sign a waiver at the start of the tour. I knew Drs would not prescribe Paxlovid without symptoms but I do have one friend who managed to procure it on trying her third Dr, took it on vacation, got Covid and took it. Paxlovid was not available in that country.
    I am on the Grand Alaska tour right now, I’m in Denali National park where masks are supposed to be compulsory but it is not enforced and so there are many people not wearing them. Imagine how we felt on a bus with 54 people for six hours today, quite a few with no masks on and lots and lots of coughing, no air conditioning and most windows closed because of rain and cold. I had been wondering about the availability of Paxlovid here, it’s quite difficult to find it even at home as only designated pharmacies carry it.

  • edited July 2022

    Without seeing your e-green book, I can't comment on what Tauck did or should have told you, but believe it should have contained a warning of availability of care.

    I'm sure if your symptoms were severe the clinic would have admitted you for treatment or Tauck would have taken you by vehicle to Anchorage which is only a 50 min. drive. Looking at Google Maps it is mostly a ski area and there is not much "there" in Girdwood or Alyeska, or any of the Alaskan "wilderness locations" or "towns" where you stayed except Anchorage. I would expect there to be little or no medical facilities, possibly only a once a week visiting nurse, until ski season, especially with Anchorage so close. A little pre-tour due diligence might have saved you some anxiety. The title of the tour borrows from the Jack London book, but in reality it applies more to Alaska than the dogs you visit. Alaska is still "wild" / wilderness.

    Were you looking for something that would lessen the effects or did you actually need treatment that couldn't wait for two days or required hospitalization right then?

    I would expand on your statement, "Any senior citizen who is a candidate for anti-viral Rx if they contract Covid should consider obtaining this before the trip," to include 'and should seriously consider whether they should even take this trip, especially during COVID'

  • @Barry--Private message sent to you.

  • @Barry-also sent private message.

  • edited July 2022

    Due to your post Barry, as oir testing is approaching tomorrow, l looked up availability of pharmacies In Fairbanks where we will be tested, there are many. It seems that at least one pharmacy offers a nurse practitioner or telemedicine and possibly Paxlovid. Hope I don’t need any of this. Good luck to you.

  • Thankfully the symptoms for this strain I feel for us were just like a head cold. My husband and I both seniors tested positive in Fairbanks and were not able to take the second part of the tour which was Princess cruise. 30 % of our tour had same outcome.the tour left without us the next morning. We were able to quarantine at the Princes hotel for 5 days free of charge if we so desired. We did not inquire about medical help or Paxlovid Since our symptoms were mild. We were given a sheet of paper from TD with some info. Also we had travel insurance and the info said if you need emergency medical you could open a case with CAREFREE TRAVEL ASSISTANCE. 24 hours a day. In my opinion the Covid procedure in place by Tauck if you test positive needs work. It causes a lot of confusion and anxiety.

  • @TEF:Did you quarantine at the Princess or use Carefree Travel Assistance? What was your experience? We'll be up that way in three weeks. Thanks.

  • We did not open a case with Care Free Travel Assist since our symptoms were mild. We just did an insurance claim for travel expenses home but not sure how that will go yet. We just stayed at Princess a short time. You called to the desk to order meals and they delivered to your room.

  • We tested ourselves first thing this morning and were negative. We were tested at the hotel about an hour ago. They told us it would take an hour for results. We were about numbers 11 and 12 in line of a total of 37 people.
    This morning, the TD told us it could take up to 24 hours to get results. If we don’t hear by 9pm, we have to call him and he will investigate. We only have to let him know if we test positive. He does not get the results because of privacy. If it comes that we have still not received the results by 6-15am tomorrow when we leave for the flight to Anchorage, we will still be allowed on the plane, then if found positive, will leave the tour there.
    Everyone is pretty confused and anxious. When I took my test, the nurse said I did it like a pro….yes, I should be a pro with my nurse training! I’m not convinced some people have ever taking a Covid test, they seemed clueless about it.

  • That seems like a long time for testing results. We all knew by 7 pm.

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