FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 27, 2020
Contact: Sarah Richards, Public Relations Specialist
Phone: (907) 443-4591
Over NSHC’s Thanksgiving and 50th Anniversary holiday, seven new COVID-19 cases were identified.
On Thursday, November 26, one case of COVID-19 was confirmed in a Nome resident. The source of the virus is still under investigation.
On Friday, November 27, six additional positive cases of COVID-19 were confirmed. Two patients are non-residents of the region and both tested as part of the City of Nome travel and quarantine mandate. Three patients are Nome residents; two are close contacts of previously identified cases and one is an NSHC employee, who tested positive during routine employee testing. In this case, the employee had very little patient exposure, and any patients have been notified. The last patient to test positive is a regional resident and the origin of the virus is still under investigation. All patients are safely isolating.
The Nome medical response team has been monitoring the outbreak in Nome since November 16, which has resulted in over 250 people complying with quarantine requirements to prevent the spread of the virus. When someone receives a positive test result, the State of Alaska Public Health Nursing and the NSHC COVID-19 response team asks positive individuals who they have been in close contact with. According to the CDC, “a close contact is anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person has any symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19.”
Close contacts are tested at different intervals and may not test positive on the first test. NSHC expects to see the case count increase as close contacts test positive; testing occurs around day 7 and day 14, after the individual’s last contact with the confirmed positive case. If you have been identified as a close contact or have been directed to quarantine for any other reason and have a question, please call 907-434-0654.
Since the pandemic started, NSHC has been strengthening its support systems for patients and families coping with being diagnosed with COVID-19 and any individuals having to quarantine to prevent the spread of the virus. NSHC provides isolation housing, quarantine housing, and food resources for patients and families in isolation, close contacts in quarantine, and patients traveling for NSHC coordinated medical care. NSHC is grateful for its tribal partners and village leadership for working together to make housing available as needed when the need arises in the villages.