FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nome, Alaska – Norton Sound Health Corporation identified 18 positive COVID-19 cases on Thursday, September 23. Of the new cases, 11 are in Koyuk, three are in Nome, three are in St. Michael, and one is in Shaktoolik. Patients have been notified and are safely isolating.
There are currently 58 active cases in the region: 27 are in Koyuk, 19 are in Shaktoolik, nine are in Nome, and three are in St. Michael. NSHC is working closely with the leadership from all involved villages, and is sending additional help and supplies as needed.
The state of Alaska is currently ranked as having the highest case count in the country per 100,000 residents, with a daily average count of 915 positive cases. Fifty percent of the state’s population is fully vaccinated, which is lower than the national average of 55 percent.
NSHC encourages everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. Pfizer is expecting to have vaccines approved for children ages 5-11 later this fall.
In addition to COVID-19 vaccines, NSHC is preparing to offer influenza vaccines. The vaccines have begun to arrive in Nome, and the Pharmacy will be distributing them around the region. In Nome, flu shots are expected to be offered next week and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Norton Sound Regional Hospital Pharmacy. Village vaccination clinics are in the process of being scheduled and will be announced as soon as possible.
All residents in the region are strongly encouraged to get their flu vaccine this year to protect them against getting influenza during the pandemic. The flu vaccine is safe and protective. It is doctor-recommended, does not contain a live virus, and cannot give someone the flu.
Catching the flu could lower a person’s immune system defenses and make them more vulnerable to other illnesses, including COVID-19.
When we stop the spread of a virus, we protect our family members who are at risk, such as children, elders, and those with chronic illnesses. We can stop the flu in its tracks this year; help protect your community by getting a free flu shot as soon as it is available in your community.