FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nome, Alaska – On Monday, Nov. 15, Norton Sound Health Corporation identified 22 COVID-19 cases in the region. Of the new cases, 14 were in Nome, seven were in Savoonga, and one was in Gambell. All patients have been notified and are safely isolating.
Of the cases in Nome, 10 cases were close contacts, and four were community spread. One individual is an NSHC employee, but did not come into contact with patients during the infectious period. In Savoonga, cases were due to community spread, and Gambell’s case was a close contact.
While Alaska’s COVID-19 numbers remain high, cases are now on a downward trend, with a 38% decrease in the past 14 days and an average of 400 cases reported each day. The Nome Census area cases have decreased 15% in the past 14 days, and they continue a downward trend.
NSHC encourages everyone 5 years old and up to get vaccinated by making an appointment at www.picktime.com/NSHC. Everyone who get the Pfizer vaccine, including children aged 5-11, should get two doses spaced three weeks apart.
In addition to COVID-19 vaccines, NSHC also offers free influenza vaccines. 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.
There are currently 149 active cases in the region: 89 are in Nome, 40 are in Savoonga, six are in Brevig, six are in Gambell, three are in Shishmaref, and two are in White Mountain. Additionally, Unalakleet, St. Michael, and Wales each have one active case. Village leadership in all communities have been notified.