FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nome, Alaska – On Monday, Jan. 3, Norton Sound Health Corporation identified 30 positive COVID-19 cases in the region. Of the new cases, 13 are in St. Michael, 11 are in Nome, five are in Stebbins, and one is in Brevig Mission. They have been notified and are safely isolating.
In St. Michael, one case was travel-related and 12 were close contacts to previously identified cases. In Nome, one was a close contact and 10 were travel-related. In Stebbins, all patients were close contacts of previously identified cases. The case in Brevig was travel-related. Three of the individuals who tested positive are NSHC employees. Employees are required to be fully vaccinated and wear a mask at all times.
The most important thing regional residents can do to protect themselves against the Omicron variant is to get vaccinated and get a booster to help improve immune response. People over age 65 are especially at high risk and should be sure to stay up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines. The Moderna and Pfizer boosters are especially effective in preventing serious illness and death. The CDC recommends getting a booster at least five months after the last dose of Pfizer, six months after the last dose of Moderna, or two months after getting a Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
If someone is identified as a close contact and is not fully vaccinated and boosted if eligible, they should quarantine for five days. After a negative test result on day five, they should continue to wear a mask in public for five additional days. Those who are fully vaccinated and have received a booster (if due) do not need to quarantine but are encouraged to wear a mask in public places and test on day five.
If diagnosed with COVID-19, patients should isolate for a minimum of five days and wear a mask for an additional five days.
There are currently 41 active cases in the region: 25 in Nome, 10 in St. Michael, five in Stebbins, and one in Brevig. Village leadership in all communities has been notified.