FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nome, Alaska – Norton Sound Health Corporation identified five positive COVID-19 cases between Friday, Sept. 17 and Sunday, Sept. 19. All five cases are in Nome. Four of the patients are non-residents of the region, and one is a regional resident. One patient is a close contact to a previously identified case, one is considered to be community spread, and three are considered to be travel-related. Patients have been notified and are safely isolating.
There are currently 26 active cases in the region: 15 are in Shaktoolik, eight are in Nome, one is in Unalakleet, one is in Brevig Mission, and one is in Teller. NSHC is working closely with the leadership from all involved villages, and is sending additional help and supplies as needed.
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.