FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nome, Alaska – Norton Sound Health Corporation identified seven positive COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, September 15. Five of the cases are in Shaktoolik and two are in Nome. Patients have been notified and are safely isolating. Each positive patient was a close contact to another positive case in their community.
There are currently 42 active cases in the region: 11 are in Unalakleet, 17 are in Shaktoolik, five are in Koyuk, four are in Nome, two are in Savoonga, two are in Brevig Mission, and one is in Teller. Village leadership in all communities has been notified. NSHC is working closely with the leadership from all involved villages, and is sending additional help and supplies as needed.
Yesterday, the State of Alaska reported 1,095 new COVID-19 cases, a record high for the state since the pandemic began in March 2020. The increasing number is partially due to backlogs, which means there are delays in getting high numbers of reports processed and counted on the same day. The seven-day average in the state is 681, ranking it the fourth highest state per capita in case counts. The statewide alert level remains high. The CDC says that 99 percent of all cases nationwide are now attributed to the more contagious delta variant.
Fifty six percent of eligible Alaskans are fully vaccinated, which is below the national average of 63 percent. In a study recently conducted by the CDC (available to view at bit.ly/MMWR91021), it was found that fully vaccinated people have a significantly reduced risk of infection from the delta variant. Vaccinated people are also 10 times less likely to be hospitalized or die from the delta variant than unvaccinated people. NSHC encourages everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
NSHC continues to offer official COVID-19 Vaccine Record Cards, which can be used to prove full vaccination. These cards will be particularly useful to have on hand while traveling. Upon request, cards will be printed and mailed after patients are fully vaccinated based on the requirements for each vaccine. At this time, the cards do not include booster shot information since that is not a requirement for travel. Please plan 2-4 weeks for your card to arrive by U.S. Mail. To request a card for yourself or a family member, please fill out a Request Form for each individual: http://bit.ly/NSHCVacCard