FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nome, Alaska – Over the weekend, NSHC identified a new outbreak of COVID-19 in the community of St. Michael as well as cases in Stebbins, Savoonga and other unnamed villages.
On Friday, there were 38 cases in Stebbins and two cases in which the patients did not want their location identified. On Saturday, nine cases were found in St. Michael, and 12 cases did not want their location identified. On Sunday, NSHC identified two cases in Savoonga and one case in which the patient did not want their location identified. All patients have been notified and instructed to safely isolate.
There are currently 175 active COVID-19 cases in the region. Of those cases, five are in Nome, two are in Savoonga, one is in Unalakleet, one is in White Mountain, nine are in St. Michael, 131 are in Stebbins, and 26 are in villages that will remain unidentified. Leadership in each village with an active case has been contacted.
Testing is highly encouraged in each community with an active case. Those who should contact their local clinic to arrange COVID-19 testing are those who believe they are a close contact to a positive case, anyone who is experiencing symptoms (and they should self-isolate in the meantime), anyone who works in a public setting, and anyone who is unvaccinated.
The COVID-19 Delta Variant is the cause of nearly all active COVID-19 cases in Alaska. NSHC medical staff and state epidemiologists believe that is the same case for the Norton Sound/Bering Strait region. The variant is highly contagious, and in response, NSHC has updated its medical guidance during this time.
For a period of the next 30 days, or as long as the Delta Variant continues its dominance of all COVID-19 cases, these guidelines will be in place:
- Quarantine of close contacts will be returning to 14-days long for unvaccinated individuals and some vaccinated individuals, based on the community outbreak situation.
- NSHC is recommending universal masking in public indoor areas, regardless of individuals’ vaccination status, for all communities in the region
NSHC strongly encourages everyone in the region to contact their local clinic to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible.