FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 25, 2021
Contact: Sarah Richards, Public Relations Specialist
On March 25, Norton Sound Health Corporation identified a positive COVID-19 case in a regional village.
The patient has not recently traveled, and the source of the virus is unclear at this time. The individual is an NSHC employee, but there was no patient exposure. Close contacts have been notified and have been instructed to follow correct safety precautions.
The employee is now safely isolating, and NSHC is working closely with village leadership to formulate a response plan and ensure that testing is readily available for the community. Additional rapid test analyzers and testing team members will be traveling to the village and available to test on Friday, Saturday, and every day next week.
Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are also being shipped to the village; please call your clinic to make an appointment for a vaccination. NSHC encourages patients who have not yet been vaccinated to do so for the safety of themselves, their families, and their community. In regional villages, anyone 16 or older can contact their local clinic to be placed on a vaccination waitlist if they have not already been vaccinated against COVID-19.
One new benefit to being vaccinated is that Bering Air is now allowing vaccinated travelers to fly without first having their negative COVID-19 test results in hand; everyone still needs to test and can now wait for their results in the Bering Air lobby. Please check with your destination village for current local mandates related to testing and quarantine.
If you have questions or concerns about the vaccine, please reach out to NSHC’s medical staff for answers by emailing or by calling into NSHC’s daily call every Monday-Thursday at 11 a.m. at 1-800-315-6338; access code 03286#.
Earlier this month, the CDC shared new guidelines for fully vaccinated people. The CDC says people are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks after they receive their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine, like the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The following recommendations apply to non-healthcare settings.
Fully vaccinated people can:
- Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic
For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:
- Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing
- Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
- Wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households
- Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings
- Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
- Follow guidance issued by individual employers
- Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations
Stay up to date with the latest by visiting www.nortonsoundhealth.org/category/covid-19.