September 28, 2020
Contact: Sarah Richards, Public Relations Specialist
Nome, Alaska – Two residents of the region are now safely isolating after testing positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, September 27.
The patients have agreed to disclose their home of Gambell, bringing the village’s recent count to 19. NSHC has been working closely with the State of Alaska Section of Epidemiology and Public Health Nursing and Sivuqaq tribal leaders since September 19 to implement protective measures to reduce any further spread of the virus. NSHC has sent a health care response team to Gambell.
The City of Gambell continues to enforce a village-wide curfew and monitor the situation to limit contact between residents. Local leaders are asking all members of the community to “hunker down” and only leave their homes when necessary, such as for medical needs or grocery shopping. Grocery store visits should be limited to one member of the household, and masks need to be worn in all public places.
When a patient recovers from the virus, they do not need to be tested again for an active infection for a period of 90 days. Patients should still adhere to social distancing and hygiene guidelines and any federal, state or local mandates regarding COVID-19.
Recovered patients will receive a letter from the State of Alaska that details instructions after recovery and provides them clearance from isolation. NSHC will also provide a letter to its recovered patients that excuses them from COVID-19 testing for the 90-day period, since patients may continue to test positive for three months after their recovery.
All residents in the region are strongly encouraged to get their flu vaccine this year to protect them against getting influenza during the COVID-19 pandemic. Getting the flu during the pandemic could lower your immune system defenses, and make you more vulnerable to other illnesses, including COVID-19.