FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2021
Contact: Reba Lean, Public Relations Manager
Nome, Alaska – A Nome resident tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, March 19. The individual is safely isolating and their close contacts have been notified. The case is believed to be acquired through community spread.
Norton Sound Health Corporation has identified four active cases of COVID-19 in the region, all of which are located in Nome. All are considered to be community spread cases, which means they were not acquired through travel nor through direct contact with someone who tested positive.
It is still important to practice the same recommended safety precautions that were starting to be shared one year ago – frequent hand washing, social distancing, avoiding large gatherings, staying home when sick and wearing masks in public.
Although they have not completely gone away, the safety precautions are beginning to change for people who have been vaccinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can meet together in small groups, unmasked. Fully vaccinated people are also not required to quarantine after traveling or if they become close contacts of an individual who tests positive for the virus.
NSHC’s goal is to vaccinate 80% of the entire region. This goal would provide a safety net of herd immunity for the region, which would help protect people who are unable to be vaccinated against the virus.
Tuesday, March 23 will mark one year since NSHC began its Daily Tribal Leader Call in response to the pandemic. Since that time, NSHC’s COVID-19 testing capabilities have expanded greatly, communities have taken measures to stop the spread of the virus by enacting travel restrictions, communities have experienced and quelled outbreaks, and most importantly, the long-awaited COVID-19 vaccines are now available.
One year ago, Alaska was experiencing its first cases of COVID-19, and across the world, people began to feel the impacts of the pandemic. In this region, beloved traditions like dancing, sports games, potlucks, celebrations of life, and other gatherings are dearly missed. The sooner the region is protected, the sooner things can return to normal.
If you have any questions or concerns about the vaccine, join NSHC on its Daily Tribal Leader Call at 11 a.m. Monday-Thursday by dialing 1-800-315-6338; code 03286#.