FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nome, Alaska – As of Friday, May 22, NSHC confirmed two new cases of COVID-19, which brought the total to three positive cases in the Norton Sound region. All three people who tested positive live in the community of Nome.
NSHC detected the two new cases on Thursday, May 21 and Friday, May 22, through routine employee testing. Although NSHC started offering voluntary COVID-19 testing in April for staff, mandatory testing was initiated on Monday, May 18. After routine testing detected the first positive COVID-19 employee working in Nome, NSHC required all employees working in Nome, regardless of position, to undergo COVID-19 testing. A second employee tested positive the following day.
NSHC has tested 652 employees in total – the large majority of NSHC’s workforce, which amounts to about 720. As a result of NSHC’s return to work precautions after the positive cases, 490 employees tested, and their tests have been negative.
In addition to the testing, Public Health Nursing, in partnership with NSHC, has conducted follow-up investigations with all close contacts of the individuals who tested positive.
NSHC will continue to conduct mandatory testing every 14 days. NSHC maintains very strict quarantine guidelines for any employees who travel into Nome. Employees who travel into Nome from within Alaska must quarantine for 14 days or opt to test upon arrival, quarantine for seven days, and retest on the seventh day. If they choose to test twice, both tests must be negative for employees to return to work. All employees traveling into Nome from outside Alaska must quarantine for 14 days before returning to work. Although NSHC employees are classified as “essential,” NSHC will continue to adhere to these strict guidelines.
Learn more about what NSHC is doing to keep its patients, employees, and communities safe here.