FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Norton Sound Health Corporation routine testing for employees confirmed another positive COVID-19 case over the weekend, this time in a regional village.
The patient has been contacted and is safely isolating. The State of Alaska Section of Epidemiology and Public Health Nursing are in touch with the individual and have begun the process of tracing close contacts. The patient is not experiencing symptoms and has not recently traveled out of the community.
NSHC informed community leadership after learning of the test results on the evening of Sunday, June 28, and on Monday, mobilized a health care response team to conduct testing for close contacts, employees and other community members. NSHC will be prioritizing testing for individuals whom Public Health Nursing identifies as close contacts. Local community leaders will help spread the word of testing availability.
State officials would like to remind people in the region that if they are identified as a close contact of a positive case, they will be recommended to quarantine for a full 14 days. A full quarantine is the safest method of minimizing spread of the disease, and COVID-19 testing does not fully replace quarantining.
NSHC village clinics follow strict infection prevention guidelines to protect staff members and patients during this pandemic. Village clinic employees receive COVID-19 testing weekly. Employees wear face masks at all times in the clinic, unless they’re in a secluded office alone. Patients are required to wear masks as well and are provided masks if they don’t have one. Patients are asked to call before visiting the clinic, so staff members can prepare for their arrival.
NSHC asks members of the public to continue to take Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 prevention guidelines seriously. Continue to stay home if you feel sick, socially distance, wash your hands frequently, wear a face mask in public, and avoid traveling outside of the region.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include coughing, fevering, shortness of breath, fatigue, new-onset diarrhea, loss of smell or taste, and other cold symptoms. If you are experiencing any of those symptoms, please contact Primary Care in Nome at 443-3333 or your local clinic before going in to be seen.