FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nome, Alaska – On Tuesday, Nov. 2, Norton Sound Health Corporation identified 29 positive COVID-19 cases in the region. Of the new cases, 13 are in Savoonga, six are in Nome, four are in Gambell, three are in Elim, two are in Unalakleet, and one is in Brevig Mission. All individuals have been notified and are safely isolating.
In Savoonga and Nome, cases were a mix of community spread and close contacts. In Gambell, Elim, Unalakleet, and Brevig, all cases were close contacts.
On Nov. 2, an advisory panel with the Center of Disease Control officially voted to approve an Emergency Use Authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5-11 years old. Each dose of the pediatric vaccine will contain one-third of the adult dosage and it is considered to be safe and effective. Like adult vaccines, children should receive two doses, spaced three weeks apart.
“Getting this age group vaccinated could lead to 90-99% herd immunity, from either vaccination or previous infection, in most of our communities,” Dr. Mark Peterson, NSHC Medical Director, said. “While cases of COVID-19 may still pop up, we may be more at ease about the potential of those cases leading to serious illness or death.”
Once supplies arrive in Nome, providers expect to begin vaccinating kids in that age group by next week.
Testing for COVID-19 is open daily for asymptomatic people from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Nome Operations Building Testing Center, located at the corner of Greg Kruschek Avenue and K Street. The Testing Center is open during the lunch hour, but staffing is limited. Please visit www.picktime.com/NSHC to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins are also welcome.
The Cough and Cold Clinic is available for testing every day for symptomatic patients. It is located on the first floor of the hospital and is open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on weekends, including during the lunch hour. You can call the direct line to the clinic at (907) 443-3231.
In the region’s villages, please call your local clinic to get tested or vaccinated.
Of the 253 active cases, 126 are in Savoonga, 87 are in Nome, 13 are in Gambell, 11 are in Elim, nine are in Unalakleet, six are in Brevig, and one is in Wales. Village leadership in all communities has been notified.