Nome, Alaska – On November 20, Norton Sound Health Corporation confirmed sixteen positive COVID-19 cases in the region.
Thirteen patients tested positive in Nome. Of these cases, 12 patients have been identified as close contacts of previous cases and one is considered to be community-spread. All are safely isolating, and NSHC has notified the State of Alaska Section of Epidemiology and Public Health Nursing, which will conduct further investigation. There are currently 39 active cases in Nome.
Of the other three cases, all are considered to be travel-related. Two of the cases were identified in Shaktoolik. NSHC held a teleconference with village leadership to discuss the cases, a response plan, and continued safety precautions. The local clinic will be offering follow-up testing for community members.
The last patient is a resident of St. Michael. The patient tested in accordance with the Village of St. Michael’s travel mandate and was already in quarantine when the test results were received. NSHC held a teleconference to discuss the case and safety precautions with village leadership. St. Michael leaders would like to encourage residents to hunker down and limit movement within the community, including visits to public building and neighbors. The IRA building is closed to the public at this time, but employees should still report to work.
If residents have questions regarding symptoms, which can include coughing, shortness of breath, fevering, fatigue, loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, or other cold-like symptoms, they should contact their local clinic or the Nurse Call Line at (907) 443-6411 or 844-586-8773 if outside of regular clinic hours. Other general questions about COVID-19 can be directed to the State of Alaska’s 211 resource number.
In Nome, the Cough and Cold Clinic has expanded hours to Monday through Friday from 8a.m. to 8p.m. Patients can schedule an appointment by calling (907) 443-3333. On the weekend, the Cough and Cold Clinic is open from 10a.m. to 10p.m. Patients can make an appointment by calling (907) 443-6411 or 844-58-NURSE.
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.