FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nome, Alaska – Norton Sound Health Corporation identified nine new cases of COVID-19 in St. Michael on Thursday, Dec. 9. All nine individuals are close contacts. One individual is an NSHC employee, but there was no patient interaction during the infectious period. All individuals have been notified and instructed to safely isolate.
With two weeks left until Christmas, now is a great time to get a booster vaccination if you have not already done so.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded eligibility for Pfizer booster vaccinations to the 16 and 17 age range on Friday, Dec. 10. This age range is not considered high risk for the virus, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the 16- and 17-year-olds get the shot to help broaden and strengthen their protection against COVID-19 variants. As with adult booster vaccinations, 16- and 17-year-olds should wait to get the booster shot until six months after their second Pfizer dose.
COVID-19 booster vaccinations are also available to all adults who were fully vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines six months ago or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine two months ago.
In order to keep your holiday celebrations as planned, it is important to practice precautions in the coming weeks. NSHC recommends wearing a face mask in public indoor spaces and avoiding large crowds. As always, try to keep a distance away from others in public spaces, wash your hands frequently, and stay home if sick.
There are currently 79 active COVID-19 cases in the region: 24 in Nome, 17 in Stebbins, 12 in St. Michael, 11 in Unalakleet, eight in Brevig Mission, four in Shaktoolik, two in Gambell, and one in Shishmaref. Leadership in each community has been notified.