FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nome, Alaska – Three regional residents tested positive for COVID-19 late in the evening on Friday, August 28.
The State of Alaska Section of Epidemiology and Public Health Nursing have been notified of the cases and are conducting investigations of close contacts and where the infections originated.
Two of the patients agreed to allow NSHC to share their home community of Unalakleet. One is a NSHC employee. Any connection between the two cases is still being investigated.
NSHC informed Unalakleet community leaders of the cases in order to form a community response plan. COVID-19 testing of close contacts will begin this weekend, and all residents are encouraged to get tested starting on Monday. Unalakleet leaders wanted to emphasize the local mandate of required face masks in public spaces. They also want to continue to encourage residents to show compassion for anyone who tests positive for the virus and their close contacts who will need to self-quarantine.
The third case identified in the region is another employee of NSHC whose test was done as part of routine employee testing. The patient agreed to allow NSHC to disclose their home community of Nome.
NSHC implemented infection prevention practices early on in the COVID-19 pandemic to limit the risk of virus transmission within its facilities. All patients and employees are required to have their temperatures checked daily upon arrival to any facility and are required to wear face masks when around others. Employees follow a schedule of required routine testing, which allows NSHC to track down cases quickly and stop them from spreading.
Patients and employees alike are asked to stay home if they feel ill and to call ahead to arrange an appointment if they need to be seen by a provider or want to be tested for COVID-19.