October 9, 2020
Contact: Sarah Richards, Public Relations Specialist
Norton Sound Health Corporation has identified three additional positive cases in the Norton Sound/Bering Strait region.
Two of the patients are close contacts of previous positive cases in the village of Stebbins. The State of Alaska Section of Epidemiology and Public Health Nursing have been notified, and village leadership have been informed. Public buildings have limited to no access, and residents are encouraged to hunker down for the next two weeks. NSHC continues to work closely with the community by sending additional help and supplies for community-wide testing.
The third patient is a nonresident of the region and was identified as part of the City of Nome’s testing and quarantine mandate related to travel. The patient was already in quarantine when they tested positive for COVID-19. The State of Alaska Section of Epidemiology and Public Health Nursing have been notified and are currently investigating.
Community travel mandates continue to prove to be an effective tool at identifying positive cases of the virus and preventing further spread. NSHC encourages the public to pay attention to the latest resolutions from communities regarding travel and requirements from travelers, including needed quarantine time and COVID-19 testing.
All unnecessary travel should be put on hold during this time. Traveling outside of the region poses a higher risk for contracting the virus, even with safety precautions in play. If travel can be delayed for the next six months, it should be. If travel is necessary, people should only go where they need to and try to avoid large social settings or public spaces when possible. Keep your distance from others, wash your hands frequently and wear a mask in public.
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.