October 14, 2020
Contact: Sarah Richards, Public Relations Specialist
Nome, Alaska – Three residents of the Norton Sound/Bering Strait region have tested positive for COVID-19.
Two of the positive cases are in Stebbins, bringing the total number of recent cases in the village to 20. The patients are considered close contacts and related to the recent outbreak in the community. 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 stay hunkered down. NSHC continues to work closely with the community by sending additional help and supplies for community-wide testing.
The third patient is a resident of the region who tested positive while traveling. The patient was not in the region during any of the infectious period.
NSHC is in the process of rolling out new screening and testing procedures. Findings show that rapid test samples provide most accurate results when evaluated within one hour. Previously, hospitals were able to assess samples up to 24 hours after swabbing. Due to this change, the number of rapid tests available in Nome will be more limited. State lab testing will be available to walk in patients, and rapid tests will be provided to patients who make an appointment. To schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 rapid test at the NSHC hospital testing tent, visit www.picktime.com/NSHC.
For patients with symptoms of COVID-19, please contact the Cough and Cold Clinic for an appointment at 907-443-3333 Monday through Friday, or the Nurse Call Line on the weekend at 844-586-8773. The Cough and Cold Clinic is open seven days a week.
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.