October 6, 2020
Contact: Sarah Richards, Public Relations Specialist
Nome, Alaska – On Tuesday, October 6, Norton Sound Health Corporation identified twelve cases of COVID-19 in the community of Stebbins.
The State of Alaska Section of Epidemiology and Public Health Nursing have been notified. NSHC contacted village leadership members to inform them of the positive cases. Contact tracing is underway, as well as an investigation into the origin of the virus’ spread. The village is currently hunkering down, and public buildings have limited to no access. NSHC will send additional help and supplies for community-wide testing, and all community members will be able to receive a COVID-19 test, which involves a quick swab of both nostrils that can be described as ticklish and not painful.
Local leaders encourage all residents to isolate and socially distance from anyone outside of their household, and wear face masks if it is essential to move about the community. Taking safety precautions seriously will help limit the spread of the virus, which has the potential to make people very ill. Many people who test positive for COVID-19 never notice any symptoms, but others experience mild, moderate or even severe symptoms, which can lead to hospitalization.
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.