FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nome, Alaska – Norton Sound Health Corporation identified two positive cases of COVID-19 in Nome and received confirmation that four previous infections were caused by the infectious P.1 variant of COVID-19.
The first new case occurred on Thursday, June 3, and the second on Friday, June 4. Both cases were acquired through community spread, and close contacts have been notified. These cases bring the region’s total active cases to 12, all of which are located in Nome.
The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services notified NSHC of the four P.1 variant cases on Friday. They occurred in early May and were associated with the first three P.1 variant cases, which were announced in a press release on May 21.
The P.1 variant is a strain of the COVID-19 virus that was first discovered in Japan in travelers from Brazil. The variant wreaked havoc across Brazil and Latin America earlier this year. The strain is 60% more easily spread than the original virus, and it has a mutation that allows it to potentially evade immunity.
The best way to protect the region from this strain of COVID-19 as well as other infectious variants is to get vaccinated.
NSHC continues to offer COVID-19 vaccines to everyone 12 years and older in the region, with a goal of reahing 70% of the entire population vaccinated. Currently, 60% of the entire region has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
In examining its vaccination data, NSHC noted that 75% of those over 40 years old have been vaccinated. Only 58% of eligible people under 40 have been vaccinated. NSHC encourages those under 40 to get vaccinated and help the region reach the goal of herd immunity at 70%.
In a village, residents may contact their local clinic to arrange a vaccination. In Nome, vaccinations are available at the following places and times:
- Nome NSHC Pharmacy: walk in Monday-Friday, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-3 p.m. Appointments are available Monday-Saturday at www.picktime.com/NSHC.
- Nome airport: Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are offered to all incoming passengers 12 years and older.
- Nome post office: Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available Monday-Friday 12-5 p.m.