FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 15, 2020
Contact: Reba Lean, Public Relations Manager
Nome, Alaska – Late Friday, August 14, Norton Sound Health Corporation received positive results of a patient who tested for COVID-19 in the region. The patient agreed to allow NSHC share their location of White Mountain. They are now safely isolating.
NSHC notified the State of Alaska Section of Epidemiology and Public Health Nursing, which will follow up with any close contacts. NSHC also notified community leaders in White Mountain so they could determine a community response plan. The case is believed to be travel-related as the patient’s test was part of a quarantine and testing protocol.
NSHC continues to recommend that regional communities maintain travel and quarantine restrictions as an effective method of preventing spread of the virus. While a full 14-day quarantine is the safest way to prevent COVID-19 spread from incoming travelers, a reduced quarantine time of seven days, coupled with a test upon arrival and a test on the traveler’s seventh day of quarantine, would most likely stop any travel-related spread. One negative test upon a traveler’s arrival is not a sufficient method of preventing spread of the virus.
Residents in the region should still be avoiding non-essential travel. A large portion of the region’s confirmed cases have been travel-related. If travel is necessary, residents should have a quarantine plan in place, including how they plan to receive groceries and other needed items.
It is important that travelers follow the quarantine guidelines strictly, including not visiting with others outside their quarantine group and not entering public spaces.