FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nome, Alaska – Over the weekend, COVID-19 cases continued to rise, mainly in Stebbins. Since Friday, Norton Sound Health Corporation identified 30 new cases, bringing the region’s active case count to 80.
On Friday, one Nome resident tested positive for COVID-19. On Saturday, 10 new Stebbins cases were identified. On Sunday, 17 Stebbins patients tested positive, along with two patients who did not want their community identified. All patients have been notified and instructed to safely isolate. Community response teams continue to identify and reach out to close contacts of positive cases.
As of Monday, August 9, there are 71 active COVID-19 cases in Stebbins, two in Nome, and seven in communities that remain unidentified. Leadership in all communities with positive cases has been notified, and Norton Sound Health Corporation continues to work on response plans with those communities.
While NSHC has not been notified by the State of Alaska on the results from the positive tests’ sequencing, NSHC medical providers and state epidemiologists are confident that most, if not all, recent cases are the Delta variant. The Delta variant makes up 96% of all Alaska COVID-19 cases, according to data from the Alaska Dept. of Health and Social Services.
The COVID-19 Delta variant is known to be at least two times more infectious than the original virus. In communities with high counts of active cases, it is once again imperative to practice social distancing and masking in public, regardless of vaccination status.
People who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 have a small chance of catching the virus, but they are far less likely to be hospitalized or die from the virus than unvaccinated people. According to state data, since the beginning of 2021, 94% of hospitalizations and 97% of deaths from COVID-19 were unvaccinated people.
Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is still the most effective way to stop the spread of the virus. NSHC encourages those who are eligible but have not yet been vaccinated to do so as soon as they can.
Stay up to date with the latest by visiting www.nortonsoundhealth.org/category/covid-19.