FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2, 2020
Contact: Reba Lean, Public Relations Manager
Nome, Alaska – Norton Sound Health Corporation medical staff has been watching a new strain of coronavirus that is spreading among people in Asia and in several other countries. There have also been a limited number of infections in the U.S. There have been no infections in Alaska. While the risk of this illness remains low in Alaska and the region, following the same steps you usually take to prevent a cold or other germs is advisable.
Practice these simple but important habits to reduce the spread of germs.
- Cover your mouth and nose with your flexed elbow or with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash your hands often. The key is to wash thoroughly with warm water and to wash frequently.
- When washing your hands is not possible, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes.
NSHC requests that any person with a cough or who is sneezing to please wear a mask when at the hospital to minimize the spread of the all respiratory infections, such as the flu. These are available upon entry at the hospital.
For people who have traveled within the last 14 days to China, South Korea, Italy, or Japan, OR people with known exposure to patients confirmed with or highly suspected of the coronavirus infection within the last 14 days, AND who develop fever, cough, or shortness of breath, please call the NSHC Nurse Call Line at 907-443-6411. You will receive an appropriate screening by phone and instructions on whether testing is necessary for you and how to receive the testing at NSHC. For those who do not have symptoms, or who have not traveled to these countries or had exposure, no call is necessary, and no concern is needed.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alaska Division of Public Health will continue informing NSHC and local agencies of any new developments. They will also continue to assist NSHC, response agencies, and the public as the situation develops.