FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nome, Alaska – Although there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Bering Strait Region, the state of Alaska has 69 confirmed cases, and NSHC is urging everyone to stay at home. What regional residents have done to prevent COVID-19 from reaching the region to-date is very important to continue to do over the next few weeks or longer.
NSHC has 300 testing kits. As of Thursday, March 26, NSHC has performed 10 tests; eight have returned negative results and two are pending. NSHC has experienced up to a five-day wait period to receive test results. As testing labs become overwhelmed in the state, this turnaround time may change.
Once tested, patients are instructed to self-isolate (quarantine) immediately, but symptoms are managed appropriately. There is no specific treatment for COVID-19, so the supportive treatment of a patient’s symptoms does not wait for test results to return.
Everyone in the region should continue to follow the same advice: stay at home. Keep your kids at home. Elders and other residents with weakened immune systems should not go into public at all.
NSHC has designated its quarantine leader as Amy Hollis. She can be reached at 907-434-0654 or by email at .
Here are some important guidelines for everyone to follow:
- Wash your hands with soap and water: sing “Happy Birthday” twice
- Limit visitors and stay at home unless you must leave for essential functions (groceries, essential work), especially if you are:
- 65 years or older
- Immunocompromised (cancer, heart disease, chronic respiratory disease patients)
- Enjoying the outdoors together as a family is OK as long as you keep your distance from others
- Practice social distancing: stay 6 feet apart at all times, meetings should be held on the phone instead of in-person, do not have more than 10 people in one space at any time
- Avoid taking children into public places except when absolutely necessary and encourage them not to touch
- Only one member of the household should be going into public spaces (e.g. one person in the grocery store, one person at the local post office)
- Clean your home: dish soap is effective at breaking down the virus; wash or disinfect your high-touch surfaces frequently
- Essential business employers: practice frequent cleaning in public-use areas, wipe down high-touch areas frequently
- Follow strict rules to self-isolate (quarantine) after traveling from Anchorage: Anyone who has traveled from Anchorage since March 13th should be practicing quarantine
- Stay home if you are sick and call the Nurse Call Line at 443-6411 or 844-586-8773 for advice or if you think you need to be seen. Any visit that can be delayed for the next 30 days should wait
- If you are in quarantine, call the clinic first before coming into any NSHC facility. If you are sick, wear a mask while in quarantine
- Need your medication refilled? NSHC will deliver your medication to you at all clinic locations in the region. Do not come into the clinic to pick up your medication