780 AM | 96.1 FM 

“YOURS FOR WESTERN ALASKA”

(907) 443-5221

NSHC Bans Visits to QCC Over COVID-19 Concerns

The Nome hospital at dusk, viewed from the front, with light streaming through its windows.
Nome’s Norton Sound Regional Hospital. Photo: Laura Kraegel, KNOM.

The Norton Sound Health Corporation (NSHC) is implementing a visitation ban for Quyanna Care Center (QCC) and stricter rules for visiting the regional hospital in Nome and village clinics. NSHC is citing precautions for the novel coronavirus as the reason for the change. There are currently no confirmed cases of the virus in Alaska.

NSHC is also encouraging self-quarantine for those find themselves with flu-like symptoms or respiratory ailments. If someone becomes ill after traveling to a coronavirus ‘hot-spot’, or comes in close contact with a coronavirus patient, NSHC Public Relations Manager Reba Lean says to pick up the phone first before going straight to the hospital or village clinic.  

“Definitely give the nurse hotline a call before coming into the hospital or clinic. That number is 443-6411.”

That nurse can then decide if a patient needs to come in for treatment, or testing, including the coronavirus test, or if they should stay home.  

The news of visitation changes came in a NSHC press release Monday night, March 9th. All hospital operations, including Acute Care, will be closed to visitors at 7pm, rather than 9pm as normally scheduled. QCC, NSHC’s assisted living center for elders from the Bering Strait region, is only accepting visitors with prior approval from the supervising nurse.

Lean, says she understands that it may be hard for people to have less contact with their loved ones, but she asks them to consider what might be best for hospital and clinic patients.

“Please understand that it’s the best thing we can do for them to limit that contact with others outside the healthcare environment.”

On some special occasions, a visitor may be allowed in certain areas of the hospital with permission from the nursing manager.

“In the Acute Care unit, if a mother is giving birth that would be a special case scenario that a nursing manager would grant approval.”

That approval would include screening of symptoms and a questionnaire about travel or contact history. Lean was unable to answer if NSHC would be screening hospital visitors’ temperatures.

Lean says NSHC is encouraging the public to stay away from the hospital and village clinics unless they have medical business. That includes staying away from the popular hospital café. The hope is to prevent vulnerable populations from being exposed to the flu or other viruses, including the potential coronavirus.

NSHC has not announced a date for lifting the restrictions.

Share this story

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Email

Recent Posts

Goldbug Fire Grows to Over 4,500 Acres

The Goldbug Fire, located about 25 miles south of Deering, has rapidly expanded to 4,633 acres as of the morning of June 15. Alaska Fire Service has mobilized a crew of six smoke jumpers to provide protection to a mining site just one quarter mile from the fire’s edge. At

Read More »

KNOM Radio to Host First-Ever Music Fest

KNOM Radio Mission will host its first-ever Music Fest Friday and Saturday, June 14 and 15. The event, hosted at KNOM’s Back Yard, will be a great opportunity for the Bering Strait region to gather and celebrate the start of summer. Admission to the event is free.  The two-day Music Fest will feature

Read More »

June 13: Rick Thoman’s Climate Highlight for Western Alaska

The following is a transcript from Rick Thoman’s weekly “Climate Highlight for Western Alaska” provided to KNOM Radio. Thoman is a Climate Specialist with the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Sea ice has not completely melted out of the Bering Sea, there

Read More »

Teller Man Arrested for Terroristic Threatening

A Teller man has been arrested and transported to Nome’s Anvil Mountain Correctional Center following allegations of threatening to burn down a house, according to an affidavit from Alaska State Troopers. The affidavit reports that Chester Topkok, 26, was reported by his niece, Belinda Smith, who called Troopers on June

Read More »

More

Newsletter:

Work for Us:

Jobs

Contact

Nome:

(907) 443-5221 

Anchorage:

(907) 868-1200 

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.