COVID-19 Spreading To Norton Sound Regional Communities, NSHC Advocates for More Testing

A view of St. Michael. Photo: KNOM File.

Another individual from an undisclosed community in the Norton Sound region has tested positive for COVID-19. Norton Sound Health Corporation confirmed the new positive case on Saturday, less than a week after a separate regional village case was found.

According to a statement from NSHC, the newest patient is self-isolating in their home community somewhere within the region, although the identity of that community has not been released.

NSHC says it has been in touch with the community’s leaders and is offering additional testing opportunities for residents of that village.

Last week, the Stebbins Coronavirus Response Team announced further restrictions and cautionary measures for its residents because “COVID-19 may be in Stebbins.”

As such, the roughly 9-mile road connecting Stebbins to St. Michael is currently closed and a mandatory curfew is in place starting at 10pm every evening. However, neither the State of Alaska, nor Norton Sound Health Corporation, have confirmed publicly that COVID-19 is in Stebbins at this time.

NSHC says Public Health Nursing and the regional health corporation have reached out to those who are identified as close contacts of the new positive case. Whether you are a close contact of the patient’s or not, all members of the community are encouraged to get tested this week.

Local leaders will announce more information about testing opportunities but NSHC is offering testing in the unnamed community from 1pm-8pm Monday through Friday. NSHC is reporting more than 35% of the region’s more than 10,000 population has been tested for COVID-19.

This latest confirmed case brings the Norton Sound region’s COVID-19 count to 19 total positive cases, which includes residents and nonresidents. According to the state, 11 of those are currently active.

Image at top: A view of a regional community in the Norton Sound area. Photo: KNOM File.