780 AM | 96.1 FM 


(907) 443-5221

Patient in Gambell Identified as Close Contact of Savoonga Case, COVID-19 in Both Communities

Gambell, Alaska on St. Lawrence Island. Courtesy of Kklunder Kathie Klunder.
Gambell, Alaska on St. Lawrence Island. Photo courtesy of Kathie Klunder.

Norton Sound Health Corporation confirmed last night that an individual located in Gambell tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

This case is the first one publicly confirmed by NSHC in the St. Lawrence Island community. However, KNOM has previously reported on other cases from un-named communities in the region.

According to NSHC, this newest patient was tested as a close contact of the individual in Savoonga who was confirmed as a positive case on Sunday. Although the state Section of Epidemiology and Public Health Nursing will do further investigation into the case and their close contacts, NSHC believes the case from Savoonga and the latest from Gambell, are connected.

When NSHC announced the Savoonga individual had tested positive for the virus, a cause for the spread was not given at the time, but now the regional health corporation is saying these two cases might have resulted from travel.

NSHC says widespread community transmission of the coronavirus is not suspected on the island, but Gambell’s leaders are encouraging their residents to get tested and practice safety measures.

NSHC recommends people in the Norton Sound region continue to maintain social distance, wear a face mask in public and wash their hands frequently.

If you live in a regional community outside of Nome, call your local clinic to arrange a COVID-19 test. NSHC is conserving their rapid tests at this time, so expect your test results will take longer to receive back.

Image at top: Gambell, Alaska on St. Lawrence Island. Photo courtesy of Kathie Klunder (2014).

Share this story


Recent Posts

Understanding Golovin: A Film on Alaskan Life Amidst Climate Change

The short film “A Beautiful Place” covers the lives and challenges faced by the residents of Golovin, Alaska. The 26-minute film directed by Atman Mehta offers a poignant look at community life amidst the backdrop of climate change. Mehta, originally from Mumbai, India, spent over a year visiting Golovin between

Read More »

From Nome To Shishmaref: Trio Travels Across the Tundra

Under the pale light of the Alaskan spring, three adventurers embarked on a long journey across the frozen tundra. Oliver Hoogendorn, Wilson Hoogendorn, and James Horner set out from Nome determined to walk to Shishmaref, over 100 miles to the north. Battling strong winds, freezing temperatures, and vast, snow- covered

Read More »
Aerial view of rural Alaska community on a cloudy summer day

Uranium Mine Set For Summer Exploration North of Elim

Panther Minerals Inc. announced plans to launch an exploration program at the Boulder Creek uranium property this summer. The property is roughly 100 miles to the east of Nome and 20 miles north of Elim.  The Vancouver, Canada based company will establish a 15 to 20 person camp at the

Read More »

City of Golovin to Receive Two New Generators Thanks to NSEDC Grant

The City of Golovin will soon receive two new generators for its city-owned power plant, thanks to a Community Energy Fund grant awarded by the Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation (NSEDC). The funding, totaling $218,098, was approved during NSEDC’s first-quarter board meeting earlier in May. The grant comes at a

Read More »



Christmas 2023

Work for Us:




(907) 443-5221 


(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.