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Stebbins Case Count Climbs, NSHC Tries New COVID-19 Testing Procedures

Stebbins, Alaska in October 2004. Photo: Rob Lef, Creative Commons

The local outbreak of COVID-19 in Stebbins is growing. Norton Sound Health Corporation announced two new cases in that community yesterday, bringing Stebbins’ total to 20 cases.

According to NSHC, both new cases are close contacts of previously confirmed patients with COVID-19 in Stebbins. Although the local count has grown to 20, it is still not the largest outbreak in the Norton Sound region. Earlier this month the community of Gambell reached a total of 31 cases of COVID-19 which is the most for any village in the region since the pandemic began.

Norton Sound Health Corporation also announced another resident of the region tested positive for the disease caused by the coronavirus while traveling. That individual is currently not in the region, but NSHC did not disclose which community they are from or where they are located.

The State Section of Epidemiology has been notified of all three new cases and will investigate as well as conduct contact tracing.

According to NSHC’s case count, there are now 119 total cases of COVID-19 in the Norton Sound. 25 are currently active, while 94 are considered recovered.

As KNOM mentioned yesterday, the case count was at 115 but NSHC told KNOM that Public Health Nursing had the total at 116 cases at that time. Then with these three latest cases, and some recently recovered individuals, the current totals are up to date.

NSHC is in the process of rolling out new screening and COVID-19 testing procedures. Essentially the number of rapid tests available in Nome will be more limited, but individuals can still get tested as walk in patients, and rapid tests will be provided to patients who make an appointment ahead of time. To schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 rapid test at the NSHC hospital testing tent, visit www.picktime.com/NSHC.

Image at top: The community of Stebbins remains in hunker down while COVID-19 case count grows. Photo from Rob Lef, Creative Commons (2004).

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