Stebbins Sees Largest Outbreak of COVID-19 in Norton Sound

Four new homes in Stebbins

The community of Stebbins now has the largest outbreak of COVID-19 in the Bering Strait region. That became official yesterday when Norton Sound Health Corporation confirmed seven new cases in Stebbins, followed by two additional earlier today.

Towards the beginning of this month, the community of Gambell had reached a total of 31 positive cases of COVID-19 locally. Now, in Stebbins, the local total of COVID-19 cases is up to 36 with 18 currently active.

NSHC said yesterday that all seven new patients are close contacts of a previous case and are related to the cluster of cases in Stebbins. Separately, a Nome resident and a resident of an undisclosed regional community tested positive for COVID-19. Those two travel related cases were announced today.

The State Section of Epidemiology is conducting further investigation and contact tracing in all of these cases.

If you have been identified as a close contact of a previous case, NSHC says you are required to quarantine apart from others for 14 days. The regional health corporation is also encouraging every Stebbins resident to get tested for the virus as the local hunker down notice continues.

With the newest cases, the Norton Sound region now has a total of 138 COVID-19 cases. 20 are currently active, 18 of those are in Stebbins while 118 are considered recovered.

Image at top: Four newer residences in the community of Stebbins created by the Stebbins Housing Authority. Photo from Emily Russell/KNOM.