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Halloween Spoiled by COVID-19 in Some Communities, Three New Cases Announced in Bering Strait Region

A pumpkin in the volunteer house great room.
Halloween decorations make the volunteer house even homier than usual this time of year (Photo: Gabe Colombo, KNOM, 2017)

Trick or treating didn’t take place in all Bering Strait communities this weekend, as new COVID-19 cases were identified in three communities on Halloween Day. Then three additional cases were announced today.

According to Norton Sound Health Corporation, on Saturday one patient tested positive in Savoonga, another in Nome, and the third is a resident of Stebbins. Following a meeting between NSHC and Savoonga’s leadership, the decision was made to postpone trick-or-treating for the community on Saturday. The regional health corporation said today, that no other Savoonga residents have tested positive since then, although 70 additional tests were conducted locally, and all came back negative.

NSHC also announced that today that two Nome residents tested positive for COVID-19. One was already in quarantine when they were notified of their result while the other was traveling outside of the region at the time of their result. Separately, a non-resident tested positive for the virus over the weekend as a result of the City of Nome’s testing and quarantine mandates.

As of today, in Stebbins there is a total of 55 cases of the virus with 80% of the community tested at this point. The latest patient to test positive for COVID-19 was announced earlier today by NSHC and another was confirmed on Saturday. Stebbins continues to be on lockdown with residents being encouraged to avoid interacting with individuals outside of their own home.

The Norton Sound’s total case count is up to 163 since the pandemic began. 22 are currently active while 141 are considered recovered.

Image at top: A Halloween pumpkin inside a Nome residence. (Photo: Gabe Colombo, KNOM, 2017)

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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.