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NSHC Says Elim’s First Case of Coronavirus is Travel-Related

Looking down a street in a rural Alaska community
Looking down a road in Elim, Alaska, August 16, 2019. Photo: Davis Hovey, KNOM.

The Norton Sound community of Elim has confirmed its first case of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Norton Sound Health Corporation announced the positive result was identified on Saturday.

According to NSHC, this latest case is travel-related. The regional health corporation is asking close contacts of the COVID-19 patient to automatically quarantine for 14 days.

Similar to the response in other regional communities, Elim is requiring face coverings to be worn in all public places and it is limiting how many people can be in the local store at one time. NSHC says, “the store will be limited to only those who are over 16 years old, and a maximum of two people will be allowed to shop at one time.”

NSHC will be sending additional staff and supplies to conduct community-wide testing. Meanwhile the State Section of Epidemiology and Public Health Nursing are investigating the newest case.

This weekend also saw Alaska hit a new record amount of cases, with more than 1100 reported in the state on Saturday and Sunday. Within the Norton Sound there has been a total of 174 confirmed cases thus far; at least 141 of those have recovered.

Image at top: Looking down a road in Elim, Alaska in August, 2019. Photo: Davis Hovey, KNOM (2019).

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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.