Norton Sound Health Corporation identified 11 new positive cases in Stebbins on Wednesday and one new positive case in Nome on Thursday. The total number of active cases in the Norton Sound region is now at 133.
NSHC identified 59 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend and Monday, bringing the total to 101. Forty-nine of these cases are located in Stebbins which has seen significant community spread in the past couple of weeks. The case total in Stebbins has now reached 71 active cases. NSHC has notified COVID-19 patients of their condition and instructed them all to isolate.
Due to its extremely high case number, Stebbins went into lockdown in late July. Community leadership intends to continue the lockdown until the village goes 14 days without any new positive cases. For Stebbins, the lockdown means capacity limits in public spaces, a curfew, a mask mandate and a ban on visiting between houses.
The other identified cases are located in multiple communities. There are two active cases in Nome, one in Unalakleet and one in White Mountain. Eleven active cases are in unidentified communities.
The NSHC expressed the belief that most of the recent COVID-19 cases are of the delta variant. The delta variant makes up 96 percent of all Alaskan Covid cases, according to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Service. It is twice as infectious as the original strain of the virus.
The NSHC encourages people to get vaccinated, citing vaccination as the most effective way to stop the spread of the virus.
Image at top: The COVID-19 Virus. Photo credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.