Mask mandate in effect for Nome as COVID cases surge

Nome City Hall Building

As of Jan. 15, the City of Nome is again under a mask mandate. Nome’s City Manager Glenn Steckman issued an emergency order requiring people to wear face masks in all public places outside of their homes.

All persons must wear masks in all places of business, and in settings where physical distancing is not possible, according to the emergency order. This includes taxicab drivers and passengers in Nome.

There are some exceptions, however. Children under the age of three do not need to wear face coverings per the emergency order. Anyone who has a valid medical reason to not wear a face mask, for example if they have trouble breathing, does not have to wear a mask.

The City of Nome also authorized businesses to refuse entry to an individual who is not wearing a face covering as required by this emergency order.

There were 85 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the Norton Sound region over the weekend, according to Norton Sound Health Corporation. That brings the active count of cases to 115 with 83 of those located in Nome. The remaining active cases include eight in Unalakleet, seven in Elim, six in St. Michael, four in Savoonga, three in Shishmaref, two in Golovin and one in each of Stebbins and Shaktoolik. NSHC did not say how many positive cases were vaccinated individuals or unvaccinated.

Based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the infectious period for the latest variant of COVID-19 is roughly five days and requires a shorter isolation period. As such, the count of active cases is dropping quicker while the region is seeing a high level of transmission.

The City of Nome’s mask mandate remains in effect through January 30th unless modified or extended by the Nome Common Council.

Image at top: Nome City Hall building on Front Street. Photo by Brisa Alarcon, KNOM.