First regional patient tests positive for COVID-19, fifth case detected in Nome
Norton Sound Health Corporation reported on Tuesday a sixth patient testing positive for COVID-19. The patient agreed to disclose the home community as Nome and the case was confirmed travel related. The testing, a NSHC press release said, was done in accordance with the City of Nome’s emergency order related to travelers, which spells out a seven-day shortened quarantine time if the traveler agrees to testing upon arrival and a test seven days later.
According to NSHC, the patient is self-isolating. The State of Alaska Section of Epidemiology and Public Health Nursing are in contact with the patient and begin the process of tracing close contacts, NSHC said.
NSHC announced on June 13 that a fifth patient tested positive and identified the patient as a resident of one of the villages, making it the first case in the region outside of Nome. They did not specify which village the patient is resident of, but a Facebook post from Teller Mayor Blanche Garnie said that a resident of Teller has tested positive for COVID-19. She instructed residents in the post to avoid public places unless necessary, to wear a mask in public places, to practice social distancing by staying “a couple arm lengths away from others from different households” and to wash and sanitize hands often. When people travel out of region travel, people returning to Teller must quarantine for 14 days. NSHC informed community leaders and sent out a response team to conduct testing for close contacts and other community members. Community leaders have activated their village’s response plan.
Statewide, Alaska has as of Tuesday, 676 (429 have recovered) cases of Alaskans, 77 nonresident cases, and 12 deaths.